Cochran Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Cochran, Texas
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.9 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.2 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 7.4 hours per day
Peak sun hours are a vital measurement to understand when considering the installation of solar panels. Peak sun hours are not the same as total sunlight hours because not every hour of sunlight during the day has enough strength and solar insolation to qualify as a peak sun hour. The rule of thumb is that a peak sun hour is when the intensity of the sun that is hitting your solar panel is providing at least 1,000 watts per square meter. This is an arbitrary number, but it is a number where most solar panels will be producing an efficient output and not underperforming due to sunshine that is not strong enough or direct enough.
The latitude at the equator of the earth is zero degrees. This is where sunlight strikes the earth most directly. Due to the earth's curved shape, sunlight hits at a various angles depending on location. As latitude increases, the further you are located from the equator and more variance you see in sunlight hours. The latitude of Cochran is 30.0.
Depending on your output needs, to get more out of your solar panels you can either upgrade your technology, buy more panels, or buy different tracking type panels. A fixed solar panel remains fixed at one angle throughout the year. A 1-axis panel will produce more output because it follows the path of the sun from sunrise to sunset to maximize sun exposure. Even more productive is a 2-axis panel that not only follows the sun's path throughout the day, but also accounts for the more subtle sun changes throughout the year with the different seasons.
The sunrise and sunset is very predictable every day, but things like cloud coverage and weather are less predictable and vary daily and annually. If a location that is usually very sunny experiences a huge increase in storms and cloud coverage in a given year than the average peak sun hours for that day or year will probably decrease. Tall objects such as trees and buildings can block out the sun during high solar insolation times, so be sure to strategically place your solar panels to get better efficiency.
For a fixed mounted solar panel in Cochran, meaning that the solar panel will not track the sun in the sky, once can expect about 4.9 average peak sun hours per day. A 1-axis mount would increase this number to 6.2 hours per day because the panel would be facing the sun throughout the day. A 2-axis system that tracks the sun in the sky every day of the year would get approximately 7.4 hours per day in Cochran.