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How much solar power do systems generate? What affects the output?

Please try our solar calculator for your area to see how much electricity different sized solar systems generate. A number of factors can affect how much energy your solar system will generate. We have separated these into primary effects (the things that make a big difference) and secondary effects (the things that make a smaller difference). They include the following:

Primary effects on generation

  1. Rating of the panel i.e. its efficiency - a LG NeON2 315W panel will generate more electricity than a standard 285W Mono X2 panel and more again than an industry standard 260W panel
  2. Location of panels - a northern roof panel will generate much more electricity than a panel on a southern roof. As a matter of fact southern roofs are not suited for solar panel installation in Australia
  3. Seasonal variation due to variance in the intensity (brightness) of the sun
  4. Time of day - Middle of the day will give you highest electricity generation for many systems
  5. Shading from trees or buildings will reduce electricity output significantly

Secondary effects on generation

  1. Angle and orientation of the solar power panels - North facing at 30 degrees = 100% efficiency. North at 10 degrees = 94%. A flat roof = 87% efficiency
  2. Seasonal variations in sunshine hours. In summer you can expect 8 hours of solar power while in winter this drops to about three hours.
  3. Panel and solar power inverter quality and efficiency - a good inverter will will be up to 98% efficient converting DC power to AC
  4. Air flow around the system
  5. Dirt upon bird droppings - built up

Have a look at our Solar System Output Calculator for the approximate output of a well designed solar system in your particular area.