Peak Hours Meaning: What Hours Are Best for Going Solar?

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Solar energy technology has come a long way in the past decade.

The cost of solar panels has decreased considerably making them more accessible to many more homeowners. There are even government programs for first-time homeowners that help offset your costs.

However, you may still have wondered is going solar worth it? How much money can solar panels save your household? If you are thinking about going solar, you need to do the proper research to make sure you don’t get scammed.

Nonprofit solar installation programs offer several benefits that may seem too good to be true. Nevertheless, the benefits are real but depend on what solar service plan you choose, as well as your city’s peak hours for solar energy consumption.

If you want to reduce your energy consumption and cost of your energy bills, read on to learn the peak hours meaning and how they can help you.

What Are Peak Sun Hours?

Peak Sun Hours (also referred to as peak sun hours per day) is a measure of the total amount of direct sunlight received during the course of a day. Essentially, peak sun hours refer to the amount of time that the sun is directly hitting the surface of the Earth and generating energy that can be used to power a device.

Peak sun hours vary greatly based on the location of the device. Peak sun hours usually exceed 4 hours per day in the sunniest locations on Earth, dropping to zero or near-zero during the night.

Depending on what the device is used for, it is important to take into account the average peak sun hours when deciding where to place a device so that it receives maximum benefit.

Peak Sun Hours by State

Understanding peak sun hours by state can help solar energy consumers and producers make better decisions. Peak sun hours vary by location and can be seen as a measure of how much solar energy is available for solar panel production per day.

Peak sun hours peak due to seasonal variations – such as the differences between summer and winter – depending on the part of the State. Here are some of them:

West Coast

The number of peak sun hours can vary significantly from state to state along the West Coast. Washington and Oregon experience more sunlight than California, with peak sun hours ranging from 5-6 per day in the winter to 8-9 per day in the summer.

The sunny states of California and Nevada experience about 6-7 peak sun hours in the winter and 8-9 in the summer. Lighting energy and heat are both available from the sun’s rays, so the West Coast can certainly benefit from utilizing solar power.

Rocky Mountain

Peak sun hours by state in the Rocky Mountain region vary greatly. Montana and Wyoming have the highest peak sun hours at 6.2 and 6.3 hours, respectively, with Colorado at 5.7 hour, Utah at 5.4 hours, and New Mexico at 5.2 hours.

Variations also occur within each state depending on location and elevation. On average, the region receives approximately 300 days of sunshine per year, giving the area lots of potential for solar energy production.

Mid-West 

Peak sun hours by state in the U.S. Midwest varies greatly due to the amount of cloud cover, elevation, and other factors. Generally, states located in the deepest parts of the central Midwest such as Iowa and Wisconsin experience the highest peak sun hours per year.

States further south and east, like Illinois and Indiana, receive slightly fewer peak sun hours. Michigan, due to its northern location, receives the lowest peak sun hours in the region. 

Golf Coast 

While Florida generally averages between 5 and 6 peak sun hours a day, Alabama experiences slightly fewer. Along the Alabama coastline, peak sun hours may range from between 4.5 and 5.5.

Peak sun hours in Mississippi come in even lower, with an average of 4.2. This is due to the humid subtropical climate experienced in this region. With excessive humidity in the air, in combination with haze, clouds, and other atmospheric conditions, the number of peak sun hours tends to stay lower.

If you’re from the Golf Coast region and looking for optimal sunshine, try heading north. Georgia, for instance, experiences up to 6.4 peak sun hours a day.

Northern East Coast 

New England and the Mid-Atlantic states are ideally situated for high solar efficiency. In Massachusetts, peak sunlight hours can reach as high as 8.2 in the summer months, with similarly strong ratings in Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Jersey.

To the south, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia consistently receive more than six peak sunlight hours annually. Further south, North Carolina estimates peak sunlight hours around 4.6 per annum. 

Southern East Coast 

Southern East Coast states such as Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina receive more hours of peak sun than other areas in the United States. This is due to the fact that they are located much closer to the equator than other states.

With approximately 2,400 peak sun hours on average, Florida receives more peak sun hours than other parts of the country, which makes it an ideal spot for solar energy. Georgia receives about 1,900 peak sun hours, and South Carolina between 1,600 and 1,800 peak sun hours.

How Many Peak Sun Hours Do You Need to Go Solar?

In order to determine how many peak sun hours you need to go solar, the amount of sunlight your area receives must be taken into account. This is because the more available sunlight there is, the more efficiently a solar system can generate energy and power your home.

Generally speaking, the higher the peak sun hours, the more solar energy you can expect to generate. The average home in the United States will benefit from 3 to 5 peak sun hours per day.

Areas in sunnier regions, such as the Southwest, may get as many as 8 or more peak hours of sun per day, which is ideal for a solar-powered home. To find the peak sun hours in your area, you can use a solar resource map or contact your local utility company.

How Will Peak Sun Hours Impact My Solar Panels?

Peak sun hours refer to the amount of energy that is available from the sun’s rays at any given time. A panel will generate the most energy when this quantity of peak sun hours is optimal.

In areas where peak sun hours are low, solar panel production can be reduced as the quantity of energy available from the sun is not as great. In contrast, higher peak sun hours will result in greater solar panel production due to the quantity of energy available from sunlight.

The best way to understand how peak sun hours will impact your solar panels is to compare the peak sun hour totals in your region to the peak sun hour totals across the globe. This way, you can be sure that you are using the optimal amount of peak sun hours and that the energy your solar panels produce is of the highest quality.

Ways To Take Advantage of Peak Sun Hours in Your Home

Taking advantage of peak sun hours in your home is a great way to reduce energy costs and to create a more sustainable lifestyle. A few ways to do so include: installing solar panels in your home, switching to energy-efficient appliances, and planting shade trees to provide natural cooling.

Solar panels absorb energy from the sun and convert it into electricity, reducing the amount of electricity you need to purchase from the grid. Energy-efficient appliances, such as LED lights, refrigerators, and washers and dryers, can help you save money on energy costs by using less electricity.

Lastly, planting shade trees near windows and the sides of your house can provide natural cooling during peak sunshine hours. Not only will it keep your home cool and reduce energy costs, but it can also increase property values.

Taking advantage of peak sun hours in your home can help reduce energy costs and make your home more energy efficient, saving money and reducing your carbon footprint.

How To Calculate the Peak Sun Hours in a Roof

In order to calculate peak sun hours in a roof, there are a few steps to follow. First, determine the latitude of the roof site. Second, use the average monthly daylight duration for that latitude to calculate the hours of direct sunlight.

Third, use the solar noon time for those months, and use the solar position calculator to determine the angles of the sun from the roof’s orientation. Fourth, use a shading analysis tool to determine the amount of shading of the roof’s surface.

Finally, combine the direct sun hours, solar angles, and shading analysis to calculate the total peak sun hours in a roof for each month. Peak sun hours on roofs can then be used for various purposes, such as estimating roof load, solar panel installation, and other related applications. Read about solar energy to learn more about sunlight for solar panels.

Peak Hours Meaning Explained

In conclusion to peak hours meaning, going solar during peak hours will bring multiple benefits. Consequently, given the peak hours from 8-11am and 5-7pm, drivers should plan to fill up on solar energy during those times for the greatest advantage.

Get started today by exploring your local shops for the perfect photovoltaic panel setup for your solar-powered journeys!

If you want to explore the best topics, we’ve got you covered. Check out some of our other blogs today!

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