How much power do you really get from a solar panel?
Solar panels come in many different sizes and from many different companies. They all have the same basic characteristics. They are comprised of photo voltaic cells that convert the light from the sun to electric energy.
A solar system is the entire system that goes from the solar panel through electrical cable to the DC power inverter, and out the other side as AC power into your home electrical panel. Each of these separate parts will lose a certain amount of power, as it travels from the panels to your breaker panel. This is a normal process and can be calculated for each solar system based on the components of the system.
Any good panel will come with two different power ratings - one from the factory based on a flash test that shows the panels working in perfect conditions. The second is a rating based on potential real world conditions. This is the more accurate rating for panel production when installed on your roof.
This second rating is generally referred to as either a NOCT or a NMOT rating for the panel.
They indicate the normal peak power for a panel in real world conditions.
This number is 20% less than what the manufacturers rating is for the panel. So, in the real world conditions you can expect to produce an average of 320-watts from a 400-wat panel. Will the panel ever reach maximum - yes but not often and not for long.
There are a number of things to keep in mind when deciding on the panel you want for your system. These ratings will help you decide on the best panel for your home. They are also important ratings when deciding on a string inverter vs a micro-inverter system.
At Emerald Coast Solar, this is just one example of the many investigations we do to ensure you have the most efficient solar system available.
We also conduct head to head system comparisons between Enphase and String inverters.
We monitor all our Enphase systems for both production levels and operational issues.
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