The term ‘Sun Belt’ may not be familiar to you, but you can infer where it originates from by its name. It is a term used in the United States to denote the area of the country located roughly under the 36th parallel. It is the part of the country which gets the most sun and with the hottest climate, as it covers the entirety of the southern border.
The aim here is to more closely define this term, give some characteristics, and most importantly, to see how the Sun Belt affects the efficiency of solar energy production. If you live north of this area, does it make sense to put a solar streetlight in your streets and your town?
The unifying aspect of the climate is that the area experiences long, hot summers and mild winters. However, since this is a large area, covering parts or the entirety of 15 states, all over the south of the USA, there is also a large variation in specific conditions. For example, states of Nevada, Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas are at least in part deserts. On the other hand, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and both Carolinas experience subtropical, while Florida belongs to the tropical climate zone.
This particular position has had great benefits for the states. In fact, the greatest part of the estimated growth of the US economy is estimated to be centered in this area. In addition to this expected growth, this area of the US already has some of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. The largest cities, such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and Miami are located here.
Apart from them, there are a number of other large cities. And their populations are just getting bigger. With the growth of the population, comes the growth of resource demands. Water, food and electricity will be vital in the following years if this area is to sustain the expected growths.
What this means for solar energy?
In short, solar power is a very viable option for cities and towns in the Sun Belt, since the days are long, the nights are short and most areas do not have too many cloudy days to dampen the production of solar energy. The enormous growth of solar power, both private and industrial only shows that this is a desirable investment.
What about areas outside the Sun Belt?
Areas outside the Sun Belt are also viable candidates for solar energy. However, as you move away from the sunny south, the effectiveness of the solar panels drops somewhat. The drawback of traditional solar panels is that they can only be effective during the day.
In order to sustain a 100 Watt power draw through the night, you would need up to 800 Watt of solar power, which is double of what you would need in the Sun Belt. Even though this may seem not worth the trouble, that is not the case. The technology in this field is constantly improving, and the prices per unit are dropping, which means you can expect to see the return on your investment much faster.
Don’t give up
The great thing about solar power is that it is highly customizable, meaning that your solar streetlight doesn’t have to be useless. If it is correctly managed and calculated, solar power can do wonders in the northern areas of the country as well. The majority of Europe lies well above the 36th parallel, and Germany is one of the leaders in solar power use.
If you are looking to install a solar streetlight for your home or a parking lot, contact Greenshine. Greenshine has over ten years of experience with creating and installing custom solar fixtures for a variety of purposes.