Solar Panel Output: Everything You Need to Know

Knowledge ·
Solar Panel Output: Everything You Need to Know

Solar energy comes from the sun's radiation and is a renewable and sustainable energy source. It can offer many benefits, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. Solar panels have experienced significant growth and adoption in Australia due to several factors.


First, Australia has plenty of sunshine all year round, making it a perfect location for solar energy production. In addition, government incentives and rebates encourage ordinary people and businesses to invest in installing solar panels.        


It is essential to know solar panel output and how to calculate it. This guide will show you everything you need about solar panel output. Besides, if you want to use solar products with a limited budget, we highly recommend Jackery Solar Panels combined with Portable Power Stations to utilise solar energy.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

Understanding how solar panels generate electricity is essential for practical usage and maintenance.

Different solar panel technologies vary in efficiency and solar panel outputs.

Knowing how to calculate solar panel output helps plan and optimise solar energy systems.

In Australia, environmental factors like sunlight intensity and temperature significantly affect solar panel performance.

We recommend Jackery SolarSaga 100W and 80W for people who want to use solar products with a limited budget.

Understanding Solar Panel Output: Basics

Solar panel output is the amount of power a solar panel can produce. It is a crucial metric for evaluating solar panels' efficiency and economic viability in generating power. The output is typically measured in watts and indicates the energy production capacity of a solar panel under ideal conditions.

An average solar panel typically has a power output rating ranging from 200 to 400 watts (W) and produces approximately 1.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy daily. The energy requirements of the majority of households can be fulfilled by employing 20 solar panels, which generally possess an installed system capacity ranging from six to eight kilowatts (kW).

How Solar Panel Output Is Measured?

The output of solar panels is mainly measured using the standard test conditions. These conditions simulate the solar panel operating in an environment with a light intensity of 1000 watts per square meter.

The STC provides a consistent basis for comparing different solar panels regardless of the brand or type. Measurements include peak watts and a panel's maximum output under these ideal conditions.

Another important measurement is the kWh, which measures energy produced over time. It reflects how much power the panel generates over an hour and is crucial for understanding the real-world performance of solar installations over extended periods, such as daily or monthly cycles.

Why Solar Panel Output Matters?

The solar panel output is critical to determining how many panels are needed for a given electrical demand. Homeowners, businesses, and utility managers must understand output to appropriately size their systems, ensuring they can meet energy demands without oversizing or wasteful expenditure.

A solar panel's efficiency of the panel directly influences its higher output. Higher output panels can be more cost-effective over time, as they generate more power from the same sunlight than less efficient models. This efficiency translates into faster payback periods and better return on investment for solar systems.

Efficient solar panels produce more electricity per unit of sunlight, maximising solar energy's environmental benefits by reducing reliance on fuels and lowering pollutant emissions. This increased output contributes significantly to the sustainability goals of both the private and public sectors.

Different regions receive varying amounts of sunlight, which affects how solar panels perform. By understanding the output characteristics of other panels, installers determine which types of panels are best suited to specific local climates and solar irradiance conditions.

Knowing the production helps comply with these regulations and qualify for financial incentives, such as rebates or tax credits, which can significantly lower the upfront costs of solar installations.  

How to Calculate Solar Panel Output? 

Calculating solar panel output is essential for understanding the potential energy generation of a solar power system. The production of solar panels is influenced by various factors such as sunlight intensity, temperature, shading, and the solar panels' efficiency. To calculate solar panel output, you can use the following formula:

Solar Panel Output = Solar Panel Efficiency x Solar Irradiance x Area x Time

Let's break down each component of this formula:

Solar Panel Efficiency: Solar panel efficiency usually refers to the percentage of sunlight a panel converts into electricity. It is typically represented as a decimal value between 0 and 1. Higher-efficiency panels can produce more electricity from the same amount of sunlight. The panels' efficiency can vary significantly depending on the technology, manufacturer, and environmental conditions.

Solar Irradiance: Solar irradiance measures the power the Sun receives through electromagnetic radiation. It depends on factors such as time of day, season, geographic location, weather conditions, and the tilt angle of the solar panels. In locations with higher solar irradiance, solar panels can generate more electricity.

Area: The term "area" denotes the aggregate surface area of the solar panels directly exposed to sunlight. It is typically measured in square meters. The total area includes the surface area of all the individual solar panels in the system. Larger solar panel arrays with more panels will have a greater area and, thus, potentially higher solar panel output.

Time: Time represents the time the solar panels are exposed to sunlight. It is usually measured in hours. Solar panel output calculations are often done daily, monthly, or yearly to assess energy production over different periods.

how to calculate solar panel output

Example Calculation: Suppose you have a solar power system with monocrystalline solar panels installed on a rooftop in Australia.

The total area of the solar panels is 20 square meters, and the average solar panel efficiency is 18%. The average solar irradiance in Australia is approximately 5.5 kWh/m²/day. If the panels are exposed to sunlight for 5 hours per day, you can calculate the daily solar panel output as follows:

Solar Panel Output = 0.18 x 5.5 kWh/m²/day x 20 m² x 5 hours = 99 kWh/day

This means that the solar panels in this system can produce approximately 99 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day under these conditions.

Several tools and apps can assist with solar panel output calculations, including solar PV calculators (these are online tools that help users input parameters such as location, panel type, tilt angle, and system size to estimate solar energy production) and mobile apps (various mobile applications are available for your devices that provide solar panel output calculations, solar energy savings estimations, and system performance monitoring).

What Factors Affect The Solar Panel Output? 

Solar panel output in Australia is influenced by a combination of environmental and physical factors and the maintenance practices adopted by the panel owner. Understanding these factors can help maximise the solar installation's efficiency and effectiveness.

Environmental Factors  

Sunlight Hours: Australia benefits from high solar irradiance, with many regions experiencing abundant sunlight year-round. This high level of the sun directly influences the efficiency of energy solar panels can produce. Areas like the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia are particularly notable for their high solar potential due to longer daylight hours.

The Angle of Incidence: The angle at which sunlight hits the solar panels affects their solar panel output. The optimal angle varies throughout the year as the sun's position changes. In Australia, solar panels should ideally be tilted to face north for maximum sunlight exposure.

The angle should be changed according to latitude; for example, at approximately 34 degrees south, Sydney would benefit from tilting panels at about 34 degrees from the horizontal to capture the maximum solar energy during midday.

Physical Factors  

Panel Size: The size of the solar panel is crucial as it determines the surface area available for absorbing sunlight. Larger panels generally have a higher capacity for energy production due to their greater surface area.

Age of Panels: The effects of solar panels degrade over time. But you don't have to worry too much because most solar panels are guaranteed to maintain at least 80% of their original efficiency after 25 years.

However, this degradation means that the old panels will produce less electricity than the new panels, affecting the solar power system's overall output and people's use.

Solar Panel Technologies & Outputs 

Solar panels come in various types, each with different efficiencies and outputs, making them suitable for diverse applications and environments, such as those in Australia. Understanding these differences is crucial for optimising solar energy systems to meet specific energy needs and environmental conditions.

Types of Solar Panels  

There are three solar panel technologies, and we can see their different efficiency and output.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels: These are made from single-crystal silicon and are known for their high efficiency and sleek black appearance. Due to their pure silicon structure, monocrystalline panels typically have the highest efficiency rates, ranging from 20% to 25%.

They perform well in low-light conditions, which makes them suitable for commercial and residential applications where space is at a premium.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels: Made from multiple silicon crystals melted together, these panels are recognisable by their bluish hue and somewhat speckled look. While they have a slightly lower efficiency rate than monocrystalline panels - typically around 13% to 16% - polycrystalline panels are less expensive and offer a balanced option for those seeking a compromise between cost and performance.

Thin-film Solar Panels: Thin-film solar panels are usually designed by depositing one or several layers of photovoltaic material onto a substrate.

Types of thin-film solar panels include cadmium telluride, amorphous silicon, and copper indium gallium selenide. Thin-film panels have the lowest efficiency, usually between 10% and 13%, but they are lightweight and flexible and perform better in high-temperature and shading conditions. Their flexibility makes them suitable for non-traditional applications where traditional panels might not be viable.

types of solar panels

Comparison of Outputs & Efficiency

Due to their high efficiency, monocrystalline panels can produce more power than their polycrystalline and thin-film counterparts. This makes them particularly valuable in areas with limited space.

Polycrystalline panels, while less efficient, tend to have a lower upfront cost, making them a popular choice for larger installations where space is less of a constraint.

Although the least efficient, thin-film technology offers unique flexibility and adaptability to various surfaces, its performance under high temperatures and partial shading conditions can outweigh its lower efficiency. 

Relevance to Australian Conditions

Australia's climate varies significantly across the continent, from the tropical north to the more temperate south. This diversity necessitates careful consideration of the type of solar panel used:

In northern Australia, the high temperature and harsh sunlight conditions can reduce the efficiency of traditional silicon-based solar panels. Thin-film solar panels might be more advantageous in these areas due to their better temperature tolerance and flexibility, ideal for non-standard installations.

In southern Australia, in areas with milder temperatures and less intense sunlight, the high efficiency of monocrystalline panels can maximise solar panel output where the solar irradiance is lower, making them more suitable for maximising energy production per square meter.

Considering the high levels of solar irradiance across Australia, investing in higher-efficiency panels like monocrystalline can generally yield quicker returns on investment despite their higher initial cost. Furthermore, with the decreasing cost of solar technologies and various government incentives, solar panels are becoming an increasingly attractive option nationwide.

Jackery Solar Panels Explained

Jackery Solar Panels are built of highly efficient monocrystalline solar cells with the best solar panel efficiency in the industry at 25%, which none of the competitors can match.

The panels are built with IBC Solar technology, which has a rich 40-year history in the Solar Panel business. It enables the solar panels to continue delivering a consistent output, even in low-light settings or high temperatures.  

how jackery solar generator works

Because of the monocrystalline solar cells, the Jackery Solar Panels have a better power conversion efficiency, enabling them to absorb more sunlight and convert it into more electricity, which can then be stored in Portable Power Stations for later use. The power station's pure sine wave inverter can supply stable and consistent electric current.

Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel

The Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel utilises monocrystalline solar technology to convert solar energy into renewable power effectively. Boasting a solar panel efficiency of 24.3%, this technology is highly suitable for outdoor activities and may function as a dependable power source in critical situations like power outages.    

jackery solarsaga 100W solar panel

Including an ETFE-laminated shell dramatically improves the solar panel's robustness and lifespan while keeping its weight comparatively low at 10.33 lbs. This panel is characterised by its lightweight design, foldability, IP65 waterproof rating, and portability, making it appropriate for outdoor and residential activities. 

The solar panels are fabricated utilising monocrystalline solar cells and employ a honeycomb light-trapping configuration. In addition, the panels come with adjustable stands, allowing for perfect positioning. Optimise solar energy utilisation, regardless of the prevailing weather conditions, including sunny and dismal days.

The ETFE-lamination design exhibits remarkable temperature and corrosion resistance, allowing it to operate effectively in a temperature range of -10 to 65°C (14 to 149°F).


Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel


Folded: 24 x 21 x 1.4 in

Unfolded: 48 x 21 x 0.2 in

Weight: 10.33 lbs


Peak Power: 100W

Power Voltage: 18V

Power Current: 5.55A



Compatible With

Explorer 2000 Plus + 2*SolarSaga 100W: 2042.8Wh 

Explorer 2000 Plus + 6*SolarSaga 100W: 12kWh (6H Recharging)

Explorer 1000 Pro + 4*SolarSaga 100W: 1292Wh (3.8H Recharging)

Explorer 500 + 1*SolarSaga 100W: 639Wh (9H Recharging)

Jackery SolarSaga 80W Solar Panel

The Jackery SolarSaga 80W monocrystalline solar panel is precisely engineered to efficiently convert solar energy into sustainable power.

This panel has a dual-sided design, improving its capacity to capture sunlight and produce electricity. Incorporating extra-white glass on the design's rear panel enhances the solar panel's effectiveness, exceeding the industry benchmark with an impressive 25% solar panel efficiency.  

jackery solarsaga 80w solar panel

The solar panel, weighing about 11 lbs, is ideal for outdoor activities and may also function as a dependable power supply during power outages in emergencies. The product features a lightweight design, IP68 waterproof certification, and a handle built for simple transporting.

The upgraded solar panel can produce electricity from its front and rear surfaces. Using extra-white glass with a transmittance rating of 92% on the rear panel helps improve the conversion rate. The solar panel is built with 2.8mm low iron fully tempered glass, which enhances its longevity.

The 80W Solar Panels are universally compatible with all Jackery Power Stations, providing improved charging options. Charging up to 12 sets of 80W solar panels concurrently is possible. There is versatility in deciding the approach to charging.

The solar cell on the back side efficiently collects and utilises both reflected and diffused sunlight, leading to a significant increase in the conversion rate by 25%. A carrying bag with a reflective lining primarily redirects and reflects extra solar energy efficiently.


Jackery SolarSaga 80W Solar Panel


Folded: 35.67 x 20.79 x 1.06 in

Unfolded: 35.67 x 20.79 x 1.06 in  

Weight: 10.33 lbs


Peak Power: 80W

Power Voltage: 22V

Power Current: 3.6A



Compatible With

Explorer 1000 Pro + 12*SolarSaga 80W: 1468.8Wh (1.8H Recharging)

Explorer 500 + 1*SolarSaga 80W: 629.8Wh (9.4H Recharging)

Explorer 300 Plus + 1*SolarSaga 80W: 288Wh (6.3H Recharging)

How to Enhance Solar Panel Output?

Enhancing the output of solar panels is vital for maximising the efficiency of a solar power system. Different strategies and techniques should be applied to increase solar panels' electricity. Here's a detailed exploration of each strategy:

Optimising Panel Placement and Angle

The orientation and tilt of panels play an essential role in capturing sunlight and converting it into electricity. The optimal placement and angle can significantly affect the energy output:

In the northern hemisphere, solar panels should ideally face south to receive the most sunlight throughout the day. Conversely, in the southern hemisphere, panels should face north. The angle at which solar panels are set up affects the ability to capture sunlight. 

A general rule of thumb is to set the tilt angle equal to the installation site's latitude to maximise exposure to solar radiation. Furthermore, solar panels should be placed to receive unobstructed sunlight.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Regular cleaning and maintenance ensure that solar panels operate at peak efficiency. Dust, debris, and other substances accumulate on the surface of panels and absorb the sunlight, reducing their solar panel output.

First, panels should be cleaned regularly to remove dust, dirt, and other debris. The frequency of cleaning usually depends on your local environment, but generally, cleaning them a few times a year is sufficient.

Besides, regular inspections by a professional can help you identify and deal with issues such as cracks, water damage, or electrical problems that may not be visible to the untrained eye.  

solar panels

Technological Enhancements

Advancements in technology have introduced several options to enhance the performance of solar panels.

Solar trackers adjust the orientation of solar panels throughout the day, aligning them with the sun's position to maximise sunlight absorption. Trackers can be single-axis, which moves from east to west, or dual-axis, which also adjusts for the sun's seasonal variation in the sky.

Solar Panel Output FAQs

The following are the frequently asked questions about the solar panel output.

  1. How many solar panels do I need?

The number of panels you need primarily depends on the panels' efficiency, your household's average electricity usage, and the sunlight your location receives. Calculate your energy needs in kilowatt-hours and match them with the chosen panels' output to determine the quantity needed.

  1. How many watts does a solar panel produce?

A typical solar panel produces between 100 to 400 watts of power. The specific output depends on the panel's size, type, and technology.

  1. Does higher solar panel output mean higher costs and savings?

Higher-output solar panels generally cost more initially but can provide more savings in the long term by generating more electricity, thereby reducing the amount of time needed to recover your initial investment through reduced utility bills.

  1. How to calculate the wattage of a solar panel?

Solar panel wattage is the total power the solar panel can produce in a given time. It is usually measured in watts and calculated by multiplying the solar panel's voltage, amperage, and the number of cells. The typical solar panel power rating varies between 40 and 480 watts.

Final Thoughts

Understanding solar panel output is crucial to optimising renewable energy generation. From mastering the basics to delving into various technologies and computational methods, it's clear that solar panels can offer huge potential.

This page will teach you everything about solar panel output and how to calculate it. Besides, we highly recommend Jackery Solar Panels for people who want to use solar energy.   

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