Thomas Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Thomas, West Virginia
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.3 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.5 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 6.5 hours per day
It goes without saying that throughout the year the amount of sunlight in any given day is going to vary. The time of year and weather will have a strong influence on daily sunshine. Looking at the average amount of peak sunshine hours in a day during an entire year stretch is a valuable exercise when trying to determine the amount and type of solar panels you need to install to power your business or your home. 4.3 peak sun hours means that in Thomas on average there are 4.3 hours a day where the sun is strong enough for solar panels to harness its energy. This number is less than the amount of total sunlight hours in a day because there are times during the day (ex. sunrise and sunset) where the sun is not strong enough to benefit solar panels.
If you’re using a fixed axis and fixed tilt solar panel, the ideal angle of the panel mount should be set at an angle equal to or close to the latitude of the location of the panel. Latitude is a valuable measurement to use when figuring how many daylight hours and the angle of the sun in the sky for your location. Since at locations with a higher latitude the sun will find itself at more variable angles in the sky throughout the year it is important to set the angle of the panel correctly and efficiently capture more peak sun hours. In the Northern Hemisphere the sun will be at lower angles in the Southern sky in the winter, and higher angles during the summer months, so the angle of the panel is crucial when trying to maximize output.
Since a fixed solar panel is set in one position it is ideal to place it at an angle that will expose the panel to the most sunlight throughout the year. This angle is generally the same angle of your latitude which is 39.1 for Thomas. You do not need to strategically place a 1-axis or 2-axis panel as much as you do a fixed panel. A 1-axis panel follows the movement of the sun during the day. Additionally, a 2-axis panel also adjusts for the suns various positions in the sky throughout the year.
Peak sun hours are greatly affected by weather patterns. Cloud coverage is a huge factor in peak sun hours per day because heavy cloud coverage will diminish the power of the solar insolation. You can use historical climate data to estimate average cloud and weather coverage, but it will obviously vary slightly from year to year.
By taking the latitude of Thomas one can get a close estimate of the amount of average peak sun hours per day for the geographical area. It varies with technology and the type of solar panel mount you use, but for a fixed mount solar panel in Thomas one can expect close to 4.3 average peak sun hours per day. With a 1-axis tracking mount you would get 5.5 hours per day, and 6.5 hours per day with a 2-axis tracking mount that tracks the sun everywhere in the sky.