Measuring Solar Panel System Production
It is often assumed that the wattage associated with a panel model is what a solar panel system is supposed to be consistently producing. This assumption is made because Solar Panel systems are measured in two types of currents Direct Current(DC) and Alternating Current(AC). These two types of currents are measured differently and can cause confusion when trying to analyze a systems actual production.
Each panel model has a specific wattage amount that reflects the maximum “potential” energy production generated in DC power. The measurement associated with a panel’s model is in Wattage(W). Solar Panels use an inverter to convert the energy from DC to AC power. Once the electricity has been converted to AC power, it is now compatible with your home and to be measured by your utility company in kWh.
The kWh production estimate that is shown in your monitoring app and proposal are measured in AC current. Solar Panel system production (kWh) is not consistent throughout the year and will not always reach a system’s total “potential” production. For example, a 425W (panel) x 10 panels (DC) = 4,250W, or 4.25 kW(AC), but this system is more likely to achieve 3.97 kW. This information is located within your proposal, on the page following your pricing.
During the summer, when the most sunlight of the year can reach your roof, you will produce the optimal amount of production and value for your power. As the amount of daylight changes throughout the year, solar panel production will differ from the original estimate in Kilowatt hours (kWh). A system’s total “potential” production can also be affected by time of year, pitch to your roof, direction of panels, shading factors, and weather. Contact us for more information.
Alternating Current(AC) Verse Direct Current(DC)
Schedule a complimentary Solar Consultation with us, today. To accommodate your schedule, Solar Consultations can be scheduled for home visits or by video conferencing. Contact our office by phone, text, or email.