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How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Produce

How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Produce

Start your solar energy journey by taking a look at basic solar panel 101, homey much energy solar panel produce, and factors that affect their efficiency.
How Many KWh Does an Apartment Use Reading How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Produce 6 minutes Next Interesting Facts About Solar Energy

“How much solar panel do I need?”

“How much energy does a single solar panel produce?”

These are the first questions that come to mind when one is thinking about building a solar power system at home. These questions lead to the ultimate question, “Will it be worth it to use solar energy?” After all, it is a big financial commitment and investment.

To start this solar panel journey, let’s take a look at the basic 101 on solar panels.

The 101 on Solar Panels

Solar panels are composed of many solar cells which are made of silicon that acts as semiconductors. They are made with a negative and positive layer that work together to produce an electric field similar to a battery. 

Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

There are different kinds of solar panels but the two most common ones are the:

  • Monocrystalline solar panels (single-crystal panels) which are made from a single pure silicon crystal and can be easily identified because of its dark black color. And,
  • Polycrystalline solar panels are made up of different silicon crystals, unlike its counterpart. They are less energy efficient because of their silicon purity as well as lower heat tolerance.
410W Mono PERC Solar Panel

Then there’s the Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) panels which are an improved version of the monocrystalline solar panels. It is able to be more energy efficient by having a passivation layer on the cell’s rear surface. It can do so by reflecting the light back to the cell, thus increasing the solar radiation it absorbs; and decreasing the electron’s tendency to hinder the flow in the system. 

An example of this type of solar panel is the Nature’s Generator 410 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel. Besides being energy efficient, this technology is made to ensure its ability to withstand any extreme weather condition. It is also resistant to corrosion and has a scratch-proof surface.

Lastly, there’s also the Thin-film solar panels which are known for having very fine and thin layers, making them a bit flexible. They can come in different sizes, unlike their counterparts because of their design. But they are less efficient. 

How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Produce?

Now that we’ve tackled a few basics about solar panels, let’s take a look at the most important question, “How much energy does a solar panel produce?”

Residential solar panels can produce between 250-450 watts per hour when exposed to direct sunlight.  

The most common or standard solar panel power rating is 400 watts because of its efficiency while still being reasonably priced. This type of panel can create 1800 watt-hours worth of DC electricity or 1750 watt-hours of AC electricity per day when exposed to direct sunlight for at least 4.5 hours each day. 

This amount of energy can power up a typical US household’s lighting and refrigerator. 

To have an idea of how much energy you can get in a month, the 1750 watt-hours of AC electricity is equivalent to 1.75kWh, then multiply this by thirty. A residential solar panel can produce 52.5kWh of electricity each month. 

But if you’re living in a sunnier state, you can get more hours of sun exposure which means more power output.

How Much Solar Panels to Have?

The answer is —-- it depends. 

It depends on how you want to use your solar energy system. Do you want it to focus on specific parts of the house or do you want to power the entire house? 

But if you want to fully take advantage of the sun’s gift and offset your electricity 100%, you should take a look at your average household consumption. Check your energy bill and see how much you’re using.

A typical U.S. household can use 886 kWh per month. And, depending on where you live it can range between 17.7 kWh to 39.7 kWh per day. Using 886 kWh as a base, it would require 17 400W solar panels to cover this power requirement if your area gets 4.5 peak hours.

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Energy Output

Besides the type of solar panel used and geographic location, several factors affect the output of solar panels. These include:

  • Efficiency - a solar panel’s ability to convert sunlight into electricity efficiently is important. Residential solar panels can have a 13-22.8% efficiency rating. This means solar panels can only convert 20% of the sunlight it is receiving into electricity. And, it can cost more to get panels with higher efficiency.

  • Climate - weather conditions also play a role in their efficiency. Solar panels perform better when they are located in a place that has clear skies and sunny.

  • Direction - the panels should be installed at an angle that they are fully exposed to the sun. But also take note of how they are tilted. It is best to have them titled low to produce more energy instead of being at a high angle.

  • Dirt and Dust - Solar modules clean themselves, and a little dirt and dust won't hurt their efficiency, but for those living in areas that experience dust storms, the panels can accumulate heavy layers of dust which can affect their efficiency.

By having these in mind, you get to make good decisions to maximize and get the full potential of your solar panels.

Final Thoughts

If you’re considering buying and installing solar panels for your home, it is necessary to understand how much energy they can provide. It is also important to take into consideration different factors such as the type of panel, its efficiency, geographic location, and weather conditions to ensure that you’ll be able to fully utilize solar panels' capabilities and get your money’s worth. 

The initial investment is significant at first but take into consideration its long-term financial and environmental benefits.

To ensure that you don’t overspend, you can reach out to your local experts or reach out to us here at Nature’s Generator to learn more about solar panels and determine what kind of system fits your needs.  

By being equipped with basic solar panel knowledge, and tailoring the system according to what you need, you can make an informed decision when transitioning to clean and renewable energy.

 

* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Cris Ilao, contributed research and content to this blog titled: How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Produce thank you, Cris, for your contributions!