How much energy does a solar panel produce?


How much energy does a solar panel produce is one of the most common questions we encounter from prospective customers?

To understand that, you have to understand how a system is sized, or what the nameplate capacity means.


If you take one module that is 300 watts and multiply that by 30, then you get a 9 kW system. In reality that 9 kW system, those modules are tested in conditions that we can’t replicate out in the real world. It’s a standard for how they have to be labeled.

When you have a 9 kW system, you’re only going to get about 7.2 kW or 80 percent of the rated output of the system. That’s standard for all systems. Therefore, when trying to understand how much energy does a solar panel produce, you have to consider the fact that the maximum output for each panel will be affected by uncontrollable factors such as hight ambient temperature, solar shading, and particulate build up on the panels.

Any reputable installer should be able to tell you this as well. We take these considerations into account when we generate our performance guarantee if you have one from us.

So 80 percent of the nameplate output of your system is about what you can expect on the kW peak production.

As far as when you are going to get the most production, the summer months, you’re going to be getting about 60 percent of your total year’s production, where in the winter months, you’re only going to get 20 percent of the total year’s production. So summertime is where you are going to be producing the most and generating credits for the wintertime when you are producing a lot less.

Visit our service page if you need to submit a service request for your solar PV system.