McFarland Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for McFarland, Wisconsin
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 4.9 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.3 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.6 hours per day
If you put your solar powered math calculator in your backpack it will turn off from the lack of sunlight needed to power the device. As you slowly open your backpack and begin to let sunlight in, the calculator will eventually turn on when the amount of sunlight is enough to power the calculator. Similarly, peak sun hours refer to the hours of they day where the sunlight is strong enough to power a solar panel. This is different from total sunlight hours, which is simply the amount of hours in a day when there is any sunlight.
Sunlight hits the earth directly at the equator. This is why the equator has a latitude of zero degrees. The latitude of McFarland is 43.0. Knowing the latitude of McFarland can help you plan for your solar panel setup, as the larger the latitude the more variance you will see throughout the year for total daily sunlight hours.
A tracking mount will increase the average peak sun hours for a solar power system. Think about a panel that is tracking the sun in the sky vs a panel that is fixed and not moving: you will see a higher efficiency ratio of productions. A 1-axis mount will track the sun from East to West from sunrise to sunset and move on a single axis of rotation. A 2-axis mount will track the Sun from East to West the same as a 1-axis mount would, but it will also track the angle of the sun in the sky as it slowly varies season to season. A 2-axis mount is more necessary in high latitude regions where the angle of the sun in the sky changes dramatically between each equinox.
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.
In McFarland 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 McFarland you could theoretically increase the amount of peak sun hours per with a 1-axis mount, and get 5.3 hours, or a 2-axis mount and potentially increase your average to 5.6 hours.