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How much solar power do systems generate? What affects the output?

Please try our solar calculator for your area to see how much electricity different sized solar systems generate. A number of factors can affect how much energy your solar system will generate. We have separated these into primary effects (the things that make a big difference) and secondary effects (the things that make a smaller difference). They include the following:

Primary effects on generation

  1. Rating of the panel i.e. its efficiency - a LG NeON 300W panel will generate more electricity than a standard 250W Mono-X panel;
  2. Location of panels - a northern roof panel will generate much more electricity than a panel on a southern roof. As a matter of fact southern roofs are not suited for solar panel installation in New Zealand;
  3. Seasonal variation due to variance in the intensity (brightness) of the sun;
  4. Time of day - Middle of the day will give you highest electricity generation for many systems;
  5. Shading from trees or buildings will reduce electricity output significantly.

Secondary effects on generation

  1. Angle and orientation of the solar power panels;
  2. Seasonal variations in sunshine hours;
  3. Panel and solar power inverter quality and efficiency;
  4. Air flow around the system;
  5. Dirt upon bird droppings - built up.