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A 400W solar panel is a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel that has a power output of 400 watts based on standard test conditions (STC), which is how manufacturers rate their PV products. STC includes a cell temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and a sunlight irradiance of 1,000 watts per square meter, among other parameters. A 400-watt panel can generate up to 400 watts of electrical power. However, the capacity to convert sunlight into electricity varies depending on the angle of sunlight and other factors.

How a 400W solar panel works

A 400W solar panel converts sunlight into electricity through the photovoltaic effect, which is the basis of how PV cells operate. Made of semiconductor materials, PV cells consist of positive (P-type) and negative (N-type) layers. The absorption of sunlight causes the movement of electrons in the semiconductor material, creating an electric current. P-type and N-type layers are connected through a circuit, generating direct current (DC) electricity. Before being used in businesses and homes, DC electricity is converted into alternating current (AC) with an inverter. Standard AC electricity can be used or stored in batteries.

Types of 400W solar panels

Solar panel frames are made using aluminum or other materials. The panel's top layer is usually made of tempered glass to protect against environmental factors. Anti-reflective-coated glass is used to boost light absorption. Compared to other types of PV cells, a 400W monocrystalline solar panel has higher efficiency because it is made from single-crystal silicon. A 400-watt solar panel kit will have one or more PV panels with a combined power output of 400 watts. A solar panel kit may include a charge controller and battery bank for off-grid applications. An inverter may have to be purchased separately. In applications where space is limited and using rigid panels may not be practical, 400W flexible solar panels with a thinner profile can be an alternative. Flexible solar panels can be installed without the need for mounting hardware. 400W portable solar panels are compact and can be folded or rolled up, making them useful for outdoor activities and during emergencies.

Advantages of 400W solar panels

A 400W solar panel can function as a sustainable energy source for homes and businesses. Solar panels rely on sunlight as a constant energy source to create electricity. In addition, the electricity produced does not emit other pollutants that can impact the environment. Using a 400W solar panel can help minimize reliance on the grid and reduce corresponding electricity costs.