Charleston Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Green Energy Summary for Charleston, West Virginia
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.4 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.4 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.6 hours per day
Average Annual Wind Speed: 6.04 miles per hour
Average peak sun hours in Charleston is an important metric to use besides the total hours of sunshine per day because it offers a more firm estimate of when a solar power system will be the most efficient. The peak sun hours are the times when the solar panel is getting the strongest solar insolation which results in a better performing and more efficient solar power system.
The average peak sun hours will not be consistent every day. There are many variables that can affect the amount of peak sun hours, for example, weather. Unpredictable cloud coverage, precipitation, fog, or a storm system are just a few examples of things we cannot control that may affect total solar insolation per day. Also important, depending on the latitude of a location, the amount of peak sunlight hours can vary greatly between seasons. Cities closer to the equator will see less variance than cities closer to the poles, because the cities further from the equator will see varying day lengths during different seasons.
There are also things a solar panel owner can do to increase average peak sun hours. For example, a 2-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun in the sky will usually result in higher peak sun hours that a fixed solar panel of equal quality and technology during the same day.
In Charleston, the average peak sun hours for a fixed tilt panel mounted at the angle equal to the latitude of the city is hours. The more efficient 2-axis system that tracks the sun in the sky during each season will boost the average peak sun hours to hours per day in Charleston.