Friday, August 26, 2011

Monthly and Annual peak sun hours for locations around Australia

A figure I tend to think is quite useful when thinking about a solar system is the amount of peak sun hours around Australia as compared with the number of daylight hours. From what I’ve read the peak sun hours is the number of hours you can use to determine the amount of energy your solar system will generate.

I found this very informative document I thought I’d share with others. It provides the annual peak hours around Australian but also useful information such as the efficiency based on the orientation towards the sun and also the tilt of the panels. This information gives you a better understanding of why a solar system only provides a certain amount of electricity and also how that varies over the year.

I’m still not sure how much energy is generated each day compared with the peak sun hours. I can’t help feeling even though there is a percentage efficiency drop electricity would still be generated. I hope to make some rough measurements in the near future which will help me clarify this.

Also the information about how a shadow over a small section of the panel can have a dramatic effect to the amount of power generated was useful. That now makes a bit more sense and isn’t what I would have expected.

The other useful figure was how a stand-alone system produces less power due to the losses associated with other components of the system. For when I did some calculations with regards to charging batteries some time ago, I’ve found you usually have to factor in a loss of around a third of the power. Very interesting information indeed.

I hope others find the information useful.

Kelvin Eldridge

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