Have you ever wondered how fast the world is moving forward and how difficult it is to keep up with all the new advancements this world has to offer? Among all the growth and development, there is one thing that has completely changed the way we consume energy, i.e., solar power. And if you are worried about missing out on this great alternative to traditional electricity, here is all you need to know about what solar energy is and how many solar panels do you need for your home. Before you think “how many solar panels do I need”, you need to know why you should look for solar panels in the first place.
Why Solar Energy?
Solar energy is free and can be used over and over again.
Once you’ve paid for the solar panels, you won’t have to worry about paying anything for the electricity produced. Also, using solar energy will reduce your carbon footprint because it is green and can be used over and over again.
Users of solar energy prevent the annual consumption of up to 75 million barrels of oil and the emission of 35 million tons of carbon dioxide. The energy received from the sun can produce more electricity as compared to the traditional means of generating power.
Made from elements that are easy to find on earth.
Silicon is the main component of the vast majority of PV modules on the market. This is good because silicon is the second most common element in the crust of the Earth. When one ton of sand is used to make silicon cells, they make as much electricity as 500,000 tons of coal.
Conventional fuel sources, on the other hand, have caused a number of problems for the environment and people’s health, such as carbon dioxide emissions that cause acid rain, climate change, water pollution, smog, air pollution, rapidly filling waste disposal, and the destruction of habitats from accidents and oil spills.
Fixed cost at the start
You shouldn’t overestimate how much it costs to install solar panels because even though the prices are high, the payback period is short because you save money on electricity bills and get money from the government. Homes with solar panels sell more quickly and for more money than those without them.
Prices are likely to go down as technology improves and the number of installations goes up. This is because economies of scale and the cost of materials will go down as the number of installations goes up. Solar photovoltaic (PV) costs have dropped by a lot, and now solar and wind are the least expensive ways to get electricity in most parts of the world.
Low maintenance requirements
Once they have been installed, solar panels require very little in the way of upkeep. All that is required of you is to ensure that they are spotless and uncovered by anything else. A roof that slopes will require less cleaning than a flat roof since rain helps wipe away dirt. Additionally, solar panels have the potential to have a very long lifespan. Although they have a typical warranty of 25 years, they can last anywhere between 30 and 40 years.
The cost of running and maintaining PV panels is very low. Compared to the costs of other renewable energy systems and traditional power plants, this cost is very small for the small systems that most people have in their homes. In general, PV systems do not need to be checked often or maintained in any way.
Solar panels can work with less sunlight.
Even though the panels produce less power when the sun isn’t on peak, they can still generate enough electricity during the winter and on overcast days. On the other hand, it is not possible to generate electricity during the night, but this problem can be solved by using a storage system.
The cost of installing a solar battery storage system can be recouped through the sale of surplus electricity to the national grid as well as through the system’s ability to totally free you from reliance on the power grid. You shouldn’t forget to take into consideration the fact that solar panels generate free electricity throughout the day, which is the time of day when electricity is at its most expensive and, as a result, it’s most useful.
They are very reliable and durable
Even when the weather is bad, PV systems continue to provide electricity. Traditional technologies, on the other hand, often fail to provide power when it’s most needed.
PV modules are very strong and last a long time. Most modules are guaranteed to work at 80% of their rated power for 20 years or more. So, a 1% drop in performance per year is the worst thing that could happen.
Several studies have shown that in the real world, there is even less wear and tear than this, between 0.2% and 0.5% per year. This means that PV panels should last at least 30 years.
How many solar panels to power a house?
On average, 28 to 32 solar panels are needed to power a house. This will pay for all of a 2,500-square-foot home’s energy costs. The exact number of panels you’ll need will depend on the size of your home, where you put the panels, where you live, and how well the panels work.
The Environmental Impact Assessment from the US government says that the average American home uses about 877 kWh of electricity per month, which is about 10,600 kWh per year. This number is an average, and it can change based on the size of the home and how much energy each person uses.
How many kwh does a house use?
In the past few years, solar panel technology has changed quickly, leading to the production of a number of high-efficiency panels for home use. How much power your solar panels can make is based on how much sunlight they get, which is in turn affected by how the panels are set up and where you live.
A typical solar panel can gather about 250 watts of sunlight per hour. Assuming that your solar panels get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, 250 watts times 6 hours of sunlight equals about 1.5 kWh of power per day, 45 kWh per month, and 540 kWh per year. Again, these numbers will change based on how much sunlight your panel gets and where you live.
If a single panel makes 45 kWh per month and the average American home uses about 900 kWh per month, you would need at least 20 panels to cover all your electricity needs. In reality, you’ll probably need more than 20 panels because it’s unlikely that they’ll get 6 hours of sunlight every day.
How large should my solar array be?
If everything else is the same, homes in areas with more sunlight need a smaller array than homes in areas with less sunlight. For example, because California gets more sun than the Northeast, the average size of a solar array in California is smaller than one in Massachusetts.
A normal solar panel for a home takes up about 15 square feet of space. You would need about 300 square feet of space for a standard 5 kWh system (about 20 panels). You would need about 600 square feet for a 10 kWh system and about 900 square feet for a 15 kWh system.
These calculations were done based on the idea that your panels only use 16% of the energy they produce. Most residential panels have an efficiency of between 16% and 20%. If your panels were more efficient, you would need less room.
Determinants of solar panels
Several important things must be taken into account to figure out how many solar panels to power a house. For example, if two solar-powered homes in California and New York are the same and use the same amount of energy, the California home will need fewer solar panels because it gets more sunlight.
When deciding how many solar panels your house needs, here are some of the most important things to think about:
How big your house is and how much roof space you have.
Most of the time, larger homes use more electricity, so they need more solar panels. But they also have more room on their roofs, which is needed for bigger solar panel installations. But the number of solar panels your home can hold may be limited by the way your roof is made. For example, you’ll need to put panels around a chimney, a rooftop air conditioning unit, or a skylight. In the same way, roof areas that are shaded are not good places for panels. Also, most of the best solar companies won’t work on asbestos roofs because it could be bad for the installers’ health.
How much direct sunlight does your area get.
There is more energy that can be turned into electricity where there is more sunlight. Each solar panel makes more energy each year in states like Arizona and New Mexico, which get more sunlight than in places like New England, which gets less sunlight.
The U.S. is one of more than 200 countries and regions for which the World Bank has made solar radiation maps. The map below can give you an idea of how much sunshine there is where you live. Remember that homes in areas with more sun will usually need fewer solar panels.
How many people live there and how much energy is used.
Households with more people usually use more electricity, which means they also need more solar panels to make more energy. How much electricity you use is a very important factor because it tells you how much power your solar panel system needs to make. If your home uses 12,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power per year and you want to get all of your power from the sun, your system must be able to make that much power.
How to avoid installing more panels?
When it comes to solar panel installations, one mistake the majority of people make is the overestimation of solar panels. If you don’t understand the basic formula of the number of panels based on your house’s requirements, you may end up with more panels installed than needed.
There are some reasons why the number of solar panel installations has gone up. Make sure to use the solar system to its fullest. It is only possible if the panels are carefully checked and put in place at the right angle.
You can’t use the sun’s natural energy source if there’s something in the way of direct sunlight. There shouldn’t be any shade between the panels and the sun. You have to make sure that trees, buildings, and power lines don’t cast shadows on the solar panels. When your panels receive maximum sunlight, you’ll be able to get more energy generated, which will make it easier to store energy when there is no sunlight.
Facing and tilt
It is important to be very careful about how the panels are facing. Ecuador says that countries in the northern hemisphere should put their solar panels facing south and countries in the southern hemisphere should do the opposite. As the seasons change and the sun moves, the angle of inclination becomes important. From the ground, you have to pay attention to the right angle of the panels.
Clean the panels regularly
To keep dust from building up on the panels, they need to be cleaned at regular intervals. Like any other installation in your house, solar panels will be affected by dust too. You will find that it gets in the way of how well solar panels work. With dust and snow on the panels, it is not possible to use the energy from the sun.
A lot of work needs to be done before they can be put in place. If you want to get the most power out of the panels, you should keep a few things in mind when installing them. It changes whether the number of solar panels goes up or down.
How to determine how much solar do I need?
You can use the information above to figure out how many solar panels you need, but there are many more factors that go into figuring out the best size for your solar panel system. When planning your ideal solar panel set-up, it can be helpful to know about production ratios, the relationship between system size and the number of panels, and how the size of your home affects things.
How many kWh (units of energy) can your solar panels make?
The amount of sunshine that hits your roof has an impact on how much electricity, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), your solar energy system is able to generate, which in turn has an impact on your production ratio. Where you reside and what time of year it is both play a role in determining how much sun you get in a given year. But no matter where your home is, you can get electricity that is enough to meet your family’s needs and get rid of your monthly utility bills.
If you live in an area with fewer peak sunlight hours, you’ll just need a bigger solar array system installed at your home. So, production ratios are different depending on where you live. If you live somewhere with less sunlight, for example, you’ll need more solar panels to get the amount of energy you need.
Similarly, two homes in California and Massachusetts that are about the same size each use the average amount of electricity for a home in the U.S., which is 10,715 kWh per year. For a California home to get all of the energy it needs, it needs about a 6.8 kW system.
Even though California has smaller solar panels as compared to Massachusetts, they are capable of producing the same amount of power since California receives more hours of peak sunlight each year than Massachusetts does. Homeowners in places like Massachusetts that don’t get as much sun can make up for this by using panels that are more efficient or by adding a few more solar panels to their roof to make their solar energy system bigger.
How many solar panels do different-sized systems need?
Trying to figure out how many solar panels your home needs may be one of the hardest parts of sizing a solar panel array. Several add-ons or larger consumer products can make a big difference in how many panels you need and how many kWh you need each year. To get an idea of what size you’ll need, you should look at how much energy different things you own or are thinking of buying for your home use.
If your home is small or has a roof with an odd shape, the size of your solar panels can be a very important thing to think about. If you have a big roof, you might be able to sacrifice some efficiency and buy bigger panels to get the best energy output. But if you have a small roof, you’ll need to use fewer small high-efficiency panels.
How many solar panels are enough to power everyday things?
By analyzing the kilowatt-hour (kWh) requirements of typical home appliances and products, it is possible to determine the optimal size of a solar panel system to meet your energy needs. To reduce your carbon footprint and save money on energy costs, you can pair your electric car with solar panels. Your PV system size could increase by a factor of two, so careful preparation is essential.
Even though you can always have your solar installer put in more panels later to meet your increasing energy needs, it’s in your best interest to get an accurate estimate of your system’s size before making any major purchases of electronic appliances. Any new solar homeowner should make it a habit to ask, “How many solar panels do I need for my refrigerator, hot tub, etc.”
Basic calculation for the number of solar panels
Checking the wattage of your panels will allow you to determine how many panels you need to buy for your solar array once you have estimated how much electricity you use and the size of the system you require. First, multiply the size of your system by 1,000 to get the total watts, and then divide this total by the wattage of each solar panel individually.
The vast majority of the most efficient solar panels now available on the market each produce between 330 and 360 watts of power. It’s possible for less efficient panels to provide as little as 250W of power. Therefore, if you require a solar installation that can produce 10 kilowatts and you plan to purchase solar panels with an output of 340 watts, you will need 30 panels. This is how your formula will look when completed: 10,000W / 340W = 29.4 panels.
If you utilize solar panels with an efficiency of 250 watts, you will require forty of them (10,000 watts divided by 250 watts equal forty panels). Remember that despite the fact that the price of solar panels will be lower if you choose a model with a lower efficiency rather than a more expensive one with a higher efficiency, the overall cost of your solar energy system may end up being the same or even higher because you will need to purchase more panels.
Did you have questions in your mind like “how much solar do I need” or “are solar panels worth it”? Well, we hope that this article answers most of your questions and clears up many of your doubts. Now that you know what solar energy is, how solar panels work, and how many solar panels you’ll need for your house, it’s time to go green and start saving a huge chunk of money.