ORne of the first and most common doubts that users of photovoltaic installations usually ask themselves is how many kWh a solar panel produces . But the answer is not simple, since it will depend on various factors , such as the power of the installed panel or the place where the installation is carried out .
Do you know how many kWh a solar panel produces?
In the current market there are solar panels classified according to the power they offer based on their production of kilowatts (Kwh). The highest quality panels are usually those that, in addition to offering high power, have a size equal to or smaller than others.
At the same time, a photovoltaic panel is made up of a set of photovoltaic cells interconnected with each other and whose function is to capture solar energy and transform it into electricity. For this reason, the energy produced by a panel will also depend on the amount of light that falls on it, its orientation , inclination and the temperature to which it is exposed. These factors, together with the maximum power of the panel, will condition the amount of energy generated and therefore the kWh produced.
Amount of KWh produced by a solar panel
The power generated by a solar panel is measured in watts (W). There are different powers depending on each type of panel , which must always be indicated on the plates, normally ranging between 250W and 400W of energy, although they can also have higher powers (500W) or lower powers (150W), not being this last usual.
For example , a power of 300W means that for every hour of sunshine the power generated is 300W. But how many watts of power could be generated in a day? and in a year? If, for example, we consider that the panel has been receiving 5 hours of direct sunlight that day, the calculation would be as follows:
300W x 5 hours of sun per day = 1500W or 1.5 kWh per day.
To calculate the watts produced annually:
1.5 kWh per day x 365 days per year = 547 kWh per year are produced by a 300W solar panel.
With these data, and knowing that the average consumption of a home is about 8000 kWh per year, we can predict the installation that we will need, that is, the size and the solar panels that we will have to install to meet the needs of our home.
Hours of sunshine and kWh produced by a solar panel
Before purchasing a solar panel, the first thing we must take into account are the watts of these solar panels, which refer to the power they can provide in optimal conditions.
It is important to note that optimal conditions may not exist everywhere. The hours of sunshine will vary depending on the geographical area in which we are. In this way, the incidence of the sun on the panels is greater in warm areas, so it is more likely that in these areas the panels reach their maximum power throughout the year. But in other cases reaching this power will not be possible.
However, at present, the new materials and innovations used in solar panels are achieving that even on days when the weather conditions are not the most appropriate, a notable increase in the energy produced by them is achieved.
Therefore, and as a summary, we can say that there are a number of factors that should be taken into account when selecting a solar panel for our photovoltaic installation:
- The power of the panel, that is, the maximum watts that appear on its label.
- The hours of sunshine received by the place where the solar panel is going to be installed.
- The incidence of sun in the place where the photovoltaic installation is carried out.
Without considering these three factors, we will never be able to make a real calculation of the kWh generated by a solar panel.
what power to choose
But then, what power should we choose for our photovoltaic installation? Everything will vary depending on:
- The budget we have.
- The estimated energy consumption of our home.
- What part of the consumption do we want to cover with solar energy?
- The amount of space we have to carry out the installation.
Solar panels that have a higher power usually offer a larger size, but occupy a smaller total space since a smaller number of them need to be installed. The price of these panels is higher, although as we have mentioned, by having to install a smaller number, the total investment in the installation may be less than what is needed to install a greater number of panels with less power.