This is a challenging question to answer because it depends on the quality and efficiency of your solar panels as well as how much sunlight they receive. Here’s some insight from our team of specialists in home solar in Morris County, NJ, on how much power solar panels can produce per square foot.
Consider Real-World Conditions, Not the Labeling on the Box
At first, calculating the power output of a panel seems easy – if the manufacturer rates a panel at 360 watts that measures 3 ¼ feet wide by 5 ½ feet in length, it should produce 20 watts per foot. But this doesn’t take into account real-world conditions like:
Temperature: Heat is associated with sunlight. However, more heat doesn’t mean more solar power! It’s only the sun’s rays themselves that are transformed into electrical power, not the heat that comes along with them. In fact, excessive heat can affect the solar panels negatively, much in the same way that excessive heat can affect the operation of a computer. Temperatures of over 77 degrees generally cause a drop-off in power production.
Sunlight: Solar panels should be installed at a south-facing angle to maximize the amount of sunlight they get, but this varies from house to house due to trees, buildings, and roof-shape, all of which can impact on how well your panels perform. You may need to install on less sunny areas on your roof, which means installing more panels to get the same amount of power that a clear, south-facing roof would get.
Weather: If you live in a climate where you tend to get less sunlight, your panels will correspondingly produce less power. However, it’s a mistake to think that cloudy or snowy conditions are a problem. In fact, these areas can be exceptionally well-suited to solar power, since the temperatures stay in a better range for panel performance. There is a lot of sunlight in NJ even through the winter, and the clouds aren’t usually too heavy either. So, as long as your panels can take advantage of the full spectrum of sunlight, they should perform well.
Why We Use SunPower Solar Panels in NJ
The biggest factor in how much power your home solar panels produce is down to the quality of the panels you install. After many years, we’ve decided to partner solely with SunPower for a number of reasons. Here are a few:
These panels are built to last, making them ideal for the stormy, snowy winters and the hot, sunny summers of New Jersey. This means that they not only need minimal maintenance, but also that they can handle the temperature changes well with minimal effect on performance.
These solar panels are built with exceptional technology to allow for maximum efficiency in power production. This means that they capture the full spectrum of sunlight, allowing a minimal amount of rays to go to waste. The result is that they perform well on cloudy days and, therefore, only need the fewest number of sunny hours to produce an optimal amount of energy. They are also equipped with micro converters, which ensures that even if one panel is shaded, the other panels can make up for that reduced power production to keep your power supply stable.
Depending on your real-world conditions, your roof may need more panels than it can handle to meet your energy production needs. But, there is a solution for that. SunPower A-series panels are so effective (they are the world’s first 400 to 415 commercially available residential panels) that you can draw a significant amount of energy from – even from a small or limited roof space.
To find out how many solar panels you would need to meet your home’s energy requirements, our solar installation team can come and give you an exact answer based on your home’s real-world environment.
Save Money, Save the Planet with Home Solar in 2020
At Greenhouse Solar, we offer the latest in powerful, reliable and affordable home solar systems. As a small local company, we specialize in residential solar in Morris County, NJ, and our fully certified and experienced team is ready to design, install and maintain your solar system, ensuring you get all the benefits of clean, affordable energy. We are an authorized dealer of SunPower solar systems.