Solar Power Panels For Homes: How Many Do I Need?

To determine the number of solar power panels for homes you’ll first need to know your energy goals. Do you want to maximize your investment returns? Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint? Most homeowners cite a combination of minimizing environmental impact and saving money as their primary goals for wanting to switch to solar technology.

To determine the number of solar power panels for homes you must be able to answer the following questions:

How much solar energy will you require?

Start by examining your utility bills. To calculate the number of panels needed, multiply your home’s hourly energy use by peak sunlight hours in the area and then dividing that figure by a panel’s wattage. Use low and high wattage figures to create a range. If this is something you’re unable to figure out, consult a solar expert to provide you with calculations. They can help you determine the number of panels you might need.

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How many watts does your home currently use?

Examine your utility bill to determine average use. Look at the figure stating “Kilowatt Hours/ kWh Used” and look at the time period. Your bill will show the daily average. If not, simply divide the monthly average by 30 and divide the figure again by 24. This will show your average hourly electricity consumption.

On an average, a small home located in a temperate climate zone may use up to 200kWh per month. The average home in the U.S. requires around 900kWh per month or 1.25kWh per hour. This is going to be your target if you want to switch to 100 percent solar power.

One important point to note is solar panels don’t operate at maximum efficiency every day. Weather conditions, lack of sunlight, etc., may reduce your panels’ efficiency. Experts, therefore, recommend you provide a 25% cushion to ensure your solar panels can generate the energy required.

How many hours of sunlight do you receive in the area?

The amount of sunlight hours in your location will impact the energy produced by solar panels for homes. For example, residents in Phoenix and Arizona receive more sunlight hours than residents in Seattle and Washington. However, this doesn’t mean homeowners in Seattle shouldn’t opt for solar; it means they require more panels.

What affects panel efficiency?

Not all solar panels are the same. Each panel ranges in wattages from 150 watts up to 370 watts. Since there is a large variation in efficiency and quality, it is hard to generalize which panels are best for you. The main point is the more watts a panel can produce, the fewer you will need on the roof. This is a rather technical matter which your solar panel installer can assist you with.

Does solar panel size matter?

Yes, it does. If your roof is unusually shaped or very small, the number and size of the panels will matter. In this case, you will have to opt for fewer, high-efficiency solar panels to save you money. Shopping for solar panels for homes! Contact PSSolarSystems.