How Much Energy Can a Solar Panel Generate?

Rooftop solar panels in front of a skyline during the evening

The short answer is it depends. You see, there are a couple of factors that dictate just how much power you can squeeze out of a solar panel.


To find out, just ask yourself five simple questions:


Question #1: What is the solar panel’s wattage?


Most commercially available solar panels are designed to produce anywhere between 250 and 400 watts of power. The higher the wattage, the more power it can generate.


Question #2: What type of solar cell does the panel use?


When it comes to silicon solar panels, for example, there are two primary solar cell types to choose from: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. The former typically generates more power than the latter.


Regardless of the type you go with, though, silicon solar panels are still the most popular option right now because they strike the perfect balance between cost, efficiency, and lifespan.


Question #3: How many cells does the panel have


Solar panels typically come with either 60 or 72 cells, and the more cells a panel has, the more power it can generate.


This, however, doesn’t mean you should automatically go with 72-cell panels. Your choice would ultimately depend on how much roof space you have because 72-cell panels are bigger than 60-cell ones.


Question #4: How much sunlight do you get in your area?


More sunlight means more power generated. This is why you can see significant differences in the total power output of the exact same solar panels from one area to the next.


A 370W panel, for example, would generate anywhere between 2.2 and 2.7 kWh per day in sunny areas such as California and Arizona but just around 0.93 to 1.5 in places such as Alaska and New Jersey.


But even if you live in a place that gets a lot of sunlight, if your panels are covered by things like the shade of a tree or dust and debris, then you would still see a lower overall power output.


Question #5: How old is the solar panel?


Most modern solar panels are designed to work at 100% capacity for about 25 to 30 years—unless they are poorly maintained or damaged.


But even past their “expiry” date, they should still function at about 85% capacity, which should still provide you with sizable energy cost savings.


What does all this mean?


Choosing the right solar panels for your home is not as straightforward as you might think. There are a lot of factors to consider to ensure your solar power system is able to generate enough power for your needs.


So, how about we make the process a little simpler? Just book a no-obligation free consultation with one of our solar panel consultants and we’ll help you find (and install) the perfect solar power system for your home.


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