There are plenty of things to consider before completely going off-grid and relying on solar systems. Aside from the price and installation, you should consider how many solar panels you’ll need to support an entire home or establishment. 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 solar power generation, we’ve got you!
How Much Energy Does A Solar Panel Produce?
You’ll need to follow a basic equation to determine how much power your solar panels produce 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 Produce Energy?
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 Does A Solar Panel 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 energy to power your home or building.
For example, an average 4kW solar system can produce up to 16kWh of power per day.
In UK homes, solar panel kilowatts may vary between 1kW to 4kW. You may get more solar panels 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 Group, 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 Does A Solar Panel 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 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 one by one:
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:
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 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 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 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 system 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 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.
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 Solar Panels Power A Whole House?
Yes, the right solar system can power an entire house. You can go off-grid while supporting the environment through 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 Will Solar Panels Run?
For reference, here are rough estimates of how many kilowatts can be suitable for houses:
First, a 1kW solar system can run a 1-bedroom flat. This solar system can support a fridge, a few gadgets, and other basic appliances.
Next, a 2kW solar system can support a one or two-bedroom house.
On the other hand, a 3kW to 3.5kW solar system can be enough for a house with three bedrooms.
Lastly, 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 Type||Appropriate kW solar system|
|1 bed flat||1kW|
|1-2 bed house||2kW|
|3 bed house||3-3.5kW|
|4- 5 bed house||4-5kW|
At ESE Group, 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 power than you use. Now, you’re probably wondering where all this unused energy goes. Is it potentially dangerous? Will it overload your electricity grid?
In most cases, excess 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 excess power 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 Batteries?
While your solar system can work just as fine without 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 get 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 solar panel system installation, and we can guarantee that you’ll get the best deal with us.
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!
How Much Does A Solar Panel Produce Conclusion
Your solar panel’s energy output varies depending on capacity, efficiency, and environmental factors. You can solve your solar system’s daily energy output by multiplying its capacity in kW by the number of hours of sun exposure.
For more details about how much power a solar installation with ESE Group can produce, get in touch with us today, and our team will get to you as soon as possible!