- Posted by adminsolar
- On February 12, 2019
- 0 Comments
Over the past decade there has really been a rise in the popularity of solar power in Frederick and the rest of the country. In fact, the total number of American homes with solar panels has reached unprecedented levels and is only going to continue to grow with another solar project being installed in the United States every 100 seconds. So that begs the question about how much these amazing panels of technology are actually helping us. Well here is a breakdown of how much can be accomplished with just one solar panel.
This might sound obvious, but the more surface area that a panel has, the more sunlight (and therefore energy) it can absorb. So the size of your panels has a massive impact on just how much electricity one of them can produce. Nowadays the average panel is approximately 65 inches in length and 39 inches in width. Rather than trying to vaguely picture the size of something like that, just picture the height of an average woman and that is approximately how long the panel is. Panels with more individual cells and therefore more surface area will obviously be able to gather more sunlight and produce more electricity than their smaller counterparts.
Changes in Efficiency
Over the years the power conversion rates of solar panels has grown by exceptional amounts. Back in the 1950’s they were unfortunately only able to convert about 6 percent of the sun’s energy into electricity. Nowadays however, the conversion rate has skyrocketed to reach almost 19 percent. That means that it would take three panels from the 1950’s to do the work of a single current panel.
While the power rating for solar panels can vary by quite a bit depending on which model you purchased, the average output tends to hover around 320 watts. This however is under ideal testing conditions which means that you would only actually get 320 watts of electricity if you had full sun shining down on your panels at noon near the equator. However if you live in Frederick the results you see will likely be a bit different.
So far this is just a bunch of numbers being thrown around at you, but chances are that you do not know how far 320 watts would get you. So to give you a point of comparison, the average home in the United States is shown to use about 1,000 kWh of electricity per month. So doing a bit of simple math should be able to tell you exactly how many panels you need to fully power your home.