Average Peak Sun Hours (Australia)

StateAverage Daily Peak Sun Hours (kWh/m2)
Adelaide4.7
Alice Springs6.1
Brisbane5.0
Cairns5.3
Darwin5.5
Gold Coast4.7
Hobart3.7
Melbourne4.1
Perth5.3
Townsville5.2

Australia Peak Sun Hours Breakdown

What Are Peak Sun Hours?

A peak sun hour equates to 1 hour in which the sun’s solar irradiance (sunlight) produces an average of 1000W (energy) per square meter (roughly 10.5 feet). In other words: 1 peak sun hour = 1000 W/m² of sunlight per hour.

We feel it’s also important to note the difference between DNI, DFI and GHI:

  • GHI (Global Horizontal Irradiation) – This is the sum of both diffuse and direct components reaching the same surface.
  • DNI (Direct Normal Irradiation) – This is the part of solar irradiance that directly reaches a surface.
  • DIF (Diffuse Horizontal Irradiation) – This is the part of solar irradiance that is scattered by the atmosphere.

Many people make the mistake of utilizing DNI data to size their solar system, when in actual fact they should be using GHI. For a complete glossary of all the solar terms we use, be sure to check out NREL.

How Many Hours of Sunlight Does Australia Get?

Australia experiences an immense amount of solar irradiation, some of the highest in the world. On average, the country sees between 1387 – 2264 kWh/m2 a year. Simplified, this translates to 3.8 – 6.3 peak sun hours a day, with New South Wales and Victoria seeing the lower end of that spectrum and Western Australia and Northern Territory seeing the higher end.

How To Use Our peak Sun Hours Data?

When using our peak sun hour data to size your solar system, we recommend using the lower numeral for your city or area. Peak sun hours vary somewhat significantly depending on where you actually live in the country. For example, if you stay in Melbourne (which falls under Victoria) you can expect between 3.9 and 4.9 peak sunlight hours every day. When sizing your solar system, rather use 3.9 as opposed to 4.9.

In order to know what size solar system your home will need, you can use the following formula: Monthly electric usage ÷ by monthly peak sun hours, X 1000. If you want to know how many solar panels you’ll need, simply divide that amount by the power rating of your desired solar panel.

Here is a written example: You live in Melbourne, Victoria and your monthly electricity consumption is 780kWh. Your area’s monthly peak sun hours are 121 (3.9 x 31 days) and you want to use a  to make up your entire solar system.

(780kWh ÷ 121)  x 1000 = 6400 watts. You will need a 6.4kW solar system to offset your monthly energy consumption. 6400 watts ÷ 400 watts = 16 panels needed.
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