Melrose Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Melrose, Texas
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.4 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.8 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 7.6 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.
Although you can easily predict sunrise and sunset hours each day to the minute, looking at latitude can help with your solar planning. The closer you get to the equator the closer your latitude gets to zero. Sunlight hours on the equator are consistent throughout the entire year. Places further from the equator can have large variance in daily sunlight. For example higher latitudes can have very long summer days with lots of sunlight and very dark winters. The latitude of Melrose is 31.6.
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 31.6 for Melrose. 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.
Peak sun hours are greatly affected by weather patterns. Cloud coverage is a huge factor in peak sun hours per day because heavy cloud coverage will diminish the power of the solar insolation. You can use historical climate data to estimate average cloud and weather coverage, but it will obviously vary slightly from year to year.
We can use previous years of data to estimate the amount of peak sun hours in Melrose. A fixed tilt mount for example will receive 5.4 average hours per day. For more efficiency for your system in Melrose you could use a 1-axis tracking mount and increase your daily peak sun average to 6.8 hours, or even further with a 2-axis panel to get an average of 7.6 hours.