This is an essential question from the prospective solar homeowner and may have crossed the mind of many. There is no need to worry; this article is sure to clear all the doubts and questions regarding how many solar panels need to install.
The main factors to consider
Before deciding on the number of required solar panels, a person must consider several different aspects. Additionally, you must choose your primary motivation for switching to solar.
Do you only want to do as little as possible to impact the environment? Do you wish to meet some of your energy requirements independently? You will need to ask yourself a few things, such as if you want to stop entirely depending on your utility.
In this post, we’ll concentrate on a homeowner who wants to install a solar panel system big enough to handle all of their energy requirements so they won’t have to rely on their utility company anymore.
The following details must be known to determine how many solar panels you require:
- What is your typical energy usage?
- The solar panels you’re thinking about in terms of size
- How many hours of the sun do you receive each day and what’s the weather like there?
- The solar panels’ efficiency that you’re thinking about
What is the average electricity your home consumes monthly or annually?
You should check your monthly electricity statement to get an idea of how much energy is used in your home. In the majority of circumstances, your bill will be able to give you information about your energy consumption for the current month, the previous month, and the entire year based on historical data.
Given that your energy consumption varies greatly from month to month as the seasons change, it is not advisable to make your decision on the size of your solar panel system on the energy consumption value of any particular month. Instead, your annual consumption data will provide you with the best average value for how large of a system you should install and how many solar panels you require.
You should get in touch with your utility and ask them to send you a copy of the last year’s bills or to provide you with the statistics if the amount of energy consumed in the previous year is not shown on your utility bill. You may calculate your average monthly energy use by taking your annual consumption and dividing it by 12 (since there are 12 months in a year).
Kilowatt Hours, or kWh, are the units used to represent energy usage. If you’re curious, a kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy that consists of the quantity of electrical power you’ve used multiplied by the period it was used. Look for the initial and final meter readings and subtract them if your bill, which is extremely unlikely to happen, does not show your monthly energy usage in kWh.
It would be preferable to convert the typical monthly consumption to a typical daily consumption by dividing the figure by 30 to facilitate subsequent computations (since there are mostly 30 days in a month).
A smaller property in a reasonably cool region would use 200 kWh per month, whereas a larger residence in the south, where air conditioners account for the majority of residential energy usage, might use 2,000 kWh or more per month.
Remembering that solar panels don’t operate at full power every single day is crucial. For instance, the effectiveness of your system may be lowered by weather conditions. To make sure you can produce as much clean energy as you need, experts recommend adding a 25% buffer to your average daily energy consumption.
Hours of Sunlight to be Expected in Your Area?
How many peak sunlight hours you receive each year in your state has a significant impact on the amount of electricity your home solar system will generate.
A peak sun hour is a time of day when the sun emits an average of 1000W of electricity per square meter during the day (roughly 10.5 feet). Another way to put it is that one peak solar hour is 1000 W/m2 of sunlight every hour.
A kilowatt (kW) of solar panels will produce 1 kWh of solar energy in a day in your area, and this is also dependent on the number of daily or monthly peak sun hours. In light of this, 1 kW of solar power will produce 5 kWh of energy daily in your state if it receives 5 peak sunlight hours daily.
Solar Panel Efficiency: What Affects It?
Not all solar panels are created equal. As a result, the solar panels you select for your system will significantly affect how many solar panels you need, as well as how long they last and how much maintenance they require. Depending on the cell type, efficiency, and panel size, PV solar panels have wattage outputs ranging from around 150 to 400 watts per panel.
You might be shocked to hear that there are three main types of PV solar panels: polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and thin-film. Of the three, monocrystalline has the most efficiency (15–20%) but is also the most expensive.
Modern solar panels that have little to no gridlines and can capture more solar radiation have also been developed. In addition to being more effective than conventional solar cells, these panels assert that delamination is less likely to occur. Additionally, more expensive panels are made to be tougher and less likely to crack and rust. You may need a certain amount of solar panels for your home, and all of these considerations will be taken into consideration.
Determining which solar panels are best for you or how many you’ll need for your home can be difficult due to the wide variances in solar panel quality and efficiency. The fact of issue is that you will need fewer panels to produce the same quantity of electricity if the panels are more efficient since they will produce more solar energy.
What is the physical size of the solar panels you are using?
Your ability to install a certain number of solar panels is directly influenced by the size of your roof. However, the type of solar panels you can employ might also be influenced by your roof space, as you may not be aware.
If you have a small roof with an odd form, the size and number of solar panels are very important considerations. With a sizable usable roof area, you have the choice to buy a lot of huge, inefficient panels to save costs while still achieving your desired energy output. However, if the amount of available roof space is limited or only partially usable, employing fewer, smaller, high-efficiency solar panels might be your only practical choice for producing enough electricity to fulfill your home’s energy needs.
5.4 feet by 3.25 feet, or 65 inches by 39 inches, is the typical size of a household solar panel, while different manufacturers may use different sizes. Even though these measures have largely remained constant for a very long time, the efficiency and power output of that particular footprint has significantly increased.
Step-by-step calculation of how many solar panels need to install
Let’s walk through an example to assist you in better understanding how to incorporate these aspects into your planning now that you are aware of the factors you must take into account when constructing your solar panel system.
The statistics utilized in this example represent an average for all of the United States, which is vital to remember. So make sure to utilize your own state’s and your own property’s values when figuring out how many solar panels you need for your building.
Calculate Your Monthly Energy Use
If you want to accurately determine your average daily consumption, utilize your previous utility bills rather than a value you found online because this amount will vary depending on the household and the state. An American home uses 10,715 kWh of energy on average per year, as was previously mentioned. We may get the average daily use by multiplying this number by 365 and get a result of 30 kWh.
What Are the Peak Sun Hours in Your Area?
The most difficult aspect of the calculation is determining the number of peak sun hours in your region because the majority of individuals do not even know what this term means, much less what the value is for their state.
Instead of attempting to determine a precise value for your home, which would be extremely difficult for a layperson to do, you can use the average number of peak sun hours in your state or city.
Calculate how many solar panels you need
The average daily consumption must be divided by the typical number of peak solar hours per day in your state to determine the size of the system. Additionally, to change kilowatts into watts, we shall multiply the fraction by 1000.
The efficiency factor, which accounts for energy losses during the conversion of solar energy to electrical energy, must also be included in the computation. Let’s assume that the efficiency factor is 1.15 for this issue. Your solar installer, however, will be better equipped to advise you regarding what should be valuable for your case.
Find out how many solar panels you need
Your house will need an 8.7kW system, according to the calculation above. The number of panels you’ll need is calculated by dividing the size of your system by the wattage of the panels you plan to employ.
Always round up a number with a decimal place. This implies that 22 solar panels are required if you utilize 400W panels.
Any number containing a decimal place should always be rounded up. This suggests that 22 solar panels are needed if you choose 400W panels.
How many solar panels should be installed? is a frequently asked topic by homeowners, and the information in this article provides a solution. When constructing your system, it is advised to seek the advice of a qualified solar installer, such as Vareyn Solar, as the information in the article, while useful, does not take any particular state into account.
The team of the best solar EPC Vareyn solar is always ready to help you with solar installation. For more details check their website.