Going solar at home can save you a lot of money on electricity bills. By using this renewable energy resource, you also reduce your carbon footprint. As an additional benefit, with a battery, you can continue to use solar power even during a power outage. But how many solar panels do you need to power your home effectively?
Here are a few tips to assist you in calculating the number of panels required to reap the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy at home.
Calculating How Many Solar Panels You Need at Home
Every home will have its unique energy needs, but you can still get a good estimate of how many panels to install by considering the factors below.
What’s My Energy Usage?
Determining how many solar panels to power a house starts by checking your home’s average energy usage in the utility bill. Suppose your yearly energy consumption totaled 10,715 kWh, which is the US Energy Information Administration’s estimate for the average US resident. That’s a little over 29 kWh a day.
To utilize the solar panel system’s emergency-ready feature, the system would need to be large enough to generate around that much power. Of course, this is just an example. Your household may consume much less energy, which means you would need a smaller panel system.
How Sunny Is My Area?
Solar panels absorb sunlight to generate power. The sunnier the location, the more electricity the panels can produce for your home. This means you’d need fewer or more panels depending on how much sunlight your home is exposed to. The next step is to find out how many hours of sunshine your area gets.
Renewable Energy Laboratory will help you determine how much peak sunlight your area receives.
Maps from the National Radiation Database. Peak sunlight hours are typically between 9 AM and 3 PM.
What’s the Solar Panel’s Power Rating?
You may wonder how many watts a solar panel produces. Depending on the size and material, solar panels can come in a wide range of power ratings. This rating indicates how many watts they can generate in an hour under ideal conditions. The average home panel generates around 250 to 400 watts. The higher the panel’s power rating, the fewer you need for your home.
Estimating the Panels Needed
To demonstrate how to estimate the number of panels you need, let’s say that you have an average of 5 hours of sunlight a day, and you installed 300-watt panels for your home.
Here are the simple steps you can follow.
- First, multiply the wattage by the hours of sunlight.
- Then, divide the daily kWh requirement by the daily kWh produced per panel.
If you’re buying 300-watt solar panels, you would generate 1,500 watts or 1.5 kWh per panel if they receive 5 hours of sunlight a day. Assuming that your home needs at least 29 kWh every day, you would need 20 solar panels (29 kWh divided by 1.5 kWh), which would generate 30 kWh daily or 10,950 kWh a year.
Smart Wave Solar Is Here to Help You Go Solar
A solar panel installation is an important investment for your home. Knowing how many solar panels you need can help determine the cost. If you don’t have the time to figure it out yourself, don’t worry. The team at Smart Wave Solar can provide an estimate and help you get a system that fits your energy needs.
Get in touch today to request a bid or learn more about our solar panel systems!