South Padre Island Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for South Padre Island, Texas
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.3 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.9 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 7.7 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.
Knowing the latitude of South Padre Island will help estimate average peak sun hours for your area. The latitude is used to accurately estimate the time of sunrise and sunset, thus giving you the total hours of daylight each day. Once you know the total hours of daylight, you can estimate the amount of peak sun hours based on a number of variables such as weather, time of year, the angle of the solar panel.
Throughout the day the sun obviously moves throughout the South Padre Island sky. The suns position in the sky also changes throughout the year with the seasons. A fixed solar panel does not accommodate for these changes. However, a 1-axis panel rotates and follows the sun’s path during the day. A 2-axis panel both follows the sun’s daily path as well as the seasonal differences
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.
In South Padre Island the average yearly peak sun hours for a fixed tilt non-tracking solar panel mount is 5.3. 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 6.9 hours if you are using a 1-axis panel, and to 7.7 hours if you upgrade to a 2-axis solar panel.