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How Much Energy Do Solar Panels Produce?

Solar energy has taken the lead in the quest for sustainable power, offering both environmental benefits and serious savings on energy bills. But how much energy do solar panels produce and are they worth the investment?

Charge up your curiosity as we unpack the factors that influence solar panel output, explain how the technology works and reveal how they can slash your annual energy bills by up to 70%. If you're considering making the switch to solar, this guide is for you!

Understanding solar panel output

The amount of energy produced by solar panel systems depends on several key factors. Here’s a closer look at some of the variables that can affect performance:

Sunlight availability

Unsurprisingly, the amount of sunlight that hits your panels directly impacts energy production. Panels in regions with more rays, like Cornwall and East Sussex, tend to generate more solar energy. That said, solar panels in less sunny areas like West Yorkshire still capture plenty of sunlight.

Weather conditions

Will solar panels still generate electricity on cloudy days? Absolutely. Output will be lower compared to sunny days. However, solar panels still do an excellent job of harnessing indirect sunlight that filters through the clouds.

Panel orientation and tilt

The angle and tilt of solar panels can have a big impact on efficiency. Ideally, panels should face south in the Northern Hemisphere. They should also be oriented at an angle that matches the latitude of your location to optimise sunlight exposure.

Panel efficiency

Efficiency can vary enormously between solar panel makes and models. Higher efficiency panels produce more energy using the same amount of sunlight.

Shade and obstructions

Variables like trees or nearby buildings can obstruct sunlight and decrease the energy output of your solar panels.

How solar panels work

Now you know more about the factors that can affect solar panel energy output, let’s unpack how the technology works. Solar panels harness the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. Here's a breakdown of the process:

Sunlight absorption: Each panel is comprised of individual solar cells, typically made of silicone. When sunlight hits these cells, it excites electrons within the silicone to create a flow of electricity.

Direct current generation: The flow of electrons generates a direct current (DC) within the solar cells.

Inverter conversion: An inverter is used to convert the DC electricity into AC electricity, which matches the standard British electrical grid. This step is what makes solar panel electricity usable in your home.

Grid connection: Converted electricity can be used to power your home’s lights, appliances and electronics. Unused power can be stored in batteries onsite or fed back into the grid for credit.

Solar panels in Yorkshire

Yorkshire isn’t the sunniest region in England but there’s still enormous potential when it comes to solar energy. The county enjoys around 1,200 to 1,400 hours of sunlight per year, with June statistically the sunniest month and December the gloomiest.

While annual sunshine isn’t as high as some regions, solar panels are still an excellent investment if you live in Yorkshire. Every hour of sunshine can be harvested and used to boost solar panel output.

Let’s talk numbers

On average, a 4kW residential solar panel system in West Yorkshire can generate between 3,400 to 3,800 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year. The latest figures from Ofgem put average annual electricity usage for British households at 2,900kWh per year, making residential solar panel systems more than capable of meeting demands. When used to offset other household energy demands, solar panels can unlock savings of up to 70% on your energy bills.

Of course, these figures are influenced by factors like size and efficiency of the solar panels, as well as angle and orientation, shade and weather conditions. Your solar system will generate more electricity in the summer months though as clarified earlier, panels still generate energy during less sunny seasons.

The figures below show an example of solar panel generation between the 1st and 20th of March 2024. These clients are both based in Yorkshire, and during the month of March, Yorkshire experiences essentially constant cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy remaining about 68% throughout the month.

Commercial Install

how much energy do solar panels produce commercial example

On the 19th of March over 60 kWh of solar energy was produced within a day!

Domestic Install

how much energy do solar panels produce domestic example

This image is for a domestic installation and shows an average of 20-30 kWh of energy being generated per day. The red bar represents the excess solar energy generated, which this customer is selling back to the grid..

The benefits of solar energy

Why make the switch to solar? Now you know more about how solar panels work and what factors influence energy production, let’s spotlight the benefits of investing in solar panels:

Cost savings: Generating your own electricity from solar panels can reduce reliance on the National Grid. In some cases, an efficient solar system can eliminate it altogether. This can translate to significant savings on your energy bills.

Eco-friendly: Solar power is a renewable resource that relies on the infinite energy of the sun. It releases no greenhouse gas emissions or air pollutants into the atmosphere, making it an eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels.

Energy independence: By investing in solar panels and battery storage systems, you can take charge of your energy supply and reduce your vulnerability to price fluctuations and grid outages.

Long-term investment: Solar panel systems have a long lifespan and often perform for 25 years or more. Over this time, they require minimal maintenance, making them a reliable and cost-effective energy solution for years to come.

Slash your energy bills by 70% with solar

Ultimately, the amount of energy produced by solar panels depends on various factors, including sunlight availability, panel orientation and efficiency. For most household installations, there’s potential to reduce your annual energy bills by up to 70%. These dramatic savings mean solar panels soon pay for themselves.

Maximise energy output with P4 Solar

Ready to harness the power of the sun? Get in touch with P4 Solar today to discuss how solar panel installation can provide an efficient and eco-friendly energy source for your home. Whether you're looking to save money on your electricity bills, minimise your carbon footprint or gain energy independence, solar panels offer myriad benefits.

Call us today on 0333 344 6369 or email info@p4solar.co.uk to explore the possibilities of solar and take the first step towards a brighter, cleaner future.

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Freddie Maddocks - Marketing & Communications Manager
Thank you for taking the time to read our news and reviews. We try to keep this information as up to date and as relevant as we can. We would like to hear from you if you think there is some information that needs changing or can be improved for other people visiting our website. We are also keen to get good news stories regarding renewable installations or additional information that might help others to make an informed decision about getting solar panels, solar batteries, or any other renewable energy products.
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