Calculating the number of solar panels you need for your home may feel like a mind-boggling task, but can be made easy by leveraging some online photovoltaic (PV) energy calculators or by partnering with a reputable solar panel installation company in your area for a consultation.
On average, homes in the United States need between 19-23 solar panels to generate the amount of electricity they require. However, the number of panels needed varies depending on three main factors:
Your Energy Usage
How much energy you use is a determining factor on how many panels your home will require.
For example, if you live alone and use little electricity each day then you’ll require fewer panels. However, if you and your family use a lot of electricity daily then you will need more to cover those draws.
You can figure out how much electricity you use by looking at your monthly power bills over the course of one year. Once you’ve got an idea of how much electricity you use per day or month, calculating how many solar panels you need to power your house gets easier.
You also need to know the estimated number of sun-hours you receive in your area. Residents of the United States can use a Solar Insolation Map or calculator to better estimate how many sun-hours they get where they live.
Once you know your monthly average kilowatt-hour (kWh) and peak hours of sunlight, you can calculate the number of solar panels your home needs by multiplying your home’s hourly energy needs by the peak sun-hours for your location and dividing that by a panel’s wattage. A common formula for this is:
monthly kWh / (peak hours of sunlight x 30 days) = number of kilowatts you need
Your Access to Sunlight
Your geographic location plays an important role in determining how many solar panels you need to power a house. In sunny states like Georgia and North Carolina, you’re in great shape to go solar.
The number of sun hours your area receives will determine how many panels your home solar system will require. If your home is located in an area with fewer sun hours, you will need more panels to cover your energy usage.
The Solar Panels You Choose
Not all solar panels are created equally. The efficiency of your solar panels will determine how many solar panels you need for your home. You also need to consider your goals with your installation. Are you going for lower output, lower-cost panel, or a more efficient, more expensive system and focusing on your long-term ROI? Depending on the size of your home, in some instances, it makes more sense to go with a smaller, more efficient system rather than a larger, less efficient system.
The best thing to help you in your quest for maximizing your solar panel investment is to consult with a licensed solar design technician to create a system that fits your unique needs to match your location, lifestyle, and budget. Contact Better Tomorrow Solar to get your home solar system up and going and receive a free quote!