How Many kWh Does a Solar Panel Produce Per Day

Solar panel is a key unit of any solar unit. It functions by absorbing solar energy and converting it into electric energy. To be precise, the solar panel generates enough power to run a solar unit when you are in need.

Now that you know the solar panel is responsible for producing the power required for running the system, you may be wondering how much power (kWh) it can generate per day. Well, you have come to the right place to clear up your query.

The amount of power a solar panel can produce depends on different factors. First things first, to get a proper picture of how much energy a solar panel can produce, you need to look at what type of technology is being used.

Basically, you can find two types of solar panels on the market. They are:

  • Monocrystalline
  • Polycrystalline

The monocrystalline solar panel is known for its higher efficiency. Thus, it produces a higher power. This type offers better performance in high temperatures and shady conditions. This is why monocrystalline solar power is comparatively expensive.

On the other hand, the polycrystalline solar panel comes at a lower price, but it yields lower efficiency when compared to the polycrystalline type. This type of panel is less effective at a higher temperature.

With the basic idea about solar panels and their types, now let’s learn more about the other major factors that affect the electricity produced by them:

Factors that Affect How Much Power a Solar Panel Produces

The total energy produced by a single solar panel is determined by several factors like its size, the amount of sunlight, materials used in construction, and the efficiency of the solar panel. With a clear understanding of each of these factors, you get to know exactly how much power a solar panel can produce.

1. Solar Panel Size

The first and most evident factor that influences the amount of energy produced by a solar panel is its size. It’s simple logic- the larger the solar panel, the more solar energy it can absorb, and hence, the higher the amount of energy produced.

As you look at a solar panel, you will notice that it is divided by multiple small cells that are joined together by wires. These cells act as distinct panels in which the conversion of electricity occurs. It is obvious that bigger panels will have more solar cells. The bigger the number of solar cells working in tandem, the more power they will create.

2. Amount of Sunlight

Another key factor that impacts the power of the solar panel is the amount of sunlight it receives. The higher the amount of sunlight, the more solar energy the panel can absorb, and as a result, the more powerful a panel can be.

One thing you should take note of is that the solar panels don’t need direct sunlight per se. They can even absorb the light through cloud cover; however, being in direct sunlight is much better. This is the reason why you should place solar panels in areas such as rooftops where they can receive direct sunlight instead of keeping them inside the houses.

3. Panel Material

The next factor that affects the efficiency of a solar panel is the material used in its construction. Solar panels can be engineered with various materials, some of which are more efficient than others.

The most common material types of solar panels include monocrystalline cell panels and polycrystalline silicon cell panels. The monocrystalline panels are very efficient but cost you more money. On the other hand, the polycrystalline panels are cheaper, although they are not very efficient as they produce more waste than energy.

4. The efficiency of Solar Panel

The efficiency of solar panels refers to the amount of available energy from the sun that gets converted into electricity. It is a fact that not all the sunlight absorbed is converted into electric energy.

Even if you own the best solar panel, you should still rely on the quality of the sun and irradiance in your area.

The traditional solar panels used to have an efficiency level of between 6% and 10%. With the evolution of technology, solar panels have been improved these days. Now you get panels with an efficiency level of 30% and more.

While calculating the efficiency of a solar panel, you need to keep one important thing in mind. You should note that solar panel ratings are often not 100% correct, and there is some room for error here. Therefore, you should calculate the efficiency using a deviancy of + or – 2%.

Here is the formula to calculate the efficiency of a solar panel:

Efficiency (%) = {Power Rating (Watts)/Surface} * 100

Here, Power Rating refers to the rating in watts, indicated on the solar panel, and Surface means the surface area of the panel.

For instance, if the Power Rating of a solar panel is 300 watts and the surface area of the panel reads at 1800 square meters, then the efficiency of the panel will be:

Efficiency = 300/1800 * 100 = 16.66 %

Solar Panel Output Calculator (kWh)

While you calculate the output of a solar panel, you should take the power rating of a panel and the exact number of hours of direct sunlight into consideration. You need to multiply the power rating of the panel by the total hours of sunlight. The end result gives you the total kWh of a solar panel.

For example, if your solar panel has a power rating of 250 watts and it receives direct sunlight for 6 hours in a day, the total kWh of a solar panel per day becomes:

250 watts * 6 hours = 1500 watts

As you convert this, it becomes 1.5 kWh per day.

Furthermore, before you calculate the kWh of a solar panel, it is useful to know how to calculate the power rating (kW). The power rating is the exact amount of power any single solar panel produces. If you have multiple solar panels, you can determine the total power rating by adding the power ratings of all the solar panels.

The formula for calculating the power rating is:

E = A* r * H * PR, where;

E refers to the total energy in kW, A is the total surface area of all your panels, r refers to the efficiency rating, H is a global radiation valve which is the average quantity of sun-based radiation that is received in a particular area, and PR is the performance ratio.

Output Table of Some of the Solar Panel Manufacturers

Solar Panel Manufacturer Minimum (Watts) Maximum (Watts) Average (Watts)
Amerisolar 240 330 285
Axitec 250 385 302
Boviet Solar 320 340 330
Canadian Solar 225 410 320
CentroSolar 250 320 278
CertainTeed Solar 63 400 329
China Sunergy 290 410 343
ET Solar 255 370 306
Grape Solar 160 285 237
Green Brilliance 230 300 266

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The number of solar panels that you require to meet the energy needs of your house depends on multiple factors. The first thing is the number of appliances and electronics such as TVs, lighting, fridge, and washing machine that are using power. If your household uses around 900 to 1000 kWh on average per month, the power use of the panel translates to an average of 30 to 34 kWh per day. With this, if you have solar panels that produce 1.5 kWh per day, then you need around 22 solar panels to cover all your power needs.

These days, you normally find the solar panels about 5 and a half feet tall in height and a little more than 3 feet wide. This is an average size for a typical silicon photovoltaic panel for residential use.

Let’s say you own the solar panel that is producing 1.5 kWh per day that ends up being about 45 kWh per month. That’s enough energy to power several small appliances without too much issue. However, if you want to cover the energy used by your property’s climate control systems or heavy cooking appliances, you’ll need more solar panels for smooth operation.

If you are receiving an average of four hours of good sunshine per day and your solar panel rates at 250 watts of power, then you will require forty panels to reliably generate 1000 kWh per month.

A 5 kW solar unit will generate approximately 20 kWh per day. The output depends on your location and a variety of other factors.

Conclusion

Estimating exactly how much power a solar panel produces is a tricky question. Although we have given the formula to calculate the output, many factors affect the output of your panel. You should look at the size of the panel, the materials used, and whether the location you are in receives enough sunlight or not.

To sum up, make sure you do all of the necessary research before deciding on your own solar installation.