How Much Power Does a 5kW Solar System Produce?
So you got yourself a 5kw solar system but don’t know what exactly it can power. Don’t worry, it isn’t a straightforwards answer.
But lucky for you, we’re here to help you answer that question while giving you some tips on solar systems of that size.
Join us as we break down how much power a 5kw solar produce.
How Much Does a 5kW Solar System Produce?
Whether we want to know how much a 10kw solar system produces, or the smaller 5kw system, all systems use the same approach.
However, certain factors prevent a solar system from reaching its full potential, and it's important we briefly discuss them.
Factors Affecting a 5kW Solar System Output
Solar systems never reach their full solar output because of various factors.
One of these is the shading and weather in your area.
If you have your solar system on the roof of your home but happen to have tall trees obstructing the solar panel’s visibility from the sun, it affects your solar efficiency.
Weather conditions also affect the solar system’s performance as heavy rain and snowfall can damage the equipment.
Irradiance also plays a role in reducing solar efficiency.
If you’re in an area that doesn’t receive much sunlight, you need to rely heavily on solar generators and batteries to obtain the bare minimum.
The other factor that affects the solar system’s output is the tilt angle of the solar panels.
Ensuring that your solar panels are obtaining optimum performance means that they need to be facing south. You also want to ensure they are at an angle between 30 and 45 degrees.
This shouldn’t be a problem as your solar installation team will suggest orientations based on where you reside and where you want your solar system installed.
If it's on your roof, we suggest maintaining your roof before asking for a quote.
Another minor factor is choosing between the different types of solar panels.
A single 200W solar panel that falls under the monocrystalline category will be more efficient than a polycrystalline one with the same wattage.
How Much Power Does a 5kW Solar System Produce Per Day?
To calculate how much power a 5kw solar system produces per day, we have two approaches. Using national average amounts and Ohm’s law.
The former is great when it comes to calculating how much a 75kW solar system produces or any solar system measured in kilowatts.
The latter is perfect for smaller solar systems using a few solar panels.
Using Averages to Calculate the Output
When we speak about averages, we’re referring to values like the national daily power usage in the states. This is around 30kWh for the average American household.
The first step of the average method is taking this value and dividing it by the solar irradiance in your area.
To determine this value, you want to refer to an online solar map that shows you how many sun hours your area receives each day.
For this example, let’s say you reside in an area that receives around 6 sun hours daily. We want to take the national daily power usage and divide it by the 6 sun hours.
This shows us, on average, how much power in kWh is needed in your household.
So taking the 30kWh average and dividing it by 6 sun hours, your house would need around 5KW of power per day.
Whether we want to know how much a 15kw solar system produces, or the system we’re working with, each consists of solar panels within the system.
The average solar panel produces around 250W of power when under peak conditions.
However, as mentioned earlier, certain factors affect the panels from reaching their peak solar output.
The power produced by solar panels is DC, however, our homes require AC power to provide energy to our appliances.
Solar Panels go through a conversion process, and this leads to a loss of around 80% of the power. In a 5KW system, we have around 6.25KW of DC power before the loss.
This same statistic applies to all solar systems. So, if we want to find out how much power a 45KW solar system produces, obtaining the DC power would be dividing the amount by 80%.
This gives us 54KW of DC power. But for now, we’re going to focus on the 5KW solar system.
Before we can figure out how much power is produced from a 5KW solar system, we need to figure out how many solar panels we need.
How Many Solar Panels Are Needed?
Figuring out the number of solar panels needed in a 5KW solar system is a simple process.
You take the DC amount from earlier and divide it by the solar panel’s rating that you are wanting to purchase.
Let’s say we want our solar system to make use of 300W solar panels.
Using our value of 6.25KW, we would need around 21 solar panels, giving us a solar system containing 21 300W solar panels.
For a more even number of solar panels, you can use the 250W ones. This gives us an array of 25 solar panels.
If we wanted to figure out how much power an 8kW solar system produces, the same steps apply. We should always determine the number of solar panels needed.
How Many KWH Does a 5KW Solar System Produce?
Using the values we obtained from our calculations, we can put everything together.
In our 5kW solar system that's located in an area receiving around 6 peak sun hours, for 365 days, we get an annual amount of 10,950kWh each year.
Dividing this by 12, we get the monthly amount that the 5kW solar system supplies. This is around 912kWh.
Going a step further, getting the daily amount equates to 30KWH of energy per day.
Using Ohm’s Law
This approach is best suited for smaller systems.
You can figure out how much electricity a 4kw solar system produces, as well as a 5KW one, but you’re going to need bigger and more powerful equipment for the measurements.
Ohm’s law states that the voltage of our solar system is equivalent to the multiplication of the current and the resistance.
The wattage of a system is achieved by multiplying the current and the voltage.
We’re going to stick with our 300W solar panels in our 5kW system while working with Ohm’s Law.
Solar panels can reach their peak when wired up to a certain resistive load.
This value should be significantly higher than the solar panel’s rating, but since we’re working with a system, it should be above the system’s rating.
For this solar system, you want to use a wire wound power resistor measuring slightly above 5kW. Resistors in this region can have a resistance of anywhere between 1 ohm to 100 kOhm.
If your solar system is set up correctly, using a volt meter across the resistor in your system in direct sunlight, the voltage shouldn’t be over 100.
Calculating the current requires us to take the voltage read from the volt meter and divide it by the resistor’s measurement.
These values are all interchangeable. In other words, you can calculate the voltage, current, and resistance in a system with Ohm’s law.
This method is more challenging than using averages, but you end up with a more accurate value. However, the values of the two methods should be close, and if not, in the same region.
What Can a 5kW Solar System Run?
A system of this magnitude can power almost anything in a standard 4-bedroom American home.
Different appliances require different amounts of power to operate. Needing to power a TV requires much less than a deep freezer.
If what you want to power doesn’t exceed the wattage of the actual solar system, you don’t need to worry.
If you’re exceeding the wattage of your system, this can lead to the components of the solar system becoming damaged.
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