Factors Affecting Solar Panel Efficiency
While you can get a rough estimate of the power output of a 5kW solar panel system, you should keep in mind that there are several factors that will inevitably affect the solar panel efficiency. For example:
Forget Single Solar Panelshow Much Energy Will Your Whole System Produce
Knowing how much energy a single solar panel produces is all well and good, but more importantly, how much solar power can your roof generate? Lets do the math below:
Take our example above, where youre getting an average of five hours of direct sunlight per day and using solar panels rated at 290 W. Lets say you install 30 of those premium solar panels on your roofthat nets you a 8,700 watt, or 8.7 kW solar panel system, near the average system size purchased on the EnergySage Marketplace. Multiply the five direct sunlight hours we estimated above by 8.7 kW, and we get approximately 43.5 kWh of electricity produced per day. And for one final conversion, if we multiply 43.5 by 365 days in a year, we get approximately 15,800 kWh of electricity produced in a full calendar year from a rooftop array of 30 premium, 290 W solar panels. Considering the average electricity use per year in the U.S. is around 10,600 kWh, thats probably more than enough to power your home on solar.
This estimate is likely on the high end for most solar shoppers, and likely because of our estimate for the amount of sunlight the system will get . To learn more about average sun hours, check out our blog here, where we take a look at average sunlight per year by location.
How Big Is A 5kw Solar System
Alright, lets get down to business. First, lets take a look at exactly how big a 5kW installation really is.
What does 5kW actually mean?
A 5kW solar installation produces 5 kilowatts of electricity under perfect conditions. With LED light bulbs using about 9 watts , a 5kW installation could power 555 LEDs indefinitely as long as perfect conditions remained 24/7 .
Over the course of an hour, one 9 watt LED uses 9 watt-hours of electricity. A 5kW solar installation, under perfect conditions, produces 5 kilowatt-hours over the course of an hour, under perfect conditions. Over 10 hours, it produces 50 kWh.
In reality, we arent lucky enough to have perfect conditions. The sun goes down each night. Storms come in. Rain pours down. Some places, like Washington and New York, just dont enjoy the same ultra-strong sunlight than Arizona and Nevada do.
In reality, your solar installation will produce less than its nameplate capacity. Exactly how much will depend on your location. The National Renewable Energy Labs PVWatts solar calculator gives us a glimpse into what we can expect a 5kW installation to produce over a year in different areas of the US. Lets take a look:
- Anchorage, AK: 4,487 kWh/year
- Miami, FL: 7,331 kWh/year
- Reno, NV: 8,371 kWh/year
How many solar panels is that?
Speaking of roof space, just how much does a 5kW solar installation take up? Lets take a look!
How much space does that take on my roof?
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Will A 5000 Watt Solar System Be Enough For Your House
Well, that will definitely depend on how much energy you consume during a typical day. To do that, you must calculate how many watts your electrical appliances are and multiply it by the hours of use.
If you think the solar system cannot supply power for all of your appliances, you can still choose what appliances you want to be solar-powered by connecting your system to the circuit of choice in your panel board.
Here are some devices you can power with a 5kW solar system kit:
- 3kWh air conditioner
- washing machine
Sizing Up The Solar System
Once we understand the output curve of a solar system, we can then try to size up a solar system so that you use most of the solar power over the course of the day to maximise the benefit of the system.
Most households will use more power than the solar system generates early in the morning and later in the afternoon, and a lot less than what the solar system outputs during the middle of the day. We expect most households will be able to use up to around 70% of the solar power in the home as it is produced, although many households do a lot better than this.
Having installed thousands of smart solar systems with online monitoring, we now have a very clear picture of how households tend to use electricity:
- The baseload: fridges, freezers, lights, fish tanks and anything else left running most of the time
- Daily usage: pool pumps, air conditioning, appliances such as the dishwasher, washing machine etc.
- Peaks: the toaster, hairdryer, heat lamps in the bathroom, a big air conditioner turning on
Typically when sizing up a solar system, we try to cover all of the baseload, plus as much of your daily usage as is practical/affordable.
The big spikes in power usage wont be covered by the solar system as it just isnt worth it. As an example, doubling the size of your solar system to cover a 10-minute spike of power usage from the bathroom heat lamps doesnt make financial sense.
The other factor to all of this is managing when you use your power.
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How Much Money Will A 5kw Solar System Save
You may be thinking: If the 5kW system offsets my energy usage, then surely its going to wipe out my electricity bill?
Unfortunately it is not that simple! The amount the electricity companies will pay you for your solar energy is, way lower than the price they charge you to buy the same electricity from the grid! Plus, theres other costs on a bill such as supply charges, aka service charges. However, a 5kW solar power system is still an excellent investment.
Lets say you get paid about 8c per kWh for exported energy compared to 30c per kWh to buy electricity back from the mains grid. Heres 3 scenarios to show how the 5kW system payback works:
1) Use all the solar electricity by the 5kW systems in your home. This is unlikely unless you have a mini aluminium smelter in your back garden or you operate a small business from your home.
If that were your situation, you would save approximately $2100 in the first year, and around $67,000 over 20 years taking electricity inflation of 5% into account. Those are some serious savings.
2) Export half the electricity: You would save about $1400 in the first year.
3) Export all the electricity: You would save about $700 in the first year with a 5kW system.
If you think that this sounds very counterintuitive, then you can read about the relationship between exports and payback here.
You can see the numbers for yourself and change all the assumptions to see how they affect payback with my solar payback calculator.
How Much Power Should My Solar System Be Producing
When monitoring your inverter, it can be useful to know whatsome expected readings might be so you know if your system is functioning aswell as it should be. To do this youll need to know how much solar you have installed on your roof otherwise known asyour solar array size.
There are two main power productions of interest:
Instantaneous Power in Watts or Kilowatts is often one ofthe main displays shown on your solar PV inverter. This, as suggested is thepower that the system is producing this instant. This figure is great tounderstand when best to power on appliances around the house to take advantageof the available power.
Daily Output Power in Kilowatt hours . This is arunning total of how much power has been produced that day and can be used tocompare with your power consumption as noted on your power bill.
First we should look at what the available average sunlight should do for a solar system. This graph shows the expected output on an average day for a north facing, unshaded solar panel system.
While this is a fairly broad generalisation, it is fairlytypical of what you could expect to see at an initial glance what a solar systemmight produce. For instance, on an average sunny day at 10am in summer anaverage 5kW solar system would likely be producing up towards 3.5 to 4kW but inwinter you might only expect between 2 and 3kW.
Cloud cover also has a fairly drastic effect on the outputof solar panels.
Daily Output Power
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How Much Should A 10kw Solar System Cost
How much does an average 10kW solar system cost? In the US, an average 10kW solar system costs between $2.95 and $3.50 per watt. That comes out to an initial price tag of $29-35 k before the 26 percent solar tax credit. In some areas, additional state or utility-based rebates and credits may reduce the price even more.
How Many Solar Panels Are In A 6kw Solar Power System
A 6kW energy system has between 15 and 24 solar panels.
Depending on the wattage of the solar panels you choose to go with, the actual number of solar panels for your 6kW system will vary. Typically, the wattage of solar panels ranges from a low of 250 watts to a high efficiency 400 watts.
For example, if you install 300-watt solar panels, youll need 20 panels to generate enough power for a 6kW system. But if you use more efficient 350-watt panels, youll only need 18 panels to reach a 6kW system size.
Higher efficiency panels tend to be more expensive, so if you have enough room for 20 solar panels, lower efficiency panels could be a better option.
See how many solar panels you need to eliminate your electricity bill
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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need To Produce 50 Kwh Per Day
With a typical irradiance of 4 peak-sun-hours 62 solar panels rated at 200 watts each are required to produce 50kWh per day. This is equivalent to a 7.5kW solar power system. Solar output is dependent on the irradiance at any geographic location.
Home-mounted solar panels normally have individual power ratings from 175 watts to 400 watts.
Smaller panels below 200 watts tend to be used for smaller projects, such as battery charging, emergency power supplies, RVs, or garden structures like pergola roofs.
For this example Ill use 200 watt panels with an average irradiance value of 4 peak-sun-hours.
A 200 watt solar panel will produce:
4 x 200 = 0.8kWh/day
If we divide 50kWh by the daily energy generation we get the number of solar panels required:
50kWh/0.8kWh = 62 solar panels @ 200 watts rating each
Total solar power needed is 12.2kW.
Note: Solar system losses of up to 23% means that extra capacity should be added to ensure the target kWh is comfortably achieved.
Kw Solar System Information And Pricing
A 5kW solar power system is a size that should easily offset a typical Australian homes electricity usage. If it doesnt, then youve got one serious energy guzzler of a home and should really consider an energy audit before going solar!
5kW solar systems are also the minimum system size you should be considering if youre looking to add batteries to your system in the future. Heres what you need to know about 5kW systems, including price information.
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B Hot Water Heaters 4kw Per Day
This is by far one of the biggest drains on your power over any other appliance. As we have become a custom to using hot water for anything the systems we have installed are designed to have hot water on tap when we need it.We do pay the price for this luxury though as it takes a lot of energy to boil a large amount of water each day for our needs.The average electric water heater uses a whopping 4kw of power per day or to put it in perspective a quarter of all the energy produced by your 5kw solar system.
What Can You Power With 5kw
Here are 5 standard gadgets you can easily utilize with the electricity produced by a 5kw Planetary System:
Oven/ hob 2400w per hour. e. Refrigerator Fridge per hour f. Air conditioner 3kW 5kW per hour.How much does a 5kW inverter cost?A 5kW solar inverter expenses from $ 1,000 for budget plan single-phase designs and up to $ 2,000 for the top quality single-phase models . 5kW is the most popular size and can accommodate approximately 6.6 kW of panels.
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S To Install A Diy 5kw Solar System
You can install your 5kW solar system within 2 days after obtaining a permit from your city or county. Start producing power from the sun in as little as one weekend!
Our job is not over until your system is producing clean energy from the sun. We offer you support throughout the whole installation process with manuals, videos, and technical support.
What Time Of Day Will It Produce The Most Power
The 5kw Solar System produces the most power between 8 am 5 pm with the peak time being 10 am 2 pm. This is due to the intensity of light received by the panels when the sun is highest in the sky. This system will produce at least 20kw of energy every day. This can offset the entire energy usage in a single home.
5kW solar system really means the amount of power the system will produce per hour during peak periods is 5000 watts .
There are some things that can affect the output of your 5kw solar system that has nothing to do with light levels. Even just a small drop in output per hour can have a large effect on the overall output of your system per day and year.
Dirt on the panels can reduce the amount of power produced. Since the panels are placed on the rooftops, it is easy for them to attract dirt, pollen and other coverings. These block the solar cells from receiving the required amount of sunlight even at peak hours. Dirt reduces power production by up to 5%.
No special equipment is required to clean the panels. You can use a hose or a bucket with warm soapy water. Always use a soft sponge to avoid damaging the panels.
In order to ensure you get maximum power output with a 5kw Solar System, ensure these 2 things:
i. Purchase the highest quality solar panels and inverters. The inverter is an electronic devise that changes Direct Current to Alternating Current which is supplied throughout the home.
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A Connected System Is A Smarter System
Thanks to the Envoy, Enphase brings you more than solar. We bring you a connected home.
Today, that means ease, insights, and reliable solar energy. Tomorrow, its the intelligence to adapt to changing grid requirements, via automatic remote updates that Envoy downloads and pushes out to your microinverters.
Energy you can count on, today and into the future. That’s Energy Evolved.
How Many Amps Does A 5kw Solar System Produce
So a 5kW solar system should on average produce around 20kWh per day. You will likely see much more power produced during great solar days in summer, probably up to 30kWh and much less power produced during a cloudy winter day maybe lower than 10kWh. But over the year it should average out to around 20kWh.
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Kw Solar System Pricing
A 8.5kW solar system will certainly cost a different amount depending on the solar business you buy it from. Prices also vary from city to city due to logistics, taxes etc. To give you some indication though, we believe that the “market price” for a 8.5kW solar system at the moment is between:$9,800.00 to…$14,900.00 .
NOTE: The Prices above are “after-rebate” prices and are only a guide to what you might expect as at November, 2015.
How Much Does a 8.5kW System Cost?
The cost of 8.5kW solar power systems varies. On the lower end, you might expect to get Chinese inverters such as Sungrow, Growatt, JFY, Samil etc. and Chinese panels such as Hannover, Munsterland, ZN Shine etc. You might expect to pay $9,800.00 for such a system.
On the higher end of the spectrum you might be looking at a premium, European inverter like SMA, ABB, Fronius etc. and a tier 1 panel like SUNPOWER, TRINA, WINAICO etc. You might expect to pay $14,900.00 for this type of 8.5kW solar power system.
Finance Repayments on a 8.5kW Solar Power System
You could expect to pay somewhere between $312.65 and $468.87 per month as a repayment for your 8.5kW solar power system.Note: This figure could vary drastically. It is based on some common solar power finance rates for residential size systems.