Solar power has many advantages, including providing a clean, renewable energy source and lowered utility costs. If you are trying to determine whether solar power is the best option for your home or business in the DE-MD-VA area, it’s important to understand how much sun solar panels need in order to operate effectively, what peak sun-hours are, and what you can do to get the most out of the solar power available to you.
Solar is a renewable energy source that depends on the power of the sun. Solar panels are usually made of crystalline silicon— a semiconducting material used in photovoltaic technology. The solar panels use a system of mirrors to maximize the light that reaches them. The panels create an electric current when exposed to sunlight, which is then used to produce electricity.
Optimal surfaces for solar panels are large, flat rooftops. Solar panels can absorb solar energy even on cloudy days, as long as they are facing sunlight, yet it will be at a much lower rate than on sunny days — which is usually between 25 and 40%. The panels should also not be obstructed by any trees or buildings to maximize your solar energy absorption.
Contrary to popular belief, “peak sun-hours” are not the same as “hours of daylight.” Peak sun-hours refers to the amount of solar energy that is available during an average day. A peak sun-hour is when the sunlight intensity is 1,000 watts per square meter. During summer months, sun-hours increase due to the sun’s higher position in the sky. While your panels may receive an average 7 hours of daylight per day, the average peak sun-hours may be closer to 3 or 4.
Knowing your area’s yearly and seasonal average peak sun-hours are factors that can help you decide whether solar panels are a smart investment for your home or business in Delaware or Maryland. By looking at an insolation map, you can see how much solar energy your location receives on an average day during the worst month of the year. To calculate the exact amount of insolation that your solar panels will receive, you can purchase an insolation meter or make your own. Place the meter in direct sunlight and wait for a reading. It will tell you temperature, solar power supply, and current light intensity.
Contact Green Street Solar today at (800) 834-5196 for more information about solar panel installations in Delaware and Maryland.