Most solar companies will inform you that the average solar panel will produce around 100 watts of power. However, factors that influence your solar panel’s output to affect how much energy your panel produces.
As solar plays an essential role in energy supply, it is crucial to understand the different factors that impact solar panel output to get the most bang for your buck when installing solar panels. Here are the factors affecting solar panel efficiency:
1) Material of the Solar Panel
One of the factors that determine a solar panel’s output is the type of material used to construct it. Solar panel has three main types on the market: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Monocrystalline silicon panels are generally considered the best-performing in terms of efficiency. While polycrystalline silicon panels typically have lower efficiency but are also cheaper to manufacture. Thin-film panels are the least efficient but have the advantage of being flexible, which makes them ideal for use on curved surfaces.
2) The Size of the Solar Panel
As you might expect, the size of the solar panel also has an impact on its output. A more extensive panel will be able to capture more sunlight, which means it will produce more power. However, it’s important to remember that the output of a solar panel also depends on its efficiency. So a smaller, more efficient panel can produce more power than a larger, less efficient one.
3) The Angle Set-Up of the Solar Panel
Another critical factor determining solar panel output is the angle at which you mount the panel. If mounted at a steeper angle, it can capture more sunlight, but if it’s mounted too flat, it won’t be able to capture as much. The ideal angle for solar panels varies depending on your latitude. It is a must to seek professional help to determine the best angle before solar panel installation.
4) Weather Conditions
The weather conditions on any given day impact the amount of sunlight that hits your solar panel. A sunny day produces more power than a cloudy one. However, even on cloudy days, there can still be enough light for the panel to make some power. It stores the energy in batteries to generate electricity at night or during a power outage.
Shade is the enemy of solar panels. Even a little shade can significantly impact output, preventing sunlight from reaching the panel. If the location of your solar panel is in an area that shades a part of the day, you will reduce its output.
6) Age of the Solar Panel
As solar panels age, their output will gradually decrease. It is due to several factors, including photo-degradation of the solar cells and corrosion of the metal contacts. However, most solar panels will still be able to produce around 80% of their original power after 20 years.
7) Maintenance of the Solar Panel
Panel rooftops require very little maintenance, but keeping them clean is essential to function at their best. Dust, dirt, and bird feces can reduce the amount of sunlight that hits the panel and decreases its output. It is still better to clean your solar panels at least once a year to maintain optimal performance.
By understanding the different factors that impact solar panel output, you can ensure that the solar panel installation and its system are performing at their best and generating as much power as possible.