Bethany Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Bethany, West Virginia
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.3 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.6 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.5 hours per day
The average amount of peak sun hours in a day is a different and more useful number as it relates to solar panels than total sun hours. Total sun hours are exactly what you would expect; the total amount of hours that the sun is out during a 24 hour period. Peak sun hours, on the other hand, are the total number of hours in a day where the sunshine is strong enough to to be absorbed and used by solar panels. Sunlight early in the morning or late at night is often not strong enough to count toward peak sun hours. Because of this, total sun hours will always be more than peak sun hours. Looking at the average peak sun hours in Bethany throughout the year can help you better estimate the amount of solar panels you will need to power your business or home.
The latitude at the equator of the earth is zero degrees. This is where sunlight strikes the earth most directly. Due to the earth's curved shape, sunlight hits at a various angles depending on location. As latitude increases, the further you are located from the equator and more variance you see in sunlight hours. The latitude of Bethany is 40.2.
The sun moves through the sky during the day, and changes positions in the sky throughout the year as the seasons change. A fixed solar panel remains fixed in position during this movement. So, although it is effective in capturing sunlight, a 1-axis or 2-axis panel can be more efficient. A 1-axis panel tracks the sun's movement throughout the day from sunrise to sunset. In addition to that, the 2-axis panel also accounts for the movement throughout the year.
The sun is a great ball of gas that rises and sets every day that the earth rotates while in orbit around the sun. Barring any major disasters this is a very predictable occurance every day. Latitude helps predict this even more, narrowing it down to the minute for sunrise and sunset. But some things aren’t as predictable that will greatly influence the efficiency of solar panels. Weather and cloud coverage for example can greatly diminish peak sun hours on any given day. Thick storm clouds will block a high percentage of the sun's rays, resulting in lower output of your solar panels. Weather needs to be factored into deciding when to use your system, or how much output one expects to get.
For a fixed mounted solar panel in Bethany, meaning that the solar panel will not track the sun in the sky, once can expect about 4.3 average peak sun hours per day. A 1-axis mount would increase this number to 5.6 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 6.5 hours per day in Bethany.