Plymouth Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Plymouth, West Virginia
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.4 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.2 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.7 hours per day
When trying to calculate your solar power needs there are a variety of factors to consider. Panel type and location, electricity needs, number of panels needed etc. One key to figuring out the math is factoring in the average peak sunlight hours in a day. Unlike total sunlight hours, peak sunlight hours are only when the sun is strong enough to power your solar panel. Using this number can help determine your needs to power your home or business in Plymouth, West Virginia.
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 Plymouth is 38.5.
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.
The sunrise and sunset is very predictable every day, but things like cloud coverage and weather are less predictable and vary daily and annually. If a location that is usually very sunny experiences a huge increase in storms and cloud coverage in a given year than the average peak sun hours for that day or year will probably decrease. Tall objects such as trees and buildings can block out the sun during high solar insolation times, so be sure to strategically place your solar panels to get better efficiency.
We can use previous years of data to estimate the amount of peak sun hours in Plymouth. A fixed tilt mount for example will receive 4.4 average hours per day. For more efficiency for your system in Plymouth you could use a 1-axis tracking mount and increase your daily peak sun average to 5.2 hours, or even further with a 2-axis panel to get an average of 5.7 hours.