Rio Grande City Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Rio Grande City, Texas
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.9 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 7.6 hours per day
When trying to calculate your solar power needs there are a variety of factors to consider. Panel type and location, electricity needs, number of panels needed etc. One key to figuring out the math is factoring in the average peak sunlight hours in a day. Unlike total sunlight hours, peak sunlight hours are only when the sun is strong enough to power your solar panel. Using this number can help determine your needs to power your home or business in Rio Grande City, Texas.
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 Rio Grande City is 26.4.
Although most things are out of our control, like the sunrise, sunset or the weather, we can control the angle and the kind of mount we use for a solar panel. The angle of the solar panel, if using a fixed mount, should generally be around the angle that is equal to the latitude of the location to maximize output. In the northern hemisphere, panels angles should be lower in the winter months and higher in the summer months As a fixed mount is set, it is ideal to place it at an angle that will capture the most sunlight during the year. A 1-axis tracking solar mount will track the sun across the sky from sunrise to sunset, but the angle will remain the same throughout the day. A 2-axis solar mount will track the sun throughout the day from East to West, but the angle will also change automatically as the seasons change and the angle of the sun in the sky changes. Thus, a 2-axis will have a higher rating of peak sun hours compared to the 1-axis or fixed.
Weather is one of the major culprits that will cause inconsistent total peak sun hours for any given day. The sunrise and sunset will always be predictable every day, but the weather is hard to predict and cloud coverage can greatly diminish the efficiency of a solar power system on any given day. On the bright side, a location that is known to have cloudy weather a majority of the year could have unexpectedly more sunny days, so it can go both ways.
We can use previous years of data to estimate the amount of peak sun hours in Rio Grande City. A fixed tilt mount for example will receive 5 average hours per day. For more efficiency for your system in Rio Grande City you could use a 1-axis tracking mount and increase your daily peak sun average to 6.9 hours, or even further with a 2-axis panel to get an average of 7.6 hours.