Solar Panel Output Per Location (What to expect?)

solar-panel-output-per-location

As a homeowner, you may be wondering what to expect when it comes to the solar panel output for your specific location.

In fact, the average solar panel output per day mainly depends on the the following two things:

  • the solar panel’s power output rating
  • the amount of Global Horizontal Irradiation (GHI) hitting that solar panel

In this blog post, we will discuss the average solar panel power output you could expect based on your system setup and your location.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, this blog post will give you an idea of the solar system output in California and London, and power output (in Watts) based on the solar panel manufacturer.

Keep in mind that, depending on various factors such as weather and shading, your solar output may vary from the averages below.

What Are Peak Sun Hours?

Diagram expressing solar irradiance in terms of peak sun hours

A peak sun hour translates to 1 hour where the sun's solar radiation produces an average of 1000 watts per square meter. Basically 1 peak sun hour = 1000 W/m² of sunlight per hour.

When using sites like Global Solar Atlas to establish potential solar panel power output, you will often see them break it down based on the DNI, DFI and GHI. 

  • GHI (Global Horizontal Irradiation) – This is both diffuse and direct components reaching the same surface.
  • DNI (Direct Normal Irradiation) – This is solar irradiance that directly reaches a surface.
  • DIF (Diffuse Horizontal Irradiation) – This is solar irradiance that is scattered by the atmosphere.

The most real world accurate measurement to use would be GHI. As sun is never hitting our earth directly.

What Are Power Ratings?

Solar panels are always rated based on the overall wattage they are capable of producing. The higher this rating, the better equipped the panel is to generate power. 

More often than not, most residential solar systems, have solar panels rated between 400 watts and 500 watts.

For smaller applications such as with RVs and boats, you will find solar panels are generally rated between 100 watts to 200 watts

What is The Average Solar Panel Power Output Per Day?

solar panel output per location

Now to determine what the average power output of solar panel is, you absolutely need to know where that system is located.

A 400 watt solar panel will produce much less power if located in Iceland. However, that same panel size in the Nevada desert would produce an immense amount of power. 

Below we will indicate the amount of kWh certain solar system sizes are capable of producing if they were all located in California. Then we will compare those same system sizes power output if they were located in a less sunny location like London. 

Output in California

Electricity output for a 1kWp solar system

  • Pv system: Small residential
  • Azimuth of PV panels: (180º)
  • Tilt of PV panels: (31º)
  • Installed capacity: 1 kWp
  • Total electricity output: 1711 kWh per year 

Electricity output for a 3kWp solar system

  • Pv system: Small residential
  • Azimuth of PV panels: (180º)
  • Tilt of PV panels: (31º)
  • Installed capacity: 3 kWp
  • Total electricity output: 5133 kWh per year 

Electricity output for a 5kWp solar system

  • Pv system: Small residential
  • Azimuth of PV panels: (180º)
  • Tilt of PV panels: (31º)
  • Installed capacity: 5 kWp
  • Total electricity output: 8555 kWh per year 

Electricity output for a 10kWp solar system

  • Pv system: Small residential
  • Azimuth of PV panels: (180º)
  • Tilt of PV panels: (31º)
  • Installed capacity: 10 kWp
  • Total electricity output: 17,110 kWh per year 

Output in London

Electricity output for a 1kWp solar system

  • Pv system: Small residential
  • Azimuth of PV panels: (180º)
  • Tilt of PV panels: (31º)
  • Installed capacity: 1 kWp
  • Total electricity output: 982 kWh per year 

Electricity output for a 3kWp solar system

  • Pv system: Small residential
  • Azimuth of PV panels: (180º)
  • Tilt of PV panels: (31º)
  • Installed capacity: 3 kWp
  • Total electricity output: 2947 kWh per year 

Electricity output for a 5kWp solar system

  • Pv system: Small residential
  • Azimuth of PV panels: (180º)
  • Tilt of PV panels: (31º)
  • Installed capacity: 5 kWp
  • Total electricity output: 4911 kWh per year 

Electricity output for a 10kWp solar system

  • Pv system: Small residential
  • Azimuth of PV panels: (180º)
  • Tilt of PV panels: (31º)
  • Installed capacity: 10 kWp
  • Total electricity output: 9823 kWh per year 

As you can see, a solar system located in London produces almost half as much power when compared to the exact same solar system located in California.

Average Power Rating Per Manufacturer

Power output (in Watts) based on the solar panel manufacturer

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