Many people are concerned about how much energy their solar panels are producing. Whether you are curious about a simple answer to this or are interested in exploring other things that impact this energy production, you are in the right place to further understand many of these concerns.
The average 200-watt solar panel sees a production of an average of 11.1 amps. And this is certainly a simple yet accurate answer to this question, but the answer depends on a variety of factors that can influence this.
The keyword here is ‘average’ as the amp production can vary anywhere between 7-12 amps. But the influences that are listed below can dramatically change this amp production, so make sure you use these to get what you paid for.
Factors Affecting Amp Production in a 200-Watt Solar Panel
As we just said, there are several factors that can dramatically change the amp production of a solar panel. Let’s look at all of them.
Why is the Solar Panel’s Volt Level Important in Influencing Amp Production?
The type of 200-watt solar panel used is important to consider as the type used can fluctuate amp output by as much as 50%.
If we are looking at a 28-volt solar panel, we may expect an output of approximately 7 amps. This, however, is not a certain number and is still subject to conditions, which will be explained further below.
On the other hand, there is another form of 200-watt solar panel on the market, leading me to bring up the 18-volt solar panel which can produce approximately 11 amps of energy.
What is the Difference in Amp Production Between Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Cells?
Further to this, the cells used in your solar panel are very important to consider, and although the word ‘monocrystalline’ and ‘polycrystalline’ may sound daunting at first, their meanings are very simple to understand.
Monocrystalline solar panel cells are taken only from a specific source of silicon, whilst a polycrystalline solar panel is made up of solar cells from a variety of different sources of silicon which are eventually fused together by a specific form of melting.
If you type into google ‘200-watt solar panel’ it is likely that you will see a variety of different monocrystalline solar panels popping up, and this is because it is commonly accepted to be a more efficient form of solar energy. They are also extremely great at withstanding the limiting conditions for solar panels that I have listed below.
The reason that polycrystalline solar panels are less efficient is because of the source which silicon is from. When this fusion occurs between different silicon deposits, the structure is not as smooth running as its monocrystalline counterpart, meaning its amp production and overall efficiency will be reduced compared to a monocrystalline panel.
This also makes the panel more susceptible to a variety of other problems that can cause damage to solar panels. These conditions are listed below.
How Can I Place My Solar Panels to Maximize Amp Production?
Placement is also likely one of the most important parts of maximizing the amp output from your solar panel. It does vary geographically, but taking a Northern Hemisphere country like the United Kingdom as an example, you will want to ensure that your solar panels are south facing as we are above the equator, allowing the maximum amount of light to enter, maximizing the chance of your 200 Watt solar panel producing the highest figure listed above.
The least useful placement, in the northern hemisphere, is north facing, away from the equator, massively reducing its energy production.
While east and west-facing panels aren’t as good as south-facing ones, sometimes it will make sense to place your panels towards these two orientations because you will gain more total surface.
Even though the efficiency per each panel will be lower because you can place more panels, the total energy creation could be higher.
Additionally, whilst it is ideal to place solar panels on the roof to avoid any opportunities of interference on the ground, you can place them freely if you would like.
After all, a north-facing free solar panel on the roof won’t be anywhere near as efficient as a free south-facing one, letting you maximize your amp potential this way simply by ensuring that it is facing the right direction.
If you would like to learn a bit more about how the orientation of your home and solar panels can have an influence on the light you receive, be sure to check our post “Which Side of a House Gets the Most Sun?“.
Is Temperature Important in Influencing Amp Production?
To maximize the efficiency of your solar panels make sure that they are not able to overheat. If the solar panel raises too high in temperature, we may expect to see a drop in its efficiency, leading to less amp production and overall energy.
For each rise in temperature above 25 degrees Celsius, the efficiency of your solar panel may fall by an average of 0.375, so it is important to ensure that your solar panel maintains a relatively stable level of coolness to ensure optimum amp output and efficiency.
Therefore, it’s important to realize that in winter, whilst you may see less sunlight entering your solar panel, you can be pretty certain that it won’t break down as the steady stream of sunlight won’t be enough to overpower the device.
However, in summer, the solar panel may be doing so well it becomes inefficient due to this increase in temperature affecting the output of your panel. Therefore, it might be worth slightly angling your 200-watt solar panels if they are on your roof to ensure that the maximum amount of energy can be achieved whilst avoiding the possibility of a total energy collapse.
How Can the Color of My Solar Panel Influence Amp Production?
It is also important to buy a 200-watt solar panel that absorbs as much light as possible to maximize your amp production and this can be done by choosing the color of your solar panel to maximize light retention.
Colors that naturally reflect light include white and silver and should be avoided. Therefore, black is the color that is going to absorb the most light, making your outage a lot more efficient.
Thankfully, you don’t need to worry too much about this. Many of the solar panels on the market are black, or dark blue because of this reason, so there should be no trouble finding one! But make sure you are careful to follow the guidance on ensuring that your panel does not overheat.
Things that can Limit Amp Production
It is also important to check on your solar panels to ensure that nothing is reducing amp production. Research has shown that if you are in an area with less rain, you could lose 20% of efficiency from your solar panels as there will be no natural cleaning of your panels.
Even the slightest amount of dirt can affect the efficiency of your panels, so it is certainly worth ensuring that they remain clean from dirt, bird poop, or anything else that could interfere with possible energy production, maximizing your amp production.
Information Regarding Definitions
Some people may get confused over what certain words mean and it can be quite hard to differentiate between these words. So, we have defined these words, in alphabetical order, and as simply as possible.
A coulomb is a unit of electrical charge which is equal to the electricity transported in a singular second by a current of one ampere.
An amp/ampere is a unit of electrical current that is equal to the flow of one coulomb per second.
A volt is a unit used to measure the force of an electrical current. Whilst a watt measures the rate of energy consumption in a specific circuit.
Please look at the diagram below to show you how to use these words in a calculation.
And with these definitions, we have arrived at the end of this post. We hope you found the information useful and have now a clearer idea of how many amps does a 200-watt solar panel produce and what are the factors that define the final output.
If you liked this article, be sure to read “Why Is Passive Design Important?” & “What is Active Solar Design?“.