What can a 400-watt solar panel run? (Explained)

400-watt solar panels are one of the biggest panels you can buy. These are relatively new. Up until a few years ago, panels of this size were not possible. But with the latest technology, solar panels are getting bigger and more efficient.

The panels of this size are excellent for residential power. You can connect one or more 400-watt solar panels to power an entire house.

To fully understand what can you get out of a panel of this size, you need to know a few basics.

Let’s start with a few basics.

  • A 400-watt solar panel cannot produce 400 watts at all times. This power rating signifies its maximum output under the ideal situation.
  • A solar power system has to encounter several transmission and conversion losses that prohibit it from reaching its full potential in real conditions.
  • A battery is vital if you want to get full benefits from your power system.

Size and weight of a 400watt solar panel

The size of a 400-watt solar panel is around 80 x 40 x 1.5 Inches (202.4 x 102.4 x 4cm), which makes it over 6.5 feet in length and more than 3 feet in width. You can expect slight size variations with different brands.

A 400-watt solar panel weighs 44lbs or 20kgs

400 Watt Solar Panel Price

A 400-watt solar panel costs around $650 without a battery kit

400-watt solar panels are not only expensive than smaller panels in general, but they also cost more per watt of power

Their higher cost is due to their cost-intensive manufacturing process.

You can easily expect to shell out 10% more on these panels.

Due to the higher cost and massive size of 400-watt solar panels, most users opt for alternative arrangements like joining several 100-watt or 300-watt panels until they can get the desired power output.

How much power does a 400W solar panel produce?

The actual power output of a 400-watt solar panel depends on your location. However, you can get a fairly reasonable estimate.

There is a simple formula to calculate the power output of a solar panel.

E = A * r * H * PR

E = Energy (Kwh)

A = Area of your solar panel (m2)

r=solar panel yield or efficiency (15%)

H= Average annual solar radiation on tilted panels

PR= Performance ratio (Average Value = 0.75)

We have gathered data of all the states and calculated the average power you can get in a day to simplify things. These values present the average values; the power output you are going to get may be different.

Code State/Province Average Annual Solar resource in kWh/m2/day Average Daily Solar Power in Watts
AL Alabama 5 1150
AK Alaska 3.5* 805
AZ Arizona 7.1 1633
AR Arkansas 4.45 1023.5
CA California 7.2 1656
CO Colorado 6.2 1426
CT Connecticut 4.5 1035
DE Delaware 4.7 1081
DC District of Columbia 4.7 1081
FL Florida 5.3 1219
GA Georgia 5 1150
HI Hawaii 6.5 1495
ID Idaho 4.7 1081
IL Illinois 4.6 1058
IN Indiana 4.3 989
IA Iowa 4.7 1081
KS Kansas 5.7 1311
KY Kentucky 4.45 1023.5
LA Louisiana 5.2 1196
ME Maine 4.3 989
MD Maryland 4.55 1046.5
MA Massachusetts 4.5 1035
MI Michigan 4.25 977.5
MN Minnesota 4.7 1081
MS Mississippi 5.2 1196
MO Missouri 4.8 1104
MT Montana 4.6 1058
NE Nebraska 5.4 1242
NV Nevada 6.4 1472
NH New Hampshire 4.4 1012
NJ New Jersey 4.5 1035
NM New Mexico 7 1610
NY New York 3.9 897
NC North Carolina 5 1150
ND North Dakota 4.9 1127
OH Ohio 4.2 966
OK Oklahoma 5.9 1357
OR Oregon 5.4 1242
PA Pennsylvania 4 920
RI Rhode Island 4.7 1081
SC South Carolina 5.2 1196
SD South Dakota 5.2 1196
TN Tennessee 4.7 1081
TX Texas 6 1380
UT Utah 6.2 1426
VT Vermont 3.9 897
VA Virginia 4.7 1081
WA Washington 4.5 1035
WV West Virginia 4.2 966
WI Wisconsin 4.4 1012
WY Wyoming 5.6 1288


What can a 400-watt solar panel run?

As you can see, the average daily power output of a 400-watt solar panel ranges from around 805 Wh/day to over 1656 Wh/day in the united states. If we average out all the values in the table, we have 1150 Wh/day.

Please understand that there are two kinds of power outputs; instantaneous power and accumulated power.

Instantaneous power is represented by 400 watts. The daily power output we have calculated comes under accumulated power.

What you can run on your solar panels depend on accumulated power.

Device Power Run time (If You Used Only One Device)
60 Watt Bulb 60W 19 Hours
LED 6W 192 Hours
Cell Phone  5W 230 Hours
Laptop 42W 27 Hours
Fridge 80W 14.4 Hours
DC Fridge  170W 6.8 Hours
Heater  1000W 1.15 Hours
Booster Pump 60W 19 Hours
Blender 500W 2.3 hours

Can a 400-watt solar panel run a refrigerator?

Yes, a 400-watt solar panel can run a small fridge (80 watts) or a DC Fridge (170 watts). However, you will need a battery to accomplish that; and you can expect an average runtime of about 14.4 hours for an 80W fridge and 6.8 hours for a DC fridge in a day.

Please note that these values will vary considerably based on your location, weather conditions and usage.

Can a 400-watt solar panel run an air conditioner?

A 400-watt solar panel can power an air-conditioner for a short duration. The smaller air conditioner used in RVs has a power rating of 1000Watts to 1500watts. With a daily charge of 1150 Wh, you can barely run an air conditioner for 46 minutes to 1.15 hours which is not a suitable option.

Final Thoughts

A 400-watt solar panel can be a wonderful addition to your home or RV. It can run most appliances without any problems. If you combine a few 400-watt solar panels, you can easily power a whole home with adequate sunlight.

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