Arcola Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Arcola, Virginia
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.7 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.8 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6 hours per day
If you put your solar powered math calculator in your backpack it will turn off from the lack of sunlight needed to power the device. As you slowly open your backpack and begin to let sunlight in, the calculator will eventually turn on when the amount of sunlight is enough to power the calculator. Similarly, peak sun hours refer to the hours of they day where the sunlight is strong enough to power a solar panel. This is different from total sunlight hours, which is simply the amount of hours in a day when there is any sunlight.
Knowing that the latitude of Arcola is 38.9 can be helpful for understanding total sunlight hour variance. As you approach the equator latitude approaches zero. The closer the latitude is to zero, the more consistent the daily sunlight hours are throughout the year. Total sunlight hour consistency simply makes planning for your solar power needs easier, but it is certainly not a requirement.
You will notice that the average peak sun hours for Arcola change based on the type of panel being used. The reason for this is quite simple. A fixed panel does exactly what it sounds like, remains fixed in one position at all times. A 1-axis and 2-axis panels have axis that allow them to rotate. The 1-axis rotates with the sun's daily east to west movement while a 2-axis also adjusts for seasonal changes.
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 Arcola, meaning that the solar panel will not track the sun in the sky, once can expect about 4.7 average peak sun hours per day. A 1-axis mount would increase this number to 5.8 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 6 hours per day in Arcola.