Solar energy has recently gained a great deal of attention and for a good reason. They can lessen our dependency on fossil fuels while lowering our energy costs.
But have you ever wondered how much energy a solar panel produces per day?
If you think about it, you have come to the right place. Because I am going to tell you about how much power our solar systems generate. Most domestic solar panels can generate 250–400 watts of electric power, sufficient to run every appliance in your household.
Generally, if I take an example of the solar panels I utilize, they will produce 4-5 times the amount of electricity they are certified for daily. Hence, I consider a 6 kW solar system producing 24 to 30 kWh daily.
But this is just an estimate because I considered those factors that can affect the efficiency of solar panels to produce electricity, as per my observation.
However, if you need to know how much power it generates in a day, you should multiply the solar panel’s Wattage by the hours of sunlight (peak hours). You can also combine several meetings to create an extensive and efficient solar panel system.
We all know that solar panels save us a lot of money because of their low-cost energy production, but their installation requires a high initial payment. Even when I first installed solar panels, I paid more than $10,000, which is way more than the market price.
However, now I can easily bargain, and I took that price to $5000 in my most recent one.
That’s why it’s a good idea for homeowners or businesses to know more about solar panels and their energy production before investing in them.
Method to calculate how much energy a solar panel produces per day?
To calculate the energy production of your solar panel, you have to keep two things in mind.
- The Wattage of your solar panel
- The number of peak sun hours in your neighborhood
Now, all you need to do is multiply the Wattage of your solar panels by the number of peak sun hours to get the electricity produced by your solar panels in kilowatt-hours per day.
The formula is:
Solar panel output in KWh = Wattage of the solar panel * Number of peak sun hours
For example, I live in California and have a 200-watt solar panel. The number of peak hours in my area is 5.31 hours per day. Then my solar panel will produce the following:
- 200W * 5.31= 1062Wh or 1.1 KWh
- 1.1 KWh is the electricity produced by my solar panel per day.
- To calculate the monthly energy production, multiply the above solar output by 30 days. That is:
1.1 KWh * 30 days = 33 KWh per month
- And, if you’re looking for a year’s worth of energy production, multiply the solar output calculated above by 365 days.
- That is: 1.1 KWh * 365 days = 401.5 KWh per year
It would help if you also kept in mind that you will never receive 100% of the electricity generated by your solar panels. The amount calculated above can fluctuate daily, even hour by hour, based on the factors we will mention next.
Factors affecting the energy production of your solar panel:-
Below are some essential factors that can affect the electricity generation of your solar panels.
- Size of your solar panels: The size of your solar panels can directly impact their energy output. The energy generation of your panels depends upon the number of solar cells in your solar panel. Generally, a solar panel has either 60 or 72 solar cells.
In other words, the larger the solar panel, the larger the solar cells; the more significant the solar cells, the greater the energy production.
- Sunlight exposure in your area: As everyone knows, sunlight is unavailable throughout the day. Even its direction on earth is different every time, as we can have low sunlight exposure during the morning and the sunset. Still, we can experience high-intensity of sunlight during midday.
Other than this, many more factors can affect exposure to sunlight, like seasonal changes, weather, and many more. That’s why knowing “what the peak sunlight hours are” is very important because it can help you determine the amount of electricity your solar panels produce.
- Solar panels’ efficiency: There are two types of solar panels, i.e., “monocrystalline” and “polycrystalline.” Monocrystalline panels use single-crystal silicon, which makes them more efficient and thin. While polycrystalline panels are less efficient, they are also inexpensive.
- The Wattage of a solar panel: The solar panels’ efficiency in converting sunlight into electricity is represented by the boards’ wattage or watts (W) rating. Hence, the higher the wattage of your solar panels, the greater the efficiency and energy production.
- Heat: Basically, heating could be better for every electrical appliance. Heat can reduce your solar panels’ efficiency and energy production by up to 25%. There are no exceptions for solar panels.
- Tilt Angle: Solar panels can work efficiently only when directly exposed to the sun. That’s why the tilt angle of your solar panels is essential in determining the energy production of your panels. But there is no such thing as the perfect tilt angle, which is why we use different gadgets like a tilt angle calculator to find the correct tilt angle.
How do solar cells produce electricity?
Solar cells use the photovoltaic effect to convert solar energy into electrical energy.
When the sunlight falls on the solar panel’s semiconductor, the energy from the sunlight in the form of photons is transferred to the electrons of the solar panels. The electrons become more active and break free from the link attaching them to the atom. This flow of electrons results in an electric current.
A solar cell consists of two types of semiconductors, the p-type and the n-type, which are placed together to form a space called a p-n junction. A p-type semiconductor is positively charged and has holes, while the n-type conductor is negatively charged and has an extra electron.
When the sun’s rays fall on the n-type semiconductor, the extra electron gains energy and moves across the p-n junction to fill up the holes in the p-type semiconductor. When the electrons try to escape, they are brought back together in the n-type semiconductor layer with external wiring; thus, the electron flow can be maintained consistently. This is how the solar cells present in your solar panels generate electricity.
Ways to improve your solar panel efficiency
- You can use high-efficiency solar panels with monocrystalline cells.
- It would help if you used an anti-reflection coating for your solar panels.
- You should hire a certified solar panel installer for its installation.
- Keep your solar panels in direct sunlight and away from shade.
- Calculate the best tilt angle for your solar panel.
- Install solar trackers for better performance.
- Install backup batteries near your solar panels to store solar energy.
- Keep your solar panels well-maintained and clean.
- Reduce the number of appliances using solar energy at a time.
Frequently Asked Questions:-
- How can I increase the solar panel’s performance?
I suggest buying the solar panel that has the highest efficiency. Other than this, place your solar panel where the sun exposure is high during peak hours. Keep your solar panels well-maintained and clean. Protect them from harsh weather conditions, as they can ruin your solar panel system.
- How many solar panels do I need to power my home fully?
The number of solar panels you require for your home can vary, depending on the appliances and devices you are going to run with solar panels in your household. You can determine this based on your home’s energy consumption, panel wattage, and outside weather.
- How much electricity can an entire solar panel system generate?
A typical solar system in the U.S. is around 6 KW in size and consists of 16 to 18 solar panels. The electricity produced by a 6 KW solar panel system in a month can be about 720 KWh to 900 KWh, depending on the Wattage and the seasonal changes.
- How many kilowatt-hours does an 8 kW solar system generate?
An 8 kW solar system generally requires 500 square feet of space. It is estimated to produce 500 to 1400 kilowatt hours of alternating current (AC) every month with the help of 8 kW of direct current, assuming at least 5 peak sun hours per day. It can produce up to 33 kWh on average each day.
We can use renewable energy to power our households by installing a complete solar panel system, which will reduce our dependency on utility companies and, most significantly, lower our electricity costs.
That’s why knowing how much energy your solar panels are producing per day can help you estimate your need for extra solar panels and the savings you are going to make with the help of solar energy. Solar panels generate varying amounts of electricity depending on various factors, such as the size of your solar panel, the number of peak sunlight hours, the efficiency of your solar panel, and many others.
Generally, you can expect your solar panel system to generate 4 to 5 times its wattage rating daily. You can also get help from your solar panel installer to know how much electricity your solar panel produces.
Ray is an avid reader and writer with over 25 years of experience serving various domestic and multinational private and public energy companies in the USA.