How Much Power Can a Solar Panel Deliver?

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Solar panels, New York Solar Panel Installers, have photovoltaic cells that produce power when sunlight falls on them. The amount of power that these panels produce can depend on the size of the panel, the solar cells efficiency and the quantum of light that falls on them.

Most solar panels will have 60 individual solar cells in a standard panel that is about 5 feet by 3, though individual manufacturers will have their own standards for convenient sizes that they make. Each of these cells is linked to each other and the electricity produced by each of them is carried to a junction box that may permit an array of panels to be linked to it.

The efficiency of each cell to produce power depends on the refinement of the silicon that is used to make up these photovoltaic cells. This process of refinement requires large quantities of power and this has been a restraining factor in increasing their efficiency to convert sunlight into power. Efficiency has increased from a low of 6 percent to the present 20 percent that most solar cells can reach. With a 20 percent efficiency, a panel, as described earlier, can produce 265 watts of power every hour. So you would require 4 panels to produce a kilowatt or more of energy per hour. These figures are valid for peak sun conditions when the light ideally falls vertically on the panel. The amount of power will reduce if there are clouds, or if the sun is at an angle to the panels.

Solar panels are often mounted on roofs and the orientation of the roof and its angle to the sun can have an effect on the amount of power produced by the panels. When deciding the number of panels that you can install for providing power to your home, you will have to consider, the orientation, the area available that gets the sun continuously and your own total requirement of power. Experts suggest that you assume 4 hours of sun light that can be usable by the solar panels and this will allow each panel to produce a kilowatt-hour of power in a day.

Average homeowners require the use of about 1000 kWh per month and this requirement can be satisfied by installing 30 panels of 5 feet by three feet. It is necessary to see if you have this area available on the roof or any other place where you plan the panel installation. Space required is 4500 square feet and can be quite large.

You also require remembering that solar cells produce direct current, while most household appliances used alternating current. You are then required to convert the power from DC to AC through inverters and this can further reduce the amount of power by that can be available from your solar panels installation. Solar panels will produce more power in summer than in winter and all these variables have to be kept in mind while deciding the size of the installation required. You may also have to give some thought to storage, as the power is available only during the day, and storage can help you to use it in the night when there is a greater need for power.