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How Much Power Do Solar Panels Produce?

How Much Power Do Solar Panels Produce and what are factors influencing it.

Even with its rising popularity, the photovoltaic industry remains to be a niche market, so investing in a solar system requires a lot of research. It doesn’t help that spec sheets have all these confusing numbers either. So, let’s dumb it down a bit. How much power do solar panels produce?

Solar panels today are rated to generate anywhere between 250 to 400 watts per hour. Some go over, some under, but that’s what you should expect when your installer gives you a quote.

Naturally, we’re only scratching the surface. Despite their rated solar power output, these numbers can fluctuate depending on several factors which I will also discuss. Here’s everything we’re talking about today: 

Factors that affect how much electricity solar panels produce

Rated solar capacity and efficiency.

Capacity refers to how many watts of energy a solar panel produces in an hour. The higher the capacity, the more power a solar panel is capable of producing. Efficiency, on the other hand, refers to how much of the available sunlight it can convert to electricity.

As I’ve already mentioned, most residential solar panels have capacities ranging from 250-400 watts per hour. Efficiencies of modern solar panels are anywhere between 15-22%.

The higher the capacity and efficiency of your chosen panels, the more power your solar panel system will be able to produce.

Want 3 Quotes By Trusted Solar Installers In Your Area? 

Shading and weather conditions.

The amount of power that solar panels create can also be significantly affected by shade and different weather conditions.

Shade from trees or other structures can reduce the amount of sunlight your solar panels receive. This puts a cap on how much electricity they can generate. Similarly, weather conditions that block the sun – such as cloudy, snowy, and rainy days – also reduce the amount of power your solar PV system generates.

But, if you live in an area where these dim conditions are frequent, that doesn’t mean solar panels aren’t worth it. These conditions have their benefits for solar systems, too. We discuss that in more detail in the following posts:

The orientation of your solar panels.

Where your solar panels are facing as well as the angle they’re installed in have a direct impact on how much sunlight they’re capable of absorbing. In turn, these factors also affect your solar panel output.

As a rule of thumb, north-facing solar panels will harness the most amount of energy due to Australia being in the southern hemisphere. East and west-facing solar panels are also great options as they are respectively better at absorbing sunlight during the morning and afternoon.

In terms of angle, it can be different for every state so it’s best to consult with your trusted installer. If you haven’t found one yet, we have a network of pre-vetted installers that are ready to give you 3 FREE quotes right now.

For further reading: What direction is best for solar panels in Australia?

Maintenance.

Proper maintenance of solar panel Factors That Affect How Much Electricity Solar Panels Produce

Proper maintenance is also key to ensuring our solar panel system’s optimal performance. Regular cleaning of our panels helps to remove dirt, dust, and other debris that can accumulate on the surface and block sunlight from reaching them.

Additionally, keeping an eye on potential panel damages or faults can prevent further degradation of their efficiency levels. A well-maintained solar panel system is more likely to generate more energy than one neglected or not cared for properly.

Atmospheric pressure.

Atmospheric pressure also affects your solar panels’ power output. High atmospheric pressure means fewer clouds and less humidity. These conditions allow for more sunlight to reach your panels, resulting in higher power output.

On the other hand, lower atmospheric pressure will generally bring about cloudy and rainy days which may result in reduced energy production.

How you can increase the power output of your solar panels

Choose more efficient solar panels.

Higher-efficiency solar panels will be able to convert more sunlight into usable electricity. Thus, resulting in higher power output.

Now, there are different types of solar panels you can choose from. Monocrystalline is currently regarded as the most efficient of all types but it also comes with the heftiest price tag. Polycrystalline has a slightly lower efficiency but is also cheaper.

Add more solar panels to your system.

adding more solar panels of your system

Increasing the size of your system also increases your total power output for the reason that you will have more surface area to absorb the sun’s photons.

Want 3 Quotes By Trusted Solar Installers In Your Area? 

Regular maintenance.

First, a dirty solar panel won’t be as efficient as its clean counterpart. Dust, debris, bird droppings, leaves, and all these other things can block sunlight from hitting your panels, thus reducing efficiency and total power output.

Luckily, solar panels are easy to clean. Point your garden hose towards your panels, spray it with water, and let gravity do the rest.

Also, make sure to check the integrity of all the components of your solar system. Check to see if any wires are exposed, if there are cracks or discolorations in your solar panels, if your batteries are leaking, and all other things that weren’t there when your solar system first got installed.

Regularly monitor the performance of your system.

Modern solar systems have in-built monitoring that gives you information on how much electricity your system is generating. After a while of regularly checking these numbers, I’m sure you will find an average power output for weather different conditions.

If anything goes out of the ordinary, that’s your sign to call your manufacturer or installer because something in your system might not be working as optimally as it should. The sooner you get it fixed, the sooner your solar panels process more power.

FAQs:

How much energy do solar panels generate on a cloudy day?

The amount of power solar panels generate on cloudy days can be roughly 10-25% less compared to bright sunny days. This also depends on how thick or dark the clouds are, as well as how long they linger.

How much electricity do solar panels create in winter?

The numbers can vary but expect solar panels to generate anywhere around 30% less electricity during the winter because of decreased sunlight hours, snow, and the lower angle of the sun in relation to your solar array.

How much electricity do solar panels generate per day?

A good quality solar panel with an average power output of 250 watts per hour can generate about 5-7 kWh of energy per day. Of course, this depends on many factors but that much power is generally enough to power the average Australian household.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, the average solar panel produces anywhere between 250-400 watts per hour. These numbers can be affected by many different factors including the efficiency of your solar panels, the size of your system, weather conditions, and a few others.

If you want to estimate how many solar panels you need to power your home, take all of these factors into account. But, if you want to take a shortcut, you can simply ask our trusted network of installers for quotes.