If you are interested in generating your own electricity using solar panels, in this article we will analyze ¿ how much electricity can a solar panel generate? What is the maximum power of a solar panel and how is it expressed?
How much electricity can a solar panel generate?
As with any device, it can express the maximum power of a solar cell or a solar panel in watts.
But because the amount of sunlight constantly changes, another unit has been designed to express the maximum power of solar panels: the watt peak (Wp). That is the maximum capacity that solar panels can provide, measured in ideal conditions.
These circumstances are rare in the real world. That is why here is a correction of the Wp capacity of a solar panel. In the solar panel market, a factor of 0.7 to 0.9 is used.
The most real is a value of 0.85. This way you will get a good picture of the amount of kilowatts / hour of electricity that you can generate with a solar panel. 1Wp = 0.85 kWh.
Therefore: the 1000 watt maximum power (Wp) solar panel supplies 850 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity.
Calculation example: an average household uses 3500 kWh of electricity per year.
- 2000 Wp of solar panel power supplies 1700 kWh of electricity in the Netherlands. With this you generate 50% of your power requirement.
- 4118 Wp solar panel, provides 3500 kWh of electricity in the Netherlands. With this you provide 100% for your energy needs.
How is the maximum capacity of a solar panel expressed?
The maximum capacity of a solar panel can be expressed in watts. Sunlight is not always so strong and, therefore, to express the maximum power of the panel, another unit has been devised: the watt peak (Wp). It is the maximum capacity that a solar panel can offer.
Many panels with a capacity of 250 watts are sold in the Netherlands. Therefore, a panel can generate 250 * 0.85 = 212.5 kWh per year (see more on the correction factor of 0.85 below).
Correction to the maximum power.
In the Netherlands, you will probably never be able to use maximum power and, therefore, a correction to the Wp power that you can find in the specifications is applied.
The value taken for this is a factor of 0.85. This means that a system of solar panels with a capacity of 1000 Wp generates a maximum of 850 kilowatt-hours of electricity (kWh) per year.
In this way, you get a fair picture of what the solar panels are delivering to you in the Netherlands. Keep in mind that, as there are more sunny hours in the west of the country, you can generate a little more than kWh per year in coastal areas.
An average household consumes around 3500 kWh of electricity per year. When you install a solar panel system with a total capacity of around 2000 watts peak (which is good for 1750 kWh), therefore, you are 50% satisfied with your energy requirement. The costs of this installation will amount to about € 4000.