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Solar power is becoming more popular as more options become available nationwide. Solar panels charge phones on the go, provide extensive power facilities and most commonly power residential and commercial buildings. The amount of electricity a solar panel produces varies on several variables but does have a range depending on the purpose of the solar panel.
Solar panels can make anywhere from one to one thousand watts per hour, depending on things like,
- Solar panel size
- Silicon blade material
- Sun Exposure
- Maintenance schedule
Most solar panel companies rate their panels with zero weather conditions and around seventy-five degrees of sunlight. The Solar panel’s most important number on the Manufacturer’s data sheet is the wattage produced per hour. That number is used in numerous calculations to determine the correct size solar paneling system needed for a specific residence. Keep reading to find out more.
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How Much Electricity Does a Single Solar Panel Produce?
Depending on the solar panel manufacturer, a Solar panel in the United States will produce around two Kilowatts of electricity per day on average. But, of course, the production will vary depending on the amount of sun a solar panel has access to. For instance, in the upper northern hemisphere, one may only see three to four hours of peak sunlight versus closer to the equator.
To calculate how much electricity a single solar panel will produce, we need to:
- Using a sun map, calculate the peak sun hours for the panel’s physical location.
- Take the Manufacturer’s rating for the panel’s wattage production.
- Multiply the two numbers together to compute the watt-hours.
- Divide the watt hours by one thousand, and those are the kilowatt hours produced.
Afterward, it is easy to calculate many more formulas for planning and development. Although these figures are suitable for estimates, the actual production numbers will vary by the day. This formula provides a baseline for annual, quarterly, or monthly estimates.
What Does One Kilowatt Hour Power?
One kilowatt hour power provides one thousand watts of electricity in that one hour.
This one kilowatt hour amount of electricity could power:
- The stove for five minutes (maybe)
- A phone charger
- A Netflix movie for the entire hour
The measurement is more comparable to a battery than traditional utility lines. Once the one thousand kilowatts are used up, the supply is empty until the panel refills the battery.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
Solar panels are an investment into the property and are permanently installed. Therefore, the appliance’s lifespan is a severe consideration for switching to solar power. Different manufacturers rate and create their solar panels to sell. The Solar panel itself may last for hundreds of years and still produce a minimal amount of electricity.
Solar Panels have a life expectancy of twenty to thirty years. Factors that make the difference are the type of material the solar panel is built with and does not represent a total system failure.
The end of the Manufacturer’s life expectancy is centered around the appliance’s life. The formula is calculated based on the average home production in almost perfect conditions; at the end of twenty years, this appliance is no longer producing an output above the average appliance production through field tests.
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How to Get the Most Life Out of a Solar Panel?
Two things will increase the life of a solar panel.
- Excellent maintenance: Keeping debris, birds, insects, and other pests away from the solar panels will ensure that outside elements do not start damaging the solar panels.
- Great sun exposure: Make sure the panels are free and clear of debris, and blockage from the sun, such as overgrown tree hangings.
Solar Panels should be cleaned annually and monitored through service to alert the owner of any issues early enough to prevent expensive repairs. The monitoring system can spot defects in the converter and notify the owner.
How Many Solar Panels Are Needed to Power a Home?
The average American household uses electricity for almost nine hundred kilowatt hours per month. Therefore, it is essential to know the number of kilowatt hours needed to power the home per month when deciding on the solar panel system size. A priority consideration would be the watt hours of production each solar panel produces on its own.
Follow these steps:
- Using the calculation for peak sun hours, calculate the monthly peak sun hours for the home’s location.
- Take the rating based on a sun map for the peak sunlight hours in the area.
- Take the daily number and multiply it by 364.25.
- Then divide by 12 to get the monthly production needed in usage.
Let’s get into more detail on each step below.
Calculating the Watt Hours
The monthly electric usage is divided by the monthly peak sun hours. Then, taking the result from that calculation and multiplying it by one thousand, calculate the watt usage monthly for the household.
If the facility usage is nine hundred kilowatt hours per month (from above), and the peak sun hours is 162 (average for California), then the formula would be the quotient of 900 and 162 multiplied by 1000.
Divide by the Solar Panel Ratings
If the solar panel rating states that it produces 270 watts per hour, divide by 270. Then, round that number up to the following whole number, which is how many solar panels are needed to power a specific home.
Staying with our current example from above, if the system needs to produce 555 watt hours per month ((900/162) * 1000), then taking that number and dividing it by the production of the individual panel produces the number of panels needed to make that amount of electricity. So, again, rounding up is only because solar panels are produced in single units, not fractions.
Solar panel production depends on several factors, including the type of material used to create the reaction to solar light. The wattage rating is the most essential on the solar panel as it states how much electricity per hour a specific solar panel produces. Solar panels are also built to last hundreds of years, although the production yield will decrease below the average amount after about twenty years.