What’s the Highest Wattage or Voltage of Solar Panels?
With the increase of solar energy as a source of electricity for many households in the Western world, technology is constantly improving to make solar panels more efficient. One of the ways solar panels have improved over the years is through an increase in the wattage or voltage of these solar panels.
The highest wattage or voltage solar panel is the Jumbo 800W module. The Jumbo solar panel is the highest wattage or voltage solar panel and was manufactured by JA Solar for commercial applications. The panel is 2.2m in height and 1.75m in width. The solar panel is massive and the first of its kind. The highest wattage or voltage solar panels available for household use is 500W.
Although the jumbo solar panel is not in mass production, it is unlikely to be sold for household use due to its massive size and high wattage. Solar panels like these are used mainly in commercial solar farms where there is enough space, and the demand is high.
The highest wattage or voltage solar panels available for residential purposes is 500 watts. The 500-watt solar panels follow the standard 5.5ft by 3ft dimensions. However, solar panel manufacturers make the panels bigger to increase the surface area and efficiency.
Differences between low-wattage and high-wattage solar panels; are high-wattage or voltage solar panels worth it?
Choosing solar panels is an important decision. This is because they last for over 30 to 25 years and are not easy to replace. However, with the many options, it can be hard to know which is best for you and your household. High-wattage and low-wattage solar panels are available, but which is best for your needs?
Let us look at the differences between high-wattage and low-wattage solar panels. Then we can answer whether high-wattage solar panels are worth it.
|High wattage/ voltage solar panels||Low wattage/ voltage solar panels|
|High wattage solar panels are expensive. However, this may be because of the high output and surface area.||Low-wattage solar panels are cheaper to buy but have a lower output and low surface areas.|
|High-wattage solar panels take up a lot of space.||Low-wattage solar panels take up less space than high-wattage solar panels.|
|High-wattage solar panels are a good choice for those with small roof space as they allow for fewer numbers and provide equal output.||Low-wattage solar panels are required in higher numbers and can be overcrowded on a small roof.|
|High-wattage solar panels have high efficiency.||Low-wattage solar panels have low efficiency.|
High-wattage solar panels may seem like the best choice in theory. However, make sure to compare the cost per watt for both of them and choose the one that best fits your budget. Those with small roof spaces should opt for high-wattage solar panels which provide the same output as many low-watt solar panels.
Are higher-wattage solar panels better?
When purchasing solar panels, knowing what to look for can help to make the best choice. Higher-wattage solar panels are a good choice for homeowners looking to increase solar energy output. High-wattage or voltage solar panels are the better options as they have a higher output and efficiency than their low-wattage counterparts.
- High output; since high-wattage solar panels have higher outputs than their low-watt counterparts, fewer solar panels are needed to get the same electricity output. This is good news for households with limited roof space as they can still get the energy they need by using high-wattage solar panels.
- High efficiency; high-wattage solar panels have high-efficiency rates. This means that they have increased energy production throughout their lifetime. Higher-efficiency solar panels can convert sunlight to solar energy more efficiently than low-efficiency solar panels.
What is the cost of the highest wattage or voltage solar panels?
While high-wattage or voltage solar panels are a good option for most households, the cost of these solar panels can be more expensive than their low-watts counterparts.
Generally, solar panels are priced per wattage with high-wattage solar panels costing between $0.50 and $0.80 per wattage. This pricing depends mainly on the brand of the solar panel in question with some brands having lower-than-average prices and some with higher-than-average prices.
These prices can mean that a 450W solar panel will cost about $225 to $360 depending on the brand. This is however just a raw estimate as solar equipment including solar panels are subsidized by the Australian government through solar rebates, small-scale technology certificates (STCs), feed-in tariffs (FiTs), etc.
Who are the manufacturers of the highest wattage or voltage solar panels?
More and more solar panel manufacturers are producing high-wattage solar panels for commercial and residential uses. Some of these solar manufacturers have broken records with their constantly changing and improved designs. Here are some of the top manufacturers of high-wattage or voltage solar panels
- Jolywood (700W)
- Huasun (700W)
- Akcome (700W)
- Trina Solar (670W)
- Risen Energy (670W)
- Astronergy (670W)
- Canadian Solar (670W)
- Yingli Solar (670W)
- Suntech (670W)
- Seraphim (670W)
How can I increase the voltage and wattage of my solar panel?
Replacing a low-wattage solar panel with a high-wattage panel may not be cost-effective for many households. However, there are ways to increase the wattage or voltage of solar panels. These methods should only be done by a professional to prevent damage to the solar panels or any electrical mishap. Here are a few ways you can increase the wattage or voltage of a solar panel;
- High-wattage; connecting solar panels parallelly will increase the wattage of the solar panels. This parallel connection will only increase the wattage and not the voltage
- High-voltage; connecting the solar panels in series will increase the voltage of the solar panels. This will not increase the wattage of the solar panel, rather only the voltage will be increased.
NOTE: it is important to note that this increase in wattage or voltage is not large. If a substantial increase in wattage or voltage is required, more solar panels can be added to the current panels.
How many high-wattage or voltage solar panels do I need to power an entire house?
The number of solar panels needed to power an entire house depends on the following factors;
- Electricity consumption; households that use high amounts of electricity will need more high-wattage solar panels to produce enough electricity to support the household.
- Location of the house; houses in sunnier places will require fewer high-wattage solar panels than houses in colder places. This is because places with less sun need more solar panels to catch the little sun there is.
- The solar panel rating; the higher the wattage of the solar panel, the less the house will need. This is because few high-wattage solar panels are needed to do the work of many low-wattage solar panels.
To know the exact number of solar panels needed to power an entire house, use the formula below;
Number of solar panels = Daily electricity use ➗Solar panel wattage X peak sun hours
If we use the average electrical usage and the normal peak sun hours in Australia to calculate, households will need between 20 to 26 325W solar panels or 13 to 19 400W solar panels to power an entire house. Those on the lower scale use less electricity and those on the higher scale use more electricity in their homes.
Author: Ben McInerney is a renewable energy enthusiast with the goal of helping more Australians understand solar systems to make the best choice before they purchase. Having an accredited solar installer in the family helps give Ben access to the correct information, which allows him to break it down and make it easily understandable to the average homeowner.