Plat Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Plat, 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 Plat is 43.2.
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.
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.
For a fixed mounted solar panel in Plat, meaning that the solar panel will not track the sun in the sky, once can expect about 4.9 average peak sun hours per day. A 1-axis mount would increase this number to 5.2 hours per day because the panel would be facing the sun throughout the day. A 2-axis system that tracks the sun in the sky every day of the year would get approximately 5.7 hours per day in Plat.