How many solar panels do I need to power my home- One of the most common queries about installing solar panels is, ‘How many solar panels do I need?’ It depends on a range of factors, including household energy consumption, roof or property surface areas, roof orientation, and geographic location. We’ll explore the various factors in this article.
How much solar power will I require?
The first thing to consider when calculating how much solar power you require is how much electricity your home typically uses. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a residential electricity user in the United States used 10,649 kWh of power on average. This amounts to an average of 877 kWh per month.
A general guideline is to review your entire power consumption for the previous 12 months on your electricity bills. To understand your specific usage. This data is typically included in electricity bills. You can accurately estimate how much energy you’ll need your solar panels to produce each month by dividing that amount by 12.
How many solar panels you’ll need to power home also depends on where you reside. For an instance, the northeastern states experience longer winters with shorter days throughout the cooler months. To generate the same amount of power as residents of sunnier and warmer climes, residents in these places will probably need more solar panels. It’s essential to understand how many optimal hours of sunlight are typically experienced in your area.
Factors to determine how many solar panels I need to power my home:
Here is a summary of the seven main elements that will determine how many solar panels your home, ranch, or corporate area will need as you plan to install a new solar panel array.
Cost of electricity on a monthly and yearly basis
- Your electricity bill is the first thing to be examined. For instance, you probably don’t need a solar array that generates $2000 worth of electricity if your monthly payment is $100 ($1200 for the year). Check your bills from the past two seasons to discover how much you have been paying.
|Win-win situation: For more than 20 years, your solar panels will continuously generate electricity. Even if your usage stays the same, solar will save you more money over time.
For an idea, look at your rates from a few years ago. You’ll notice you are paying more than twice for the same amount of energy in 2021 as in 2015.
Usage of electricity on a monthly and yearly basis
- The consumption is in addition to the price. In kWh, your usage is expressed. Check your utility bill for it. To determine how much power your solar panels will need to supply. Calculate the average kWh usage over the past year by adding up all of your usage. Thus, if your annual use is 11,000 kWh, it means your monthly usage is approx۔ to 917 kWh. (11,000/12= ~916.66)
|Point to ponder: Cost and usage are distinct. For ten years, your users might not change much, but the cost per kWh would. This is important since the number of kWh produced by solar panels is fixed and won’t change substantially. Therefore, even while traditional electricity bills increase over time, your users do not.
Optimal sunlight a day in your area
- How many peak sunlight hours you receive in your area will have a major impact on how much electricity your solar panel will produce.
Imagine you live in Nevada; you would experience more peak sunlight hours than if you were situated in a state with lower levels of sunshine, like Kentucky. This would imply that you could produce more solar energy than someone in Kentucky who has a system the same size as yours. That’s not to say a Kentucky home shouldn’t go solar; it just means a homeowner there would need more solar panels to meet their energy requirements.
|1 kW of solar energy will produce 5 kWh of electricity daily if your state receives 5 peak sunlight hours each day.
The amount of electricity generated by solar panels will not be constant
The optimum months for solar vary by region and aren’t constant throughout the year.
Considering this is important for the following reasons: What happens if your system generates too much energy during the summer? What will happen to the excess? Do you know how to store the additional energy?
Area size of the home roof for solar panels setup
Per panel, you can estimate 18 square feet. Therefore, 360 square feet of available roof space towards the direction of peak sunlight would be required. If you wanted to purchase 20 panels. (18 * 20 = 360)
Solar Panel Efficiency
The quantity of power generated by each panel varies. So, the question of how many solar panels a certain home will require can’t be addressed for everyone at once.
If you have a small roof, there isn’t enough room for many solar panels. You’ll likely want more efficient solar panels. However, efficient ones cost more. You will require to balance the equation somehow.
Calculate- how many solar panels do I need to power my home?
Now that you are aware of the factors you must take into account when constructing your solar panel system. Let’s walk through an example to help you understand better. How to incorporate these factors into your planning.
But remember that the numbers in this example represent the national average. So, make sure to utilize your own state’s and your own property’s values when determining the number of solar panels.
Stage 1: Daily Avg. consumption
An American home uses around 11,000 kWh of energy on average every year. To determine the average daily use, divide this number by 365. The result is roughly 30 kWh.
Average Daily Consumption= year consumption/ 365
= 30 kWh
Stage 2: Peak Sun hours
In this stage, you can use the estimated number of optimum sun hours in your state or city. Instead of trying to figure out a particular value for your home As it would be extremely difficult for a novice to do. Let’s say that you live in Miami, where there are typically four peak solar hours per day.
Optimal sun hours a day= 4
Stage 3: Size of the system
Now, we will divide the average daily usage by the number of peak solar hours per day in your area to determine the size of the system.
Size of the system= (avg daily usage/ peak hours)
= 7.5 kW
|The efficiency factor, which accounts for energy losses during the conversion of solar energy to electrical energy, must also be included in the calculation. Your solar installer will better advise you regarding what should be the value in your circumstance.
Stage 4: Number of solar panels you need
The aforementioned estimate indicates that your house will require a 7.5kW system. To determine the number of panels you’ll need, divide the size of your system by the wattage of the solar panels you plan to employ.
This indicates that if you use 400W panels, you’ll require 22 solar panels.
Number of panels= system size in Watt/ wattage of solar panels
= (7.5 *1000) / 400
~19 solar panels
In the below table, we’ve assumed peak sun hours are 5 and you will be using 300 watts solar panels.
|Energy consumption per month
|Estimated number of solar panels
|For 300 kWh Per Month, How Many Solar Panels Are Required?
|8 solar panels
|For 400 kWh Per Month, How Many Solar Panels Are Required?
|11-12 solar panels
|For 500 kWh Per Month, How Many Solar Panels Are Required?
|15-16 solar panels
|For 600 kWh Per Month, How Many Solar Panels Are Required?
|19-20 solar panels
|For 700 kWh Per Month, How Many Solar Panels Are Required?
|23-24 solar panels
|For 1000 kWh Per Month, How Many Solar Panels Are Required?
|30-32 solar panels
|For 20 kWh Per Day, How Many Solar Panels Are Required?
|17 solar panels
|For 100 kWh Per Day, How Many Solar Panels Are Required?
|83 solar panels
Summarize the table for solar panels by home area estimation:
|Avg power consumption (monthly)
|Number of solar panels required
|1500 sq ft.
|2000 sq ft.
|2500 sq ft.
|3000 sq ft.
Summarize the table for solar panels by individual product estimation:
|Avg power consumption (monthly)
|Number of solar panels required
Are there any electrical bills associated with solar panels?
You'll still get an electrical bill each month after installing solar panels. It will be lower, near to zero, or perhaps negative, nevertheless! Following the installation of solar panels, you might want to reevaluate the size of your system if you're still paying excessive utility bills.
Do solar panels have any drawbacks for running a house?
High initial expenses, or the fact that solar energy isn't always available since the sun doesn't appear at night, are the two main drawbacks of this type of energy. Fortunately, solar energy storage offers a solution to this issue.
Are solar panels worth it?
Solar panels may or may not be a good investment for your home, depending on your electricity costs, your energy requirements, your desire to live sustainably, and the location of your residence. Solar panels have a hefty upfront cost, but they eventually pay for themselves by lowering your electricity bill.
With the help of this article, you will now have a rough estimate for several solar panels required by you for your home. The number of panels you need may also depend on other elements including the direction of your roof, how much shade it receives, the solar inverter you choose, and whether or not you plan to include a solar battery. However, it might be challenging to evaluate these aspects on your own.
Getting quotations from reputable local solar firms is the best approach to figuring out the optimal locations for your home solar power system and how many solar panels you need. Additionally, solar installers can provide you with an estimate of the up-front costs of installing solar on your house as well as what discounts, subsidies, and tax breaks local homeowners are eligible for.