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Louisiana Solar Resource
Flat-plate solar systems are, simply put, flat panels that collect sunlight and convert it to either electricity or heat. These technologies include photovoltaic (PV) arrays and solar water heaters. This map shows how much solar radiation reaches a flat-plate collector which is installed in a tilted position, for example, on a roof. A general rule of thumb is that a flat-plate collector gets the most sun if it is tilted towards the south at an angle equal to the latitude of the location.
What does the map mean? Mainly, it means that, for flat-plate collectors, Louisiana has good, useful resources throughout the state. Let's say you installed a PV array with a collector area equal to the size of a football field. In one of your state's better locations, you would produce around 945,000 kWh per year. This is enough to power 94.9 average homes.
Because of their simplicity, flat-plate collectors are often used for residential and commercial building applications. They can also be used in large arrays for utility applications.
View a more detailed and current flat-plate collector solar map.
Solar concentrators are typically mounted on tracking systems in order to always face the sun. This allows these collectors to capture the maximum amount of direct solar rays. The solar resource for concentrators varies much more across the United States than the flat-plate solar resource. Most northern states cannot use solar concentrators effectively, but this resource is even greater than the flat-plate resource in some areas of the southwestern United States.
The map shows that, for concentrating collectors, Louisiana could pursue some types of technologies, but large-scale thermal electricity systems are not effective with this resource. How much power would a concentrating system produce? Let's look at a current PV solar concentrator system with a collector area of 200,000 square meters — a system that would cover roughly 200 acres. In the state's best areas, this system could produce about 33,419,000 kWh per year — enough to power 3,353.6 homes.
Because these systems require tracking mechanisms, solar concentrators are generally used for large-scale applications such as utility or industrial use. But they can also be used in small-scale applications, including remote power applications.
Other Helpful Louisiana links
Welcome to Louisiana.gov
How to Build Solar Panels
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