Ector Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Ector, Texas
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.8 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.6 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 7.4 hours per day
Peak sun hours is one of the most important criteria to examine when considering installing a solar power system. Peak sun hours are different than total sunlight hours in a day because the strength of the radiation of the sun varies throughout the day. For example, during sunrise and sunset the solar insolation from the sun is less powerful than at noon. For a moment of sunshine to be considered a peak sun hour the intensity needs to be at least 1 kilowatt per square meter. This means that a square meter of your solar panel should be receiving 1 kilowatt of energy from the sun. This number is used because it is an amount of light that allows a solar panel to produce output efficiently and not under perform due to lack of sunlight power.
The latitude of the location is important for measuring peak sun hours. The latitude determines how much overall sunlight there will be in a day. With a given latitude, time and date, one can accurately determine when sunrise and sunset will occur. Areas with latitudes closer to the equator will have a more consistent range of solar insolation throughout the year. Whereas areas closer to the poles will have a greater variance during the summer and winter months due to their higher latitudes.
Since a fixed solar panel is set in one position it is ideal to place it at an angle that will expose the panel to the most sunlight throughout the year. This angle is generally the same angle of your latitude which is 33.6 for Ector. You do not need to strategically place a 1-axis or 2-axis panel as much as you do a fixed panel. A 1-axis panel follows the movement of the sun during the day. Additionally, a 2-axis panel also adjusts for the suns various positions in the sky throughout the year.
Weather is a big determinate of average peak sun hours each day. There are many aspects of weather that can increase or lessen the peak sun hours in a day in a particular location. For example cloud coverage is a crucial variable. And more importantly, what type of cloud coverage; thin scattered clouds will have less diminishing power on the solar insolation than thick rainy storm clouds. Sometimes long periods of sunny days are rare in certain locations, this would increase average peak sun hours for that time-frame
In Ector the average yearly peak sun hours for a fixed tilt non-tracking solar panel mount is 5.8. This is for a fixed panel mounted at an angle that is equal to the latitude of the location for the entire year. The amount of peak sun hours increases to 6.6 hours if you are using a 1-axis panel, and to 7.4 hours if you upgrade to a 2-axis solar panel.
Helpful & Interesting
In the United States, the direct land use for wind turbines comes in at three-quarters of an acre per megawatt of rated capacity. That is, a 2-megawatt wind turbine would require 1.5 acres of land.