Photovoltaics - Calculate Power and Surface Area
Calculator for the power per area or area per power of a photovoltaic system and of solar modules. You can enter the size of the modules and click from top to bottom, or omit some steps and start e.g. with the surface area. At the bottom, it is calculated which size the photovoltaic system with the given values needs, to have a certain nominal power, or which nominal power it would have at a certain size.
W stands for watts, kW for kilowatts. The p at Wp and kWp means 'peak'. Wp and kWp are the units for the nominal power. This is the power of the system at Standard Test Conditions. The surface area is given in square centimeters (cm²) and square meters (m²). Here you can convert area units. The total size ignores possible gaps between the modules.
Photovoltaics is considered the cleanest and - under good conditions - cheapest way of generating electricity. The energy comes from the sun anyway, you just have to receive it. Photovoltaics was initially used in spaceflight from the late 1950s and was a very expensive technology then. The first mass-market devices with tiny PV cells were pocket calculators in the 1980s. It has been spreading on roofs and open spaces since the early 2000s. Since then, the technology has gotten much better and cheaper.
Photovoltaics is based on the photoelectric effect, for whose research Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. To put it simply, incident photons (light particles) release electrons from the semiconductor material of the PV cell, which generates free charges and thus electricity.
Electricity from photovoltaics is heavily dependent on the weather, no electricity is generated at night and, far from the equator, significantly less electricity is produced in winter than in summer. Therefore, storage technology and supplementation with other types of renewable energy, such as wind power, make a lot of sense.
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