In the law of conversion of energy, energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only be transformed. And this is what a solar panel does. The solar panel makes the transformation of solar energy to electrical energy possible through photovoltaic cells. When the sun shines and hits the solar panels, the photovoltaic cells present in it absorb it and make electrical charges that move in response to an internal electric field in the cell, causing electricity to flow.
In this article, we dive into what’s an average solar panel output in order to help you set realistic expectations when it comes to harvesting natural energy from the sun. In addition, if you want a deeper understanding of the factors that affect how your solar energy system may fare, be sure to keep reading.
What Is the Average Solar Panel Output Per Day?
Solar panels expected power production is called wattage and is measured by kilowatt per hour (kWh). However, the actual output of solar panels varies from time to time based on many factors. Nonetheless, given all available data in the market, and specifications by manufacturers, the average data is pegged at 100 to 400 watts.
Now, if you want to measure and have a rough figure of how much your solar panel produces, you can solve it using the formula: kWh = (Hours of sunlight x watts)/1000. For example, you have a 250 watts solar panel and place it in direct sunlight for 5 hours. Using these figures, multiply 250 by 5 and divide the product by 1000; this will give you an output of 1.25 kWh.
What Factors Affect the Solar Panel Output?
As stated earlier, solar panel output per day is affected by many factors. These factors interact with each other, making the actual production slightly higher or lower. Aside from size, physical obstructions, and solar panel efficiency, other factors you need to consider are the following:
Peak Sun Hours
Solar panels are designed to transform the energy of the sun into electricity. This function runs even on cloudy days albeit on a lower scale, hence lower electricity generation. This shows that light intensity affects performance. And it has been proven that increased light intensity increases the open circuit voltage, short-circuit current, and maximum output power of solar panels. Given this, a solar panel will have better output when the sun’s intensity is highest (at noon), producing more or even excess electricity.
Power rating naturally affects energy production by measuring how much a panel can produce under specific conditions. Higher power rating, higher energy production. Simply put, a solar panel with a rating of 400 watts will generate more electricity than one with a rating of 250.
The tilt of the solar panels also has an impact on the overall output. Adjusting the tilt throughout the year due to seasons like a higher sun in the summer and a lower sun in the winter is ideal. And there are solar panels on the market that can track the sun and fix the tilt system to the optimal angle. Although such panels seem to be expensive, they are not that much considering the difference they can make in a lifetime can be substantial.
Azimuth degree is the angle formed between the true south and the direction a solar panel faces. A panel that precisely faces the south will have a zero-degree azimuth. In contrast, a panel with a 180-degree azimuth angle faces exactly north. Given this, the best azimuth angle for solar panel efficiency varies based on your location. Nonetheless, having that right angle is consequential since energy production can be reduced by 10-20% if the angle is not adjusted, resulting in lower energy production and decreased efficiency.
The module type is one of the most consequential factors in solar panel efficiency. There are many module types, including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. Each module has its pros and cons. Monocrystalline modules are the most efficient but also the most expensive. At the same time, polycrystalline has lower efficiency than the former but is more affordable. Lastly, thin film has the lowest price tag but also the lowest efficiency. Choosing is definitely up to you, but choosing monocrystalline solar panels will be the best since the higher price is justified by its pros. Take the Anker 531 solar panel as an example, its price is well-justified by its monocrystalline solar cells and a powerful sunlight-trapping surface, which provide a conversion efficiency rate of up to 23%. Not to mention its 3-mode angle adjustment, waterproof protection, and superior portability.
Array type refers to how a solar panel is connected to the solar system. This may seem quite technical, but it is essential as it impacts solar panels’ efficiency in energy production. Panels can be connected in various ways, including series and parallel. These two affect the voltage and current levels in a solar system. Now, what is right for you depends on the size of your panel system and your desired output.
System losses refer to factors that reduce energy output. Factors like shading, temperature, and soiling belong to this. Mitigating or solving the problems caused by these factors is necessary. Take, for example, the problem regarding shading; when one cell is shaded, all the units in the string will appear to be shaded too. In a system where one unit is shaded, the current flowing in all of the remaining units will be affected as it will be determined by the unit that produces the least, thus, a loss in energy.
With the right combination of knowledge, materials, and effort, you can easily increase the output of your solar panel every day. All you need to do is assess your property for optimal positioning and angle as well as make sure it is cleaned regularly. Additionally, investing in high-efficiency panels can make a big difference. By understanding these principles, you can maximize the average solar panel output per day and ultimately save money on electricity bills in the long run!
What does solar panel output depend on?
The solar panel output or the power generated by the individual photovoltaic cells depends on many factors but largely on its power rating and the amount of heat or radiation that hits the panel. The output is also dependent on the conversion power of the cell.
How efficient is solar panel output
Solar panel efficiency is different for each manufacturer. However, an average can be computed using the available data from manufacturers. This average is around 15%-20% for most solar panels, while Anker 531 solar panel has a higher conversion efficiency rate of up to 23%.
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