As the name suggests, solar energy is energy derived from the sun. Solar panels are popularly known as PV panels. These panels convert the light from the sun. The light from the sun consists of energy particles called photons. It is then converted into electricity, and then it can be used for powering electrical appliances.
The solar panels are used for powering different applications like remote sensing, remote power systems, and telecommunications equipment and for making electricity for residential and commercial electric systems.
History of solar panels
The origin of solar energy can be traced to 100 years ago. In the initial days, people used solar energy for producing steam which was later used for driving machinery. Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect, and this eased the process of converting sunlight into solar energy.
Charles Fritts discovered the solar cell in 1893. This was developed by coating selenium sheets with a gold layer. These led to the development of solar panels.
American inventor Russel Ohl was the first inventor to patent the silicon solar cell in the year 1941. It paved the way for developing the solar panel in 1954. The first mainstream usage of solar panels was in space satellites. For the common people, the solar panel that they used for the first time was in their calculators.
How much electricity is generated by a 200w solar panel?
A solar panel that is rated 200w or 12V can produce 140-160 watts on an average of its rated power during daily usage. It happens because the rated power is produced under certain conditions of temperature and lighting that are available at these testing centers.
This might not be found so consistently at places where they are installed.
As a result, a shortage of solar power production happens. What can be done then? The shortages are covered by producing oversized solar panels.
Suppose the appliances you use at the office or your homes need 200W of power. So you can select the 200/0.7=285W of solar panels to ensure that you get 200W of power.
The total amount of energy that is produced by the solar panel in the daytime is directly dependent on the number of hours the solar panel received sunlight.
Energy production of a 200W solar panel
The 200W solar panel makes 200Wh of energy per hour. The daily energy that a solar panel makes is 800Wh.
How is this calculated?
Calculate the energy that is produced in one hour and then multiply it with the 4 assumed hours of sunlight for the particular place where the solar panels are.
How many Amps are produced by the 200Wsolar panel?
The 200W/12V solar panel can help in producing a voltage amounting to 21V and a current amounting to 9.52A.
The area that a 200W solar panel has is 1550 to 1650 square inches. This however depends on the efficiency of the solar cells.
What is the normal size of a 200W solar panel?
The materials used for making the solar panel, the efficiency of the solar cells are some of the factors on which the normal size of the 200W solar panel is dependent. The solar panel that has 21 percent efficient solar cells will be less small when compared to the panel that comes with 17 percent efficiency.
The common sizes of 200W/12V solar panel sizes available in the market are 63.8 x 25.9 x 1.4 in and 58.7 X 26.8 X 1.4 in.
The solar cells that are used are of a particular standard. However, the EVA layers, the thickness of the glass cover, and the panel backing material differ. That makes the difference between solar panels.
The average thickness of the 200W solar panel is 35 mm to 40 mm while the average weight is between 11 to 12 kg.
Internal resistance or solar panel characteristic resistance
All electrical devices have an internal resistance that is measured for the solar panels. This is known as the characteristic resistance.
When the resistance of the load attached is at par with the panel’s internal resistance, then the maximum power generation occurs. This however does not happen normally.
Hence, controllers are used for this purpose so that they can adjust the internal resistance for simulating the power conditions. These are known as MPPT chargers or MPPT inverters.
What is the effect of solar irradiance on solar panel power output?
The output of the solar panel is dependent on the irradiance levels and the changes that happen throughout the day. This reaches the peak four to five hours in the middle of the day. The production is low in the evening and early morning.
This value differs according to the location.
These are also known as the peak-sun hours. The value can be used for calculating the solar panel power output daily or yearly.
What are the benefits associated with solar panels?
If you use solar panels, you can produce electricity for the different applications you use at your homes or offices. The homes located in remote areas benefit much from solar panels. They do not have high installation charges for installing electric utility poles and cables from the grids. The solar electric system is affordable and can help in providing power in adequate amounts if it is well maintained.
Apart from the fact that you can live off-grid, the other benefit of using solar power is that you can enjoy renewable and clean energy sources.
Global climate changes have become very important and we all must do our bit to reduce greenhouse gases. The solar panels need low maintenance and have no movable parts. If properly maintained they last for many years.
After you have made the initial installation charges, there are no more costs incurred. The electricity produced lasts for a lifetime. Depending on the solar panels’ quality, they would last for 15 to 20 years. Moreover, the electricity produced is free.
If the person uses less solar power than is produced by the grid, then the person can sell the excess power to an electric company. In this way, they can earn some money too.
What are the appliances you can power with a 200W solar panel?
The 200W solar panel can be used by an individual for powering a battery bank. It can provide power to small appliances like laptops, mini coolers, cell phones, small TV (32 inches), light electronic devices like a radio, and a mini projector.
The solar panel must be used for charging the battery bank. The appliances connected to the battery bank can be charged with an inverter or a converter.
It enables the provision of stable and safe power for the appliances. If straight power from the solar panels were used, it would have varied in temperature and intensity. It also helps in providing backup to the electrical appliances at night when there is no sunlight.
What is the cost of a 200W solar panel?
The costs of solar panels have gone down and it is no longer costly as it was before. The quality of the solar panels and the country where it has been manufactured determine the price of the solar panels. 200W solar panels are available at $300.
One can purchase from other countries too but then the shipping charges and import duties have to be taken into account.
Can solar panels be used without batteries?
Solar panels can also be used without batteries. It is also the mechanism that is followed by the grid-tie solar systems. When there is an over-production, the solar panels will direct the electricity produced to the utility grid.
Using a solar panel for powering an electrical appliance is not recommended. If clouds pass over, it might block the sunshine, and the output will reduce. Hence storing the energy in a battery is the ideal way.
Solar panels are one of the most sustainable and renewable ways in which you can make electricity for your needs. A 200W solar panel is helpful and if used in the right way can cater to your energy needs efficiently.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as an electrical and electronic engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.