Why 3KW output is not received from the 3KW solar system?
You might be looking for a 3kW solar power system for your home from the best solar company in Sydney. First, you’ll need to establish whether a 3kW system is sufficient to power your space. 3kW solar power systems were once the most popular option in Australia. They can run most appliances in a house with two or three occupants if it is a small dwelling. There’s a quick and easy way to find out if a 3kW solar power system will suit your home and lifestyle and that’s to check your bill! If your energy bill says you’re consuming about 200 kilowatt-hours (or kWh) per month, a 3kW solar power system will do just fine! We have a little bit to cover on this one, so stay tuned.
What do kilowatt-hours exactly mean?
The kilowatt-hour on your energy bill is a great way to see how much energy you’re using. This is where it can get confusing, as it’s not really about how many kilowatts per hour you’re using. This is the amount of energy you use if you leave a 1000 watt appliance on for an hour. For example, a 200 kW electric blanket would take 5 hours to consume 1 kilowatt-hour of energy. Whereas if you are using a 1000kW microwave then it will take one hour to use 1 kilowatt-hour of energy. Now that you’re ready to get up to speed on kilowatt-hours, let’s move on.
Is installing a 3kW solar system be enough for me?
A common misconception is that if you install a 3kW solar power system, you’ll get the full 3kW of power once the sun goes down. In fact, this idea can be applied to any size of solar systems in Sydney. However, it’s important to keep this in mind when it comes to 3kW systems because it may be enough to power your home, and if you don’t get the full 3kW, it may not be enough.
In fact, you probably get about 80% of your system’s maximum output in the middle of the day during the summer. Of course, this depends on factors such as your system configuration and where you live. So in this case a 3kW system can at times only output 2.4kW, max 3kW. One reason you may not see the indicated potential power as soon as the sun rises is the position of the sun.
Position of Sun
Take a look at the solar output graph below. You will see that solar power systems are expected to be most productive around noon.
The reason we get this size is based on the angle of the sun relative to your panels. In the morning, when the sun is still rising, it is essentially at its lowest point in the sky. For sunlight to reach your panel at this time of day, it has to pass through as much of the atmosphere as possible. This is important to keep in mind, as the Sun’s energy is absorbed as it travels through the atmosphere. So that means the more it passes through the atmosphere, the more energy is absorbed and the less is available for your panels to convert to electricity. At noon, when the sun is directly overhead, sunlight does not need to pass through as much of the atmosphere. Hence, panels absorb more sunlight during this time.
The same concept is applicable during winter as well. However, on the gloomiest of winter days, your panels may absorb less sunlight. This can be explained simply because the sun is lower in the sky than in summer. In addition, the thickness of the clouds also affects the amount of sunlight that solar panels can absorb. We can also see thick clouds in winter and this is something else worth considering. It is harder for sunlight to travel through dense clouds, which will affect the output of your solar power system. While we have discussed the position of the sun and how it can affect the output, there is another factor to consider when your system may not be at its best, even in the afternoon. We are talking about the temperature.
The Temperature of the Solar Panel
The biggest reason why your solar power system is not performing at its best is temperature, apart from what we have already mentioned. Before talking about temperature, we should first talk about standard test conditions. When the size of the solar power system is 3kW, it means that your system will perform at peak performance under standard test conditions which are the only industry standards to which solar panels are tested before they can be built on your roof. The standard test conditions are as follows:
- Solar cell temperature of 25˚C;
- 1000 watts of light energy per square meter and;
- Air mass of 1.5 (Air mass refers to the amount of light in the atmosphere before it reaches Earth. This can be tricky.)
For now, we’ll just focus on temperature. Therefore, because the panels in a solar power system are operating at the maximum output when the cells are at 25 °C, increasing the temperature will reduce the peak output. The amount of performance reduction will vary for different brands (some better solar retailer Sydney and a good reason to buy the panel). As we all know Australia can get very hot in the summers. What you may not know is that your solar panels can reach temperatures of around 75˚C on hot summer days. Isn’t it Very Hot? At this temperature, your maximum output will be about 80% of your system’s stated output.