Gotham Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Gotham, Wisconsin
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.9 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.2 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.7 hours per day
Peak sun hours is one of the most important criteria to examine when considering installing a solar power system. Peak sun hours are different than total sunlight hours in a day because the strength of the radiation of the sun varies throughout the day. For example, during sunrise and sunset the solar insolation from the sun is less powerful than at noon. For a moment of sunshine to be considered a peak sun hour the intensity needs to be at least 1 kilowatt per square meter. This means that a square meter of your solar panel should be receiving 1 kilowatt of energy from the sun. This number is used because it is an amount of light that allows a solar panel to produce output efficiently and not under perform due to lack of sunlight power.
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 Gotham is 43.2.
You will notice the difference in peak sunlight hours depending on the panel type. The more flexibility the solar panel has the efficient it can be throughout the day and the year. A fixed solar panel remains in the same position at all times. A 1-axis panel follows the sun throughout the day as it moves through the sky and eventually sets. A 2-axis panel not only tracks the daily movement, but also adjusts based on the sun's changing position in the sky throughout the year as the seasons change.
Although weather predicting technology has greatly evolved over time, it is still a rather unpredictable factor that will affect the amount of peak sun hours your solar power system will receive. Cloudy days for example will usually have lower peak sun hours that a clear sunny day. And areas that usually have more average sunny days per year will probably have higher peak sun hours that areas that are often overcast or stormy.
In Gotham you can look at the average peak sun hours of a fixed solar panel mount, which will be 4.9 hours. This number iis an estimate based on data of previous years. With a tracking mount in Gotham you could theoretically increase the amount of peak sun hours per with a 1-axis mount, and get 5.2 hours, or a 2-axis mount and potentially increase your average to 5.7 hours.