How Much Power Does A Solar Panel Produce?

Using solar panels to power your home is a great way to reduce utility bills and help the environment. As you consider having solar panels installed for your home or business, you’re likely wondering how much power does a solar panel produce? Knowing the amount of energy a panel can generate will help you understand how solar panels operate and how certain factors affect their energy output. In this post, Atlasta Solar Center takes a further look.

how much solar power does a solar panel produce
Knowing how much power a solar panel can produce will help you understand how many panels are needed to power your home.

What is a Solar Panel?

A solar panel absorbs and converts sunlight into electricity. This is accomplished using the photovoltaic effect, hence why solar panels are technically called photovoltaic or PV panels. The photovoltaic effect requires semiconductive material and an energy source to create electricity. Solar panels contain solar cells made of silicon, a natural semiconductor, with sunlight as the required energy. As the cells absorb the sun’s rays, the electrons in the cells begin to move, creating an electric current.

How Much Energy Does One Solar Panel Produce?

The amount of energy produced by PV panels is measured in wattage, specifically kilowatts per hour (kWh). Most solar panels on the market are rated to produce an average of 250-400 watts per hour, or 2.5 to 4 kWh per day—under ideal conditions such as perfect sunlight, panel temperature, and other conditions. As you’ll see, daily and hourly wattage are very dependent on several factors.

Factors That Affect Solar Panel Energy Output

The amount of electricity produced by a panel depends on several criteria:

Location/ Region

Do you live in an area with a lot of sun? Or do you live in a cloudier area? Where you live affects how much sunlight, or peak sunlight hours, you receive, and therefore how much energy will be produced. Remember, solar panels only generate electricity during the day, when the sun is out.

Direction and Orientation of the Panels

In the northern hemisphere, southern-facing panels optimize the amount of sunlight absorbed. How the panels are tilted can also affect how much solar power they receive.

Roof Space Available

The amount of roof space and roof angle can affect how many, and what type of solar panel, is installed on your home.


Even if you live in a sunny location, any shade on your panels can reduce energy absorption. For example, thick vegetation and tree cover can negatively impact how well your solar panels operate.

Type of Solar Panels Installed

The type of solar panel installed can affect how much energy is produced for your home or business. Solar panels generally come in three types:

Monocrystalline: These panels are made of a single large silicon crystal and are the most efficient in generating energy. As a result, they are usually the most expensive panel.

Ideal For: Individuals who want the highest power yield possible, and/ or have limited roof space.

Polycrystalline: These panels are made of several smaller silicon crystals and are the most common type of solar panel. These panels produce about 1% less power than monocrystalline panels but are still reliable.

Ideal For: Those who want reliable performance but also want to save on cost.

Amorphous: Also known as a thin panel and made of silicon. Amorphous panels are the most affordable option and the easiest to install. However, these panels have the lowest power yield of the three PV panel types. As a result, they need three times the roof space of monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels, to reach the same power yield.

Ideal For: Those who want the most cost-friendly option for solar panels. However, you must have plenty of roof space to install thin panels.

How To Calculate How Many Watts A Panel Can Produce

To calculate how many watts a panel can produce in a day, you need to know:

  • Your solar panel’s output: how much wattage your panel generates, under ideal conditions.
  • Your local peak sun hours: the amount of direct sunlight hours where you live.

Multiply these two figures in the following formula:

Kilowatt-hours (kWh) = (Hours of sunlight x Watts)/1,000

For example, let’s say a solar panel’s wattage is 250 watts, while you receive 7 hours of sunlight a day.

Kilowatt-hours (kWh) = (7 hours x 250 watts)/1,000

The number of kilowatt hours produced here is 1.75 kWh per day. But what about how many kWh produced in a year? Use the following formula:

(1.75 kWh/day) x (365 days/year) = 638.75 kWh per year

So, for a solar panel that produces 1.75 kWh daily, it would annually produce 638.75 kWh. However, remember these are wattages resulting in ideal conditions.

how much solar energy does a solar panel produce
Several factors, such as where you live, roof pitch, panel type, etc. affect solar panel energy output.


Here are several frequently asked questions to help you better understand how solar panels work and how to best care for them.

Can a solar system power an entire house?

Yes, it is possible for a solar system to completely power your home. At Atlasta Solar Center we consider all logistics (roof pitch and space available, your home’s energy consumption, amount of sunlight available, etc.) to accurately calculate how many PV panels your home will need to be fully powered.

How can I optimize the performance of my solar panels?

Minimize or eliminate anything that blocks sunlight from reaching PV panels. For example, trim back vegetation, and keep your panels free of debris. Dust and dirt can reduce energy output, so gently clean your solar panels when necessary. Fortunately, the tilt of most solar panels helps rain keep the panels clean. Helpful tip: compare your energy bills before and after cleaning your panels, to note any changes.

Can I store excess energy generated by solar panels?

Yes, you can store excess electricity with a solar battery or battery bank. As solar panels only produce electricity during the day, any stored energy can be used at nighttime.

Atlasta Is Here To Help You

Every individual’s energy needs vary. The amount and type of PV panels depend on many factors, all of which we deeply understand. While you can make some calculations on your own, by contacting us for professional assessment and installation, we will find the best solar solution for you. Contact Atlasta Solar Center at 970.248.0057.

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