The energy (measured in Watts) we obtain from turning sunshine into electricity is all that is meant when we discuss the creation of solar power. Photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, or a combination of the two may be used to convert energy.
You should be aware of how solar panel output functions before deciding whether to buy or lease your solar panels. A frequently asked question is how much electricity a solar panel produces. Many individuals are still unsure of the precise amount of electricity that their solar panels produce.
Nevertheless, it is constantly noted on the panels, and you may always double-check. Understanding how to calculate that amount is also crucial. The production of solar energy is not a discrete component. Instead, it’s a blend of several aspects and factors. Solar panel electricity is the energy that is produced once solar energy has been converted by the PV cells.
In this post, we’ll examine how solar electricity is generated and explain how much energy each solar panel generates. But first, let’s take a closer look at the variables that influence the amount of energy generated.
What Determines How Much Energy a Solar Panel Will Produce?
Numerous elements, including the quantity of sunshine, the panel’s size, and its composition, influence how much energy a single solar panel can generate. We can determine the exact amount of energy that each solar panel can create by understanding how each of these parameters influences energy production.
The first and most obvious aspect that will affect the amount of energy produced is the size of the solar panel. It follows from a simple sense that a larger solar panel can absorb more sunshine, increasing the amount of energy produced.
If you examine a solar panel attentively, you will see that it is divided into several smaller panels or cells, which are connected by wires. The electricity conversion occurs in these tiny cells, which function as separate panels.
On the other hand, the cables serve as routes for delivering the electricity to a junction box. Consequently, a solar panel will produce more power the more cells it has.
This leads us to the conclusion that, while other conditions are held constant, the amount of solar energy converted increases with panel size.
This one should be obvious. More sunlight means more solar energy will be absorbed by the panels, which will produce more solar energy. You cannot overlook how the time and intensity of sunshine will affect production while attempting to determine how much energy a solar panel produces.
Solar energy can be captured by solar panels and transformed into electricity. Solar panels won’t be able to convert anything if there isn’t sunlight. This is why installing solar panels outdoors, such as on rooftops where they may get direct sunshine, is preferable to doing so inside of buildings.
Even while solar panels may still capture sunlight energy when the sun is obscured by clouds, direct sunlight is preferable.
The material used to create the solar panel is a crucial factor that influences how much energy it produces. Many different materials, each with a distinct level of efficiency, are used in the production of solar panels by various companies.
Despite being the same size and exposed to the same amount of sunshine, some panels may produce more energy than others due to the different degrees of efficiency of these materials.
Solar panels come in many different material varieties, but the two most popular ones are monocrystalline silicon cell panels and polycrystalline silicon cell panels. Despite having a high production cost that makes them expensive to purchase, monocrystalline panels are incredibly efficient.
The polycrystalline cell panels, on the other hand, are significantly less expensive but less effective and generate more waste. Let’s look at the efficiency of the panels now that we have examined the elements determining the quantity of energy a panel produces.
How Can the Efficiency of a Solar Panel Be Measured?
The quantity of solar energy from the energy taken from the sunshine that is transformed into electricity is referred to as the efficiency of solar panels. It is important to realize that not all of the solar energy that is absorbed gets turned into power. The quality of the sun and irradiance in your area still matter, even if you get the best solar panels available.
The efficiency level of solar panels used to range from 6 to 10 percent in the past. The panels have been upgraded as a result of advances in solar panel technology. They can now operate at an efficiency level of up to 30%.
Since the ratings are not accurate to 100%, you should use a deviancy of + or – 2% when calculating a solar panel’s efficiency. The efficiency of solar panels can be calculated as follows:
- Efficiency (%) = [Power Rating (watts)/Surface] * 100
- Power Rating is the rating (in watts) indicated on the panel and,
- Surface stands for the surface area of the panel
For example, if the power rating is 350 watts, and the surface area of the panel is 1800 square meters, then the efficiency will be:
- Efficiency = 350/1800* 100 = 19.44%
Efficiency is simply one criterion for assessing a solar panel’s performance. Probably in addition to efficiency, you can also mention the capacity factor. In our dictionary, you may find more definitions of renewable energy.
How to Work Out kWh
You need to know the precise number of hours you receive direct sunshine to calculate the kWh of a solar panel. Then, multiply that amount by the panel’s power rating.
For example, if a panel has a power rating of 250 watts, and it gets direct sunlight for 6 hours, you take the 6 hours * 250 watts = 1500 watts. This is equivalent to 1.5 kWh each day or roughly 45 kWh per month when converted.
Before you get to calculate the kWh, it is also actually useful to know how to calculate the power rating(kW). Power rating is the exact amount of power any single solar panel produces. So, if you have multiple solar panels, you can establish the total power rating by adding the power ratings of all the solar panels.
It is crucial to understand the power rating of your solar panels to understand how much power you get and how much of your power needs you can meet.
- The formula for calculating the power rating is; E=A*r*H*PR
- E is the total energy in kW.
- A is the total surface area of all your panels, which you can get by multiplying the length by the width of each panel.
- r is the efficiency rating, which is the same as we calculated earlier in the article.
- H is the global radiation value, which is the average quantity of sun-based radiation that is received in a particular area. For example, in Norway, the average amount of sun-based radiation is 200kWh/ square meter per year.
- PR – is the performance ratio. This performance ratio is very crucial in determining the exact amount of energy your solar panels are giving you.
How Many kWh can Solar Panels Produce?
Another important question that many people keep on asking and whose answer is essential if you are to understand the amount your panels are giving you. As discussed above, the amount of kWh that a solar panel can produce is dependent on several factors.
The first one is the number of hours the panels receive direct sunlight, and the second is the power rating of the panels. For example, if you have three solar panels, each having a power rating of 250 watts, and they receive 5 hours each of direct sunlight, the total kWh will be as follows:
250 watts * 5 hours of direct sunlight * 3 (the number of panels) = 3750 watts per hour, which is equal to 3.75 kWh.
The total amount of energy (in kW) per hour, is always dependent on the number of panels, the rating power of the panels, and the number of hours the panels receive direct sunlight energy.
With that in mind, it becomes easy to know how much is your solar panel production. It will also help you to see if you need extra power to fit your needs or not.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for My Business?
The number of solar panels that you require to fit the power needs of your business will be dependent on varying factors.
First, you will need to know how much power you use per day or month. That is based on the equipment and appliances you have in your business. Each device requires different amounts of hours. Therefore, you have to add the power needs of all of them to determine how much power you need.
For example, if your business uses an average of 25,000 kWh of electricity per year, it is logical to say that you need around 70 kWh per day (25,000/365 days). The next step is to know how much electricity an average solar panel produces.
For example, the standard panels produce an average of 1- 1.5 kWh per day. If you take 1.5kWh as the average, then you will require at least 47 panels. The calculations would be like this; [25,000 kWh/365]/ 1.5kWh per day = 47 panels. Therefore, the larger the business, the more the power needed and hence, more solar panels to cover the electricity needs.
Also, due to varying factors like sunlight and the efficiency of solar panels, businesses in some areas may require more solar panels than others. The difference can occur even though both companies need the same amount of power.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for My House?
Just like in the above example, the number of solar panels that you require to fit the energy needs of your house depends on multiple factors. Starting from the number of appliances and electronics such as TVs, fridge, lighting, and a washing machine that is using the power.
There is no definitive answer to handle this question. The more the appliances, the more the power needed. In an average home, the number of people living in the house and the number of kWh each used for activities like showering will also significantly affect the power requirements.
In several states, an average household uses around 900 to 1000 kWh on average per month. The power use translates to an average of 30-34kWh per day. With this estimate, if for example, you have solar panels that produce 1.5 kWh per day, then you require around 22 solar panels to cover all your power needs.
Again, these are just estimates since multiple factors will affect the production and usage of power.
As it’s evident from our above discussion, knowing exactly how much solar panels produce is a tricky question. Although we have given the formula to calculate it, many factors affect the output of your panel.
Therefore, to answer the question of how much energy does a solar panel produce? Make sure that you put in mind all the affecting factors.
If you’re interested in more articles like this, here’s one about solar-powered hydrogen generator.