The efficiency of a solar panel basically depends on the location and solar panel size. For a better efficiency the solar array must be installed directly under the open sky with maximum sunlight availability. Despite the solar panel type whether it is monocrystalline or polycrystalline it will show good performance only if installed properly.
If you have decided going solar you may probably want to know the answer to the following question:
First, how much energy does a solar panel produce?
Second, how many solar panels do I need?
Which are the high efficiency solar panels?
How much will it cost to install a home solar power system?
And the last question will be, which are the best solar companies in California?
How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Produce?
The characteristic feature of a solar panel efficiency is marked by the amount of power it can produce in favorable conditions. In other words, it is the wattage or DC power generated in standard test conditions. A standard test condition is when 1000 megajoules of solar radiation falls on the solar panel in the result of which the temperature of the latter rises to 77-degree Fahrenheit. The power is produced by solar cells bound together to form the solar panel.
The 2020 commercial solar panels are either of 260-330 watts with 60 solar cells collocated or of 360-400 watts with 72 solar cells joined consequently. Hence, the higher is the solar panel wattage the more electricity it will produce. The installation process of a solar system requires proper installation: these panels must be lifted to the rooftop and handled there. Therefore the 60-cell solar panels are used most commonly since they are power efficient and also suitable in size. The solar panels that consist of 72 solar cells have comparably low demand for residential installation for the same reason, although they have higher wattage 360-400 watts, they are difficult to install on a rooftop.
For a better comprehension of the amount of energy that a solar panel is capable to produce let us make the following calculation. On a sunny Californian day, you are getting, for instance, 5 hours of direct sunlight. How much will be the solar output of a solar panel? 5 hours x 290 watts (a conventional solar panel efficiency is taken) = 1,540 watts-hours, or 1,5 kWh. The annual energy production in this case will be about 500-550 kWh.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?
The answer to this question is rather complicated for it depends on several issues which are specific, such as the climatic characteristics of a certain area, the requirements of the house loads, and others. In California, for instance, the solar system maintenance conditions are very favorable, as the weather is mostly sunny. Once you distinguish the approximate power that your house loads require you can figure out how many solar panels will be necessary for your residence. Below is an approximate matrix of residential electricity consumption by end use in percentage.
- Air conditioning – 17%
- Lighting – 10%
- Space heating -15%
- Water heating – 14%
- Refrigerators – 7%
- TV and other – 7%
- Clothes drier – 5%
- Other (cooking, microwave, pool pump, hot tube heater, etc.) – 25%
Hence, depending on your personal residential requirements and climate you live the solar company will provide you with necessary information regarding the solar panel type and quantity. To better imagine the variety of solar panel manufacturers in modern U.S. market as well as the range of electricity output (average, minimum and maximum) in Watts here is a graphic:
Which Are The High Efficiency Solar Panels?
The new generation solar panels produce power in the range of around 250 – 400 watts. However, there are some solar panels that even exceed the 400 – watts threshold. The SunPower E-Series is recognized as the highest watt performance solar panel series. The maximum wattage performance of this solar panel series is 435 watts energy. Another solar panel with top wattage available in markets is the SunPower A-Series AC Module with 425-watts maximum performance.
How Much will It Cost to Install a Home Solar Power System?
In case of solar system installation, it is highly recommended to research the area as much as possible and get as many quotes as you can to make a final choice from. The latest researches confirm that with this approach you are likely to save from $5,000 – $10,000 on your residential solar system installation. The average cost for a solar panel in California is $3.03/W. With an average of 5kW solar panel system size, the installation cost in California ranges from $12,878 to $17,422. The average gross price for solar system installation will be approximately $15,150. With 26 percent of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and other local solar incentives, the prices will significantly fall even more.
Which Are the Best Solar Companies in California?
Below is the list of solar companies in California which are considered the best based on positive reviews and feedback of the previous year.
- Renova Energy
- Cosmic Solar Inc.
- NRG Clean Power
- LA Solar Group
- Bland Solar
- SunLuxe Energy Inc., and others.
Whatever company you choose for your residential solar system installation just keep in mind that bigger doesn’t always mean better. Sometimes big companies offer higher prices than the smaller ones.
Author of the article: Helen Kocharyan