How Much Energy Does A Solar Panel Produce?

The Energy Production Requirements

A solar PV panel converts the sun's energy into electrical energy. So as long as there is sunlight it will produce energy. The amount of energy depends on the solar panel type, its output rating (which is relative to the surface area the panel covers), and the amount of sunlight that directly hits the solar panel.

The Panel Positioning and Sunlight

The PV panel should be placed so as much light to hit the surface as possible. It must face in a southern position, have as little shade as possible, and be placed at an angle between 30 and 50 degrees. This angle alters according to the the sun's position in the sky at different times of the year. So to optimise the amount of sunlight, the panel's angle should be adjusted throughout the year.

The number of peak sunlight hours changes throughout the year, so this will need to be considered when estimating how much energy the panel will produce. On average, there are about seven peak sunlight hours at the height of summer, and about two hours in the winter.

This amount will have an impact on the amount of energy the panel will produce (and the number of panels required for an installation).

The Type of Panel

There are three types of panel are available, and each one varies in its efficiency. The most efficient type is called a monocrystalline photovoltaic (PV) cell, then slightly less efficient are polycrystalline PV cells. The least efficient are amorphous cells which are about half as efficient as a monocrystalline panel.

The Output Rating of the Panel

The output of the PV panel depends on its type (see above) and its size. All panels are given a rating, and this rating is the output based on the panel receiving peak sunlight, at 1,000 W/m2. For example, if a panel has a rating of 200W, then it will produce that amount if it were to absorb the full amount of peak sunlight.

How Much Energy Will My Panel Produce

This will vary according to all the above factors. A typical domestic 2 kWp (kilowatt power) PV solar system will be looking to generate 1500 kWh (kilowatt hours) per year.

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