Saint Albans Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Saint Albans, 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
The amount of hours from sunrise to sunset is equal to the total sunlight hours in a 24 hour period. Similarly, peak sun hours are the amount of total sunlight hours in a 24 hour period that are strong enough to provide power from being captured by a solar panel. Not every hour of sunlight delivers the same amount of energy resources. The sunlight at sunrise does not provide as many resources as the amount of sunlight mid-day. Thus, looking at the average peak sunlight hours for Saint Albans is valuable for calculating your solar needs.
The latitude of the location is important for measuring peak sun hours. The latitude determines how much overall sunlight there will be in a day. With a given latitude, time and date, one can accurately determine when sunrise and sunset will occur. Areas with latitudes closer to the equator will have a more consistent range of solar insolation throughout the year. Whereas areas closer to the poles will have a greater variance during the summer and winter months due to their higher latitudes.
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.
Since we know the latitude of Saint Albans we can take the average amount of total sunlight hours and estimate that with a fixed solar panel there would be an average of 4.5 peak sun hours per day. 5.3 hours per day with a 1-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun from sunrise to sunset, and 6.1 hours with a 2-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun everywhere in the sky.