Van Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Van, West Virginia
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.7 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.1 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.9 hours per day
Peak sun hours is arguably the most important number to consider before installing your solar panels. Unlike total sun hours, peak sun hours are calculated by looking at the amount of sunlight hours in a 24 hour period that is strong enough to be absorb by a solar panel. One way to imagine peak sun hours is to think about a solar powered calculator you owned in school. If you covered the solar panel with your finger, or tried to use the calculator in the dark, the calculator would not work. As you slowly exposed the calculator to light the calculator would eventually turn on and be usable. The same is true with peak sun hours; these are the hours that your solar panels receive enough sunlight to work. Looking at the average peak sunlight hours of 4.7 per day can help you determine the amount of solar panels you need to install to power your home or business in Van, West Virginia.
Your latitude is an indicator of when the sunrises and sunsets and certain times of the year. If you live near the equator with a latitude of near zero, the sun will rise and set close to the same time all year resulting in consistent total sunlight hours per day. If you live near the poles, the time of sunrise and sunset will vary dramatically with each season, resulting in long days for part of the year and very short days at other times. So, locations closer to the equator will have more consistent amounts of peak sun hours throughout the year than locations closer to the poles.
Depending on your output needs, to get more out of your solar panels you can either upgrade your technology, buy more panels, or buy different tracking type panels. A fixed solar panel remains fixed at one angle throughout the year. A 1-axis panel will produce more output because it follows the path of the sun from sunrise to sunset to maximize sun exposure. Even more productive is a 2-axis panel that not only follows the sun's path throughout the day, but also accounts for the more subtle sun changes throughout the year with the different seasons.
Looking at latitude, average peak sun hours and various data can obviously help when planning for your solar power needs. The one thing you can never fully account for is changing weather. Storms, rain, cloud coverage all have an impact on solar panel capabilities.
In Van you can look at the average peak sun hours of a fixed solar panel mount, which will be 4.7 hours. This number iis an estimate based on data of previous years. With a tracking mount in Van you could theoretically increase the amount of peak sun hours per with a 1-axis mount, and get 5.1 hours, or a 2-axis mount and potentially increase your average to 5.9 hours.