One of the questions frequently asked by new solar energy users is ‘How much energy does a solar panel produce?’. A fair understanding of this helps you decide the number of panels to go for for your home or business. Although it is always indicated on the panels, and you can always check. It is also essential to understand the factors that determine that amount.
The amount of power produced by a solar panel is dependent on several factors which include: Size of the panel, material of the panel and amount of sunlight. Understanding how each of these factors affects energy production will help us know how much each solar panel can generate and therefore the appropriate number of panels for every application.
Panel Size is the first and the most obvious factor that will influence the amount of energy produced. Its common logic to say that the larger the solar panel, the more sunlight it can absorb and therefore, the higher the amount of energy produced. If you look closely at a solar panel, you will notice that it is divided by multiple small panels/cells which are joined together by wires. These small cells act as distinct panels in which the conversion electricity takes place. The cables, on the other hand, act as avenues for transporting that electricity to a junction box. Therefore, the more the cells in a solar panel, the more power they will create.
The material of the panel is a key factor that determines the efficiency of a panel, and hence the amount of power it can produce. Different companies make solar panels using various materials with different efficiency levels. The varying efficiency levels of these materials means that some panels may produce more energy than others despite having the same size and under the same amount of sunlight. There are various material types of solar panels, but two of the most common ones include the monocrystalline cell panels and the polycrystalline cell panels. The monocrystalline panels are very efficient although they are more expensive. On the other hand, the polycrystalline cell panels are much cheaper, although they are not as efficient, and they also produce more waste.
Another important factor that influences the amount of power produced by a solar panel is the amount of sunlight it is exposed to. Here, exposure to direct sun and duration is more important than how hot the sun is.
Under Standard Test Conditions (STC), a 330-watt panel, as used by Powerbug produces 330watts of electricity when the sunlight (or solar irradiance) on the panel is 1000watts per square meter and the panel is operating at 25oC. Now you know what you are getting when you install a Powerbug solar-inverter system at your home. You can view our product plans here