Salem Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Salem, West Virginia
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.6 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.3 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.2 hours per day
Looking at the average peak sunlight hours in Salem 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 Salem, 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 Salem. However, still knowing that the latitude of Salem is 39.3 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
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.
There are more variables than latitude that can change average peak sun hours. Weather patterns and geography will influence solar insolation that reaches your system. Thick grey storm clouds for example will block out a lot of the sun to the point where there may be no peak sun hours in the middle of the day when the sun is usually very powerful. Trees and mountains can deflect the sunlight, so be sure your solar panel is selectively placed.
We can take the latitude of Salem and use that number to know the amount of total sunlight hours in the region from sunlight to sunset and estimate that with a fixed solar panel, Salem will receive 4.6 average peak sun hours per day. This number can be increased to 5.3 hours by using a 1-axis tracking mount, or 6.2 hours from a 2-axis tracking mount.