The amount of electricity a solar panel can produce is dependent on three main things. These are panel size, the amount of sunlight it’s exposed to and the efficiency of the internal solar cells. Here, we’ll illustrate solar energy production from a typical panel, as well as the comparison between power output versus power required to power an average home.
Maximum Power Rating Meaning
Solar panels come with a number (usually at the back) that indicates the amount of power they’ll yield in ideal conditions. This is known as the maximum power rating. The panels are usually lab-tested using ‘peak sun’, which is about one kilowatt of sunlight for each square meter of the surface. This equates to the sun’s power at midday, at the equator during a sunny day.
Working out Solar Panel Output for Particular Locations
Since you most likely don’t reside around the equator, your roof’s sunlight exposure will be different. This varies with the time of day, weather and season. The maximum power rating is therefore not applicable when trying to predict how much power can be obtained from a solar panel.
Nevertheless, one can do some calculations to get an idea of how a panel will work in their area. There are sites where one can input their address to get specific details about the amount of sunlight that hits their house on average. This also provides the option of entering a particular model of solar panel and its square footage of the panel coverage on their roof.
Power Rating of an Average Panel
Most solar panels will produce about 200W. This could vary, depending on the size and efficiency of the panel. Highly efficient models are usually expensive, and are only necessary for those whose roofs offer limited space. We can work with you to determine how much power you’ll need and the size of the panel to meet the requirements.
The average house consumes about 958 KWh a month. This varies according to location and season. Most of the power is consumed at night, with the exception of households where people continuously inhabit/work in the house during the day.
Solar panels only generate power during the day. Though batteries can be used for storage, an easier and cheaper option is to remain connected to the grid. If the panels produce more energy than is used, the power flows back to the grid. In most places, utility companies offer net metering, a program that compensates for the extra power that one produces. With such a system, one doesn’t have to worry about energy needs.
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