Will Solar Panels Work at My Location?

by Red on September 12, 2009

Photovoltaic Solar Panels Soaking in the Sun Light



Solar Panels Soaking in the Sun

Solar energy is universal and will work virtually anywhere, however some locations are better than others.

Irradiance is a measure of the sun’s power available at the surface of the earth and it averages about 1000 watts per square meter.  With typical crystalline solar cell efficiencies around of around 14-16%, we can expect to generate about 140-160W per square meter if solar cells are exposed to full sun.

Insolation is a measure of the available energy from the sun and is expressed in terms of “full sun hours” (i.e. 4 full sun hours = 4 hours of sunlight at an irradiance level of 1000 watts per square meter).

Obviously different parts of the world receive more sunlight and will have more “full sun hours” per day than others.

The solar insolation zone map (below) will give you a general idea of the “full sun hours per day” for your location.

World Solar Insolation Map

World Solar Insolation Map

This solar insolation map shows the amount of solar energy in hours (peak sun hours), received each day on an optimally tilted surface during the worst month of the year. (Based on accumulated worldwide solar insolation data.)


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