Toano Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Toano, Virginia
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.7 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.3 hours per day
The average peak sun hours of Toano is a crucial measurable component needed to efficiently implement a solar power system in a home or business. Put simply, peak sun hours are the hours of sunlight a day that are strong enough to be efficiently absorbed by solar panels and eventually turned into usable electricity. Not every minute of sunlight during a day is strong enough to be useful to a solar power system. Think about just minutes after the sunrises, which officially counts towards total hours of sunlight, but is usually too weak to be counted in peak sun hours because the strength of the solar insolation is not strong enough near the horizon to be absorbed and turned into electricity at an efficient rate. Times during the day like this, where the sun is out but not strong enough, are not counted as peak sun hours. In other words, the amount of peak sun hours in a location will theoretically always be less than total sunlight hours for a given day.
The equator has a latitude of zero while Toano has a latitude of 37.4. Any city located on the equator will receive the most sunlight throughout the year because the sunlight arrives at a perpendicular 90 degree angle to the earth at the equator. The further you are from the equator the more your daily sunlight hours can vary.
Depending on your output needs, to get more out of your solar panels you can either upgrade your technology, buy more panels, or buy different tracking type panels. A fixed solar panel remains fixed at one angle throughout the year. A 1-axis panel will produce more output because it follows the path of the sun from sunrise to sunset to maximize sun exposure. Even more productive is a 2-axis panel that not only follows the sun's path throughout the day, but also accounts for the more subtle sun changes throughout the year with the different seasons.
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.
Using the latitude of Toano along with historical data of sunlight and weather patterns we can estimate that a fixed mounted solar panel will receive an average of 5 hours per day in this area. That number can be increased with better technology including add a 1-axis or 2-axis tracking mount, which would increase the average peak sun hours per day to 5.7 hours and 6.3 hours, respectively.