How Much Power Can Solar Panels Generate?
Understanding Solar Panel Renewable Energy
Solar technology has been around for a long time, but in the last two decades technology has improved at an especially rapid pace. This has led to more efficient, more cost-effective solutions for individuals looking to produce solar-powered energy. Currently, solar produced energy is almost as cheap as energy sourced from fossil fuels, and it’s only getting cheaper year by year. Due to all these benefits, more and more Maryland homes and businesses are turning to local roofing system professionals to explore their solar options.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels allow particles of light, called photons, to knock electrons from their natural atomic orbits. When the electrons are knocked out of orbit, a flow of electricity is generated. The solar panel harnesses this electricity and preserves it for future use. The device in which this all occurs is called the photovoltaic cell. Solar panels are made up of hundreds of thousands of these cells, and each solar array is made of multiple panels. These solar arrays are connected into the existing electric grid, allowing the generated energy to be properly directed.
How Much Energy Does One Panel Produce?
In order to get an accurate number regarding the energy produced by a solar panel, one needs to take into account what type of panel technology is being used. By contacting a solar provider and discussing your options, you will find two types of solar panels readily available: Monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline panels are generally higher efficiency, more expensive, and perform best in high temperatures and shady conditions. Polycrystalline generally are less expensive yet less efficient, and work best in more moderate temperatures. Each panel type has its pros and cons, however polycrystalline is a newer technology and will only become more efficient over time. If you are looking to generate the most power in the smallest amount of space, the first factor is going to be the panel type. Solar panel energy production is measured in kW, or kilowatts. A common solar panel array size would be around 400 square feet. An array this size can produce up to 850kWh per month, compared to the typical household’s usage of around 900kWh. It is possible to cover your entire energy needs with a solar array, but it’s much more common to have smaller arrays that contribute some to the whole. For comparison’s sake, a single solar panel, around 20 square feet, would produce around 40kWh per month.
Overall, a solar panel by itself should be able to cover roughly 5% of your energy needs. This is why many arrays include between ten and twenty panels, allowing for the most coverage possible and the most contribution to your energy needs. Your needs and options will vary based on a number of factors, such as how much electricity you need, the roof space you have available, panel type, efficiency of the panels, location, angle, climate, and many more. All in all, there isn’t a better time than now to contact a professional roofing contractor to discuss your solar energy options!