Nitro Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Nitro, West Virginia
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.5 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.3 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.1 hours per day
Looking at the average peak sunlight hours in Nitro is a valuable number for determining your solar power setup. Peak sunlight hours are only the hours a day in which the sunlight is strong enough for the solar panels to do their job. Not every hour of sunlight was created equal. For example, solar panels do not provide much use during early sunrise and sunset, and therefore you should not look at total hours of sunlight in a day, but instead focus on peak sunlight hours. Using this number will provide a much better estimate of your needs for setting up panels in Nitro, West Virginia.
If you open the newspaper in the morning or watch the weather channel on the news you can get an accurate prediction of sunrise and sunset each day for Nitro. However, still knowing that the latitude of Nitro is 38.4 can be a helpful number for your solar panel setup and planning. The closer your latitude is to zero the closer you are to the equator. At the equator you find the most consistent total sunlight hours throughout any given day of the year. As your latitude increases you can see larger discrepancies of daily sunlight hours during the year. For example, having very long summer days and very short and dark winter days
Although most things are out of our control, like the sunrise, sunset or the weather, we can control the angle and the kind of mount we use for a solar panel. The angle of the solar panel, if using a fixed mount, should generally be around the angle that is equal to the latitude of the location to maximize output. In the northern hemisphere, panels angles should be lower in the winter months and higher in the summer months As a fixed mount is set, it is ideal to place it at an angle that will capture the most sunlight during the year. A 1-axis tracking solar mount will track the sun across the sky from sunrise to sunset, but the angle will remain the same throughout the day. A 2-axis solar mount will track the sun throughout the day from East to West, but the angle will also change automatically as the seasons change and the angle of the sun in the sky changes. Thus, a 2-axis will have a higher rating of peak sun hours compared to the 1-axis or fixed.
Weather is a big determinate of average peak sun hours each day. There are many aspects of weather that can increase or lessen the peak sun hours in a day in a particular location. For example cloud coverage is a crucial variable. And more importantly, what type of cloud coverage; thin scattered clouds will have less diminishing power on the solar insolation than thick rainy storm clouds. Sometimes long periods of sunny days are rare in certain locations, this would increase average peak sun hours for that time-frame
Using the latitude of Nitro along with historical data of sunlight and weather patterns we can estimate that a fixed mounted solar panel will receive an average of 4.5 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 5.3 hours and 6.1 hours, respectively.