Roanoke Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Roanoke, Texas
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.6 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 7.4 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 8.1 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 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 33.0 for Roanoke. 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.
For a fixed mounted solar panel in Roanoke, meaning that the solar panel will not track the sun in the sky, once can expect about 5.6 average peak sun hours per day. A 1-axis mount would increase this number to 7.4 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 8.1 hours per day in Roanoke.