How Much Power Does A Solar Panel Produce?

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Jack Ayre

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There are plenty of things to consider before completely going off-grid and relying on your own solar PV system instead of the National Grid. Aside from the cost of the solar array and installation, you should consider how many solar panels you’ll need to support an entire home or business. That said, one of the most common questions is: how much power does a solar panel produce?

Whether you’re a homeowner, a business owner, or professional seeking answers about installing solar panels with a view to being more energy self-sufficient or eliminating electricity costs, we’ve got you covered! 

How Much Energy Does A Solar Panel Produce?

You’ll need to follow a basic equation to determine how much power your solar panels generate daily.

To find out, multiply your solar system’s power in kilowatts by the average hours of direct sunlight per day. That gives you your solar system’s daily production of energy in kilowatts. 

As a reference, a 1kW solar system can produce around 2.3kWh on average.

Since solar power generation depends on several factors like the panel’s capacity, sun exposure, and more, the amount of power generated per day may vary.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Before going through the details, let’s get to the basics first.

Semiconducting materials called solar cells make up a solar panel. They convert sunlight into electrical charges.

As these electrical charges move along, they create an electric current called DC or direct current. However, this energy isn’t usable yet, so it passes through an inverter that transforms it into an alternating current or AC.

As a result, AC becomes the usable electricity that powers your home.

How Much Power Do Solar Panels Produce In A Day?

Solar panels vary in capacity, and they usually measure in kilowatts. Therefore, you should opt for solar panels that generate more kilowatts if you need more electricity to power your home or building.

For example, the average solar panel 4kW system can produce up to 16kWh of power per day.

In UK homes, solar panel kilowatts will generally vary between 1kW to 4kW. It is possible that you could install solar panels in greater numbers or those with bigger kilowatt capacity, like a 6kW solar panel.

That’s why it’s important to choose a provider that works closely with engineers and professionals to tailor your solar energy requirements according to your needs. At ESE Solar, we offer innovative technology for efficient and cost-effective solar power service. When you ‘Get Your Quote’, we’ll be able to talk more about the system that’s suitable for your home and the amount of electricity it’s likely to produce per day.

For an equation that will let you work that out for yourself, read on.

How Much Electricity Do Solar Panels Produce?

To identify the amount of electricity your solar panels can produce, note the following components:

  • Power capacity of solar panels in kilowatts
  • The average number of full-sun exposure per day (in hours)

You only need to multiply these elements by each other to find how much energy you’ll get per day. The equation is relatively simple:

Capacity in kW x hours of direct sunlight per day = daily kWh 

For example, a home with 3kW solar panels receives five hours of full sun daily. Thus:

3kW x 5 hours = 15kWh

This equation is merely a rough estimate of how much electricity a solar panel produces per day. You may connect a multimeter to your solar panel to check your energy output in real-time, too.

At the same time, the power output may vary per provider, so the best action is to check with your experts or product manual.

Besides that, the efficiency of your solar PV system’s performance and the amount of energy generated per day will depend on several factors that we’ll discuss in detail in the next section.

What Are The Factors Affecting Solar Energy Production?

Apart from your solar panel’s capacity, environmental factors also affect its performance. The presence of these factors can decrease your energy output.

Let’s get into the details of the factors that impact on how solar panels work:

1. Types Of Solar Cells

Solar or photovoltaic cells make up solar panels. They capture solar energy and convert it into usable electric current.

However, their efficiency isn’t always 100% and varies between 7% to 20% only. This means that 7% to 20% of the solar energy they capture converts to usable energy.

Consequently, this is one attribute to look out for when selecting solar panels suitable for your home. Increased efficiency means better energy production.

That said, the efficiency of solar cells varies per type:

  • Thin-Film 

This type of solar cell is 7% to 15% efficient, with some sources saying up to 11% only. Thin-film solar panels can be cheaper than other options.

Since they’re the least efficient, they have less power capacity than crystalline panels. Thus, thin-film solar panels aren’t widely used for residential properties.

  • Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient, with up to 20% efficiency, and can reach up to 24%. They generate more power without occupying too much roof space.

In addition, they have the highest life span reaching up to 40 years, so they tend to be more expensive.

  • Polycrystalline

Polycrystalline solar panels are more affordable than monocrystalline panels. Since they’re cheaper, they’re less efficient, with only 16% efficiency.

Despite their affordability, polycrystalline solar panels are more environmentally friendly than monocrystalline panels.

2. Average Sun Hours Per Day

While residential solar panels can capture energy from indirect sunlight, full sun exposure allows maximum energy production. With that, more hours of full daylight equates to more power generation.

In 2022, it was estimated that the UK has an average sun hour of 4.9 daily. So, if you have a solar set up with a total of 4kW capacity, you’ll get 19.6kWh power per day.

However, a property in a shady area or that’s receiving fewer sunlight hours doesn’t automatically eliminate chances for solar power installation.

You need to come to the right experts to arrange your installation. Your solar panels can get the most sun power with the right angle, position, and direction. Contact us today, and we’ll look into alternative options for your location.

3. Temperatures Above 65°C 

Too much heat can decrease the power output of your solar PV system by up to 25%. Now, this may sound ironic given that solar panels are designed for sun exposure, but hear us out:

Solar panels perform optimally at temperatures between 15°C and 35°C. While high sunlight intensity is favourable, high temperatures can be detrimental to solar panel output.

Solar panels can tolerate temperatures as high as 65°C, but it can damage the panels.

When there’s too much heat, electrical resistance increases, resulting in low energy output.

On the other hand, the innovative technology makes modern solar panels resistant to intense heat waves. However, efficiency can still decrease by 10%.

4. Wind Events

Interestingly, wind activity can either help increase or decrease your solar system’s ability to generate electricity. First, let’s discuss the positive effect:

Wind activity, especially southerly wind, could potentially increase the efficiency of your solar panels.

Southerly wind can cool the solar panels. As a result of decreased temperature on the surface and within the panels, electrical resistance reduces. Thus, increasing power generation efficiency.

On the other side, too much wind activity can move the panels, create gaps, or worse, cause them to detach.

Solar panels can resist wind speeds up to 140 mph, so anything beyond this range can damage your panels. Turbulence like this frequently occurs during storms.

Can A Solar Panel System Power A Whole House?

Yes, a solar panel installation can power an entire house. This means you could potentially go off-grid and eliminate electricity bills, while supporting the environment through use of your own clean and green solar energy.

Since a 1kW to 4kW solar system can support homes in the UK on average, a 4kW solar panel system may be suitable for a four to five-bedroom house.

What Size Solar Panels Are Required For To Run Different Sized Properties?

For reference, here are rough estimates of how many kilowatts may be suitable for various sized houses:

A 1kW solar system can run a 1-bedroom flat. This solar system can support a fridge, a few gadgets, and other basic appliances.

A 2kW solar system can support a one or two-bedroom house.

A 3kW to 3.5kW solar system will usually be sufficient for a house with three bedrooms.

A 4kW to 5kW solar system can support a four to five-bedroom house.

Note that your electricity consumption may vary depending on usage, battery, and whether you’re on or off-grid. Usually, going off-grid lets you consume more energy for a limited time, so get in touch with your experts to evaluate which solar system can match your energy needs.

kW System Per Property Summary

Property TypeAppropriate kW solar system
1 bed flat1kW
1-2 bed house2kW
3 bed house3-3.5kW
4- 5 bed house4-5kW

At ESE Solar, we only provide compatible services that last long-term. 

We’re accredited and approved by 11 organisations, such as SafeContrator, Flexi-Orb, and UKAS Quality Management. Get up to 15 years of free maintenance on your solar system or up to 26 years of panel warranty when you partner with us!

What Happens To The Excess Power Produced By My Solar Panel?

Since solar systems are highly efficient, they can generate more renewable solar energy than you use. Now, you’re probably wondering where all this excess energy goes. Is it potentially dangerous? Will it overload your electricity grid?

In most cases, surplus solar energy production doesn’t pose a threat. Excess solar energy goes two ways; they either flow into the grid or store in your batteries. Now, what does this mean for you?

First, with net metering incentives like the SEG scheme or Smart Export Guarantee, you may receive payments for the surplus energy your solar system sends to the grid. 

On the other hand, battery backups allow you to store excess power that comes in handy during outages or days when the sun refuses to shine as bright.

Do I Need Solar Batteries? 

While your solar system can work just as fine without a solar battery or batteries, they’re quite helpful in reducing dependence on your grid or storing excess power, which you can save for unfortunate circumstances. Batteries can help you save on energy bills, too.

Solar batteries can be quite expensive, but with our bundle, which includes: solar panels, 0% VAT installation, and a 15-year maintenance service – they are much more affordable than ever before.

You can only trust experts regarding full domestic solar panel systems installation, and we can guarantee that you’ll get the best deal with us as your solar panel installer. 

With seven years of reputable service, we have garnered many satisfied clients and partnered with several corporate organisations. You can check out our customer reviews and ratings in Trustpilot!

Solar PV Panels Conclusions

Solar panel energy output varies depending on capacity, efficiency, and environmental factors. You can work out a solar system’s potential daily energy output by multiplying its capacity in kW by the number of hours of sun exposure.

Solar panel production levels will determine how much you are able to save on your bills and if it is worth installing solar panels. If, after taking into account your own energy consumption you have any excess electricity, you could even make additional money through use of Smart Export Guarantee payments.

For more details about how much power domestic solar panel systems with ESE Solar can produce, get in touch with us today, and our team will get back to you as soon as possible!

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Born in North West England, Jack kicked off his career in the insurance arena, dealing with claims for three years. Always up for a challenge, Jack leapt out of his comfort zone and embarked upon 5 years of excitement with the military.

Working for the Ministry of Defence, Jack specialised in counter-terrorism which took him to places such as Dubai, Oman, Iraq, Norway and Bahrain. During this period he worked with various Governments implementing strategic operations to prevent terrorism.

After travelling around various countries Jack increasingly came across various forms of solar from large solar farms to domestic solar panels. From here Jack took a keen interest in all things solar and started reading about the technological capabilities with a view to entering the industry after his career in the Ministry of Defence.

Once home after 5 fruitful years, Jack had 3 months leave in which he immersed himself in a solar crash course and got applying for jobs within the solar sector. He came across ESE Solar, a long-established forward-thinking company whose head office was only a stone’s throw away from him. He picked up the phone to see if there were any vacancies and within a week had a successful interview and obtained a full-time job, starting in the technical team.

Within the first few months, Jack onboarded in various online courses during work and social hours to speed up his knowledge of all things solar. Due to his strong work ethic and thirst for knowledge Jack was promoted to Head of Technical at ESE Solar. He currently leads the team and oversees the product development of new technologies within the company alongside assisting where necessary on their maintenance department.

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