How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Produce?

The amount of energy a solar panel produces depends on the wattage of the panel, the amount of sunlight it receives, the angle at which it is installed, weather conditions, and other factors.

This article examines the factors that affect solar panel output and tries to give a rough estimate of how much energy a solar panel produces.

What Affects Solar Panel Output?

There are a number of factors that affect how much energy a solar panel produces. Some of these factors are:

1. Solar Panel Wattage

Solar panels' size and wattage
Solar panels’ size and wattage by Clean Energy Reviews

The higher the wattage of a solar panel, the more energy it will produce.

A standard solar panel has a wattage of around 200W. However, there are different types of solar panels available, with wattages ranging from as low as 10W to as high as 700W.

2. Direct Sunlight

Peak sun hours map
Peak sun hours map by Solar Craft

The amount of sunlight a solar panel receives plays an important role in how much energy they can produce. Solar panels produce more energy when they are directly exposed to the sun.

The angle of the sun also affects how much power a solar panel produces. Panels positioned perpendicular to the sun will produce more energy than panels that are angled away from the sun.

3. Weather

Solar panels and bad weather
Solar panels and bad weather by Aeron System

Weather also has an impact on the amount of energy a solar panel produces.

For instance, clouds can block sunlight, reducing the amount of energy a solar panel produces.

Rain and snow also have a negative effect on solar panel output, as raindrops can reflect sunlight, preventing it from reaching the panels, and snow can cover the panels and reduce their efficiency.

How to Calculate Solar Panels’ Energy Production

1. PVWatts Calculator

PVWatts Calculator
PVWatts Calculator

PVWatts Calculator is a free online tool developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). It allows you to calculate the energy production of solar panels based on their location, solar system size, and type of installation.

Enter your zip code and the size of the solar system in Watts. The calculator will then give you an estimate of how much energy the system will produce each year.

2. Solar System Size in Wattage x Number of Direct Sunlight Hours

This equation allows us to calculate how much energy a solar panel can produce.

Multiply the size of the solar panel (in wattage) by the number of direct sunlight hours it gets.

For example, if you have a 100 Watt solar panel that gets around 5 hours of direct sunlight, then the solar panel will produce 500 watt-hours of energy each day.

  • Nichole Hutt

    Hi, I'm Nichole! 👋
    I always felt close to nature during my childhood. Preferring to spend my time alone playing with backyard animals at my family farm. 🐷
    In 1997, I attained my electrical engineering degree at the Oregon Institute Of Technology, graduating top of my class. Several years later, I qualified for my M.S. in Renewable Energy Engineering, also at OIT. 🎓

    Combining my love for nature and passion for engineering, I have worked for solar panel manufacturer's in my state, most notably as a PV solar engineer for Zamp Solar.

    I founded RenewableSystems to share my knowledge and expertise in the renewable energy field and help save this beautiful little planet of ours. ☀️🌎

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