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How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Produce?

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Are you pondering this question – how much energy does a solar panel produce? Well you have come to the right place! Solar panels produce different amounts of energy, based on their wattage rating and the amount of full sun they are exposed to each day. Here is a simple answer: multiply the wattage rating by the hours of full sun per day and you will get the amount of energy that is produced by each solar panel!

wattage rating of solar panel x hours of full sun per day = amount of energy produced (in watts) per day

To convert the amount of energy produced to kwh, just divide your answer by 1000. 1 kwh = 1000 watts. So if your panel is producing 1000 watts per day, that is 1 kwh per day, or 30 kwh per month (30 days). If you have 10 panels rated at 250 watts, you will be producing 300kwh per month.

Now you have to take into consideration many things, such as the definition of full sun, and the efficiency of your panels. Full sun is the amount of sun shining at high noon. You panels aren’t going to get 8 hours of full sun per day. A good estimate is around 4 hours of full sun per day. This will change depending on your location. Find out hour much full sun you get at your location here.

What is Solar Energy

Solar power is energy that is generated from the light that is produced by the sun. You can buy solar power from your electric provider, or you can generate solar power by installing solar panels on your building or you land.

Solar Advantages

Solar Energy is Renewable

The most obvious advantage of solar energy is that it comes from the sun. The sun is a renewable resource. A renewable resource can replenish itself. Most energy today is created from natural gas and coal. These two resources are non-renewable. Non-renewable resources do not replenish themselves at a rate that is sustainable to the rate that we as humans are consuming them. The burning of non-renewable resources to create energy is bad for the environment. Burning of fossil fuels creates greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Energy created by the light from the sun on the other hand is natural and does not harm the environment

Solar Energy Systems Will Save You Money (in the long run)

Another advantage of solar is price. You can save money if you actually generate solar power. However, if you are purchasing solar power from your Retail Electric Provider, it is usually more expensive than non-renewable power. To generate solar power, you need to install solar panels on your house, roof, facility, or land.

Solar Panels Will Protect You From Outages

Are you sick of power outages? If you have solar panels and a back-up generator or battery, you will be the only person on your block with power during an outage. I don’t know about you, but where I live, there have been 5 or 6 power outages in my area this year alone. Three of them have been at my job. Our work was disrupted. Files were not saved, and were lost. Power outages are annoying. If you have solar panels and the power goes out during the day from the grid, you are still going to have power if it is daylight. If it’s night-time and the power goes out, you will need a battery or back up solar generator to keep the power on. Actually you don’t even need solar panels on your house to have a solar generator. Learn more on our solar generator guide.

You Will No Longer Be at the Whim of the Electric Company

If you generate your own solar and sell it back to the grid, you are not going to be paying the utility company for much energy. You will only be paying them for energy you need that is less than what you produce and a fee to be tied to the grid. If you create an excess amount of power, you can theoretically make money by selling it back to the grid. So you won’t have to worry about energy prices skyrocketing and your bills going up. You won’t ever have to sign another retail electric provider agreement. The utility company will have less control over you.

It’s funny how much we depend on electricity, but at the same time we let power companies dictate how much it costs. They also have so much control over the general population, because everyone relies on energy. It is good to have solar panels because it leads us to becoming more independent when it comes to utilities.

How many solar panels to power a house

This depends on many factors…such as: how big your roof is, how much sunlight you receive in your geographic location, and how much kwh you want to generate per month.

Use the calculator below to determine how many solar panels you will need. The monthly kwh is how much energy you want to generate per month. You can find your monthly kwh usage on your electric bill. You may want to add a 25% to the amount of kwh you want to generate per month to take weather conditions into consideration. Solar panels to not always operate at 100%.

To determine the amount of sunlight available per day at your location, you will need to check the National Renewable Energy Laboratory website. It has the average hourly sunlight available for all locations within the United State. Just click on your state and view the map to see your average hours of sunlight per day.

How much energy does a solar panel produce?

If you didn’t read the introduction paragraph, you are in luck, I will spell it out for you here again. The energy produced by solar panels is equal to the wattage rating of the panels times the hours of full sunlight that is received per day. Use the calculator below to calculate how much energy your solar panels will produce.

Solar Technology

Energy is created by the sun’s light or “photons”. Photovoltaic solar panels create energy from photons through the photovoltaic effect. Light is absorbed causing an electron to move from one atom to another creating voltage.

Solar panels are made from thin layers of crystalline silicon and thin film cells. Most standard solar panels are made of rigid thin film cells, however, new technology has developed flexible thin film cells that can bend and be places on a variety of surfaces.

Photovoltaic (PV) Systems are what you need to generate solar energy. Solar cells are combined into solar modules. Solar modules are combined into solar panels. Solar panels are combined into solar arrays. PV systems are a include a solar array, tracking system, mounting, cabling, DC isolator, generation meter, charge controller, battery, inverter, fusebox, AC isolator, and the electricity meter.

How Long do Solar Panels Last?

Solar panels can last from 10 to 25 years. They will degrade over time. Most manufacturers offer a limited warranty covering 90% rated power output at 10 years and 80% power output at 25 years. This is for the panels themselves. There are other components of solar systems that may or may not last that long.

Solar Disadvantages:

Getting Used to The Look

Solar panels look different. Some people may not care, but you’re going to be looking at the panels for the next 20 years if you have them installed on your house. That can be a drawback for some people. However, once you see how much money you will be saving by switching to solar panels, the look won’t bother you.

solar street lights

Solar street lights may look weird but they will more than likely be the future. Recent technology has developed flexible solar cells, which may lead to more natural looking solar lights.

Although solar panels are better for the environment than traditional non-renewable energy sources, the photovoltaic cells themselves are made from toxic materials. All solar panels must be manufactured, and manufacturing uses hazardous materials and contributes to pollution. However, solar panels’ affect on the environment is minimal compared to the burning of coal and natural gas and other non-renewable sources to create energy.

Government Incentives for Solar

Solar panels are expensive, but there are government incentives to help you pay for the upfront costs of installing a solar system. The federal government in the United States offers a tax credit to businesses and homeowners who install solar systems. The federal tax credit is called the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and covers 30% of the cost to install a PV system.

Some states also offer tax credits for solar systems. Check your state’s rules for details. In addition to state government tax credits for solar, some utility companies, municipalities, and other organizations offer credits and cash rebates for solar systems.


Solar panels are a great way to save money and save the environment! I hope I answered your question – “How much energy does a solar panel produce?” There are some drawbacks, but overall, the renewable energy for the sun is better for the environment and better for your wallet.

To learn more energy saving techniques, check out our utility hacks, or learn about water conservation.

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Utility Hacker

The utility hacker is passionate about saving people money on their utility bills and protecting the environment. I was a utility bill auditor in Texas for 10 years. I am sharing my knowledge to help people survive the crazy utility industry that we live in today.