How Many Solar Panels Do You Need for Your Home?

 

Home solar array is one of the most increasingly popular ways to generate electricity for your home and rely less on the utility gird to get power. A solar power system project requires a lot of consideration and planning before it is started.

One of the most common questions from homeowners is: How many solar panels will I need for my home? It is a good question, because the number of solar panels you need will definitely affect the cost of your solar panel installation.

In this blog, we will look into the determining factors and help you figure out how many solar panels you need to power your home.

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need for Your Home

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need for Your Home

Your Energy Usage

The first step in determining the size of your home solar installation is to work out how much energy you use. The best way to know your current energy usage pattern is to review your electricity bills. You can look up your electricity bills last year. These information should be available by logging into your electric company’s customer portal. Each bill includes your total energy usage in kilowatt hours for that month. Add up the amount for the past twelve months and then divide by 12, then you will get your average monthly energy usage.

It is important to note that solar panels don not operate at maximum efficiency at all times. For instance, the power generation efficiency of your solar panels will decrease on cloudy days. Therefore, experts recommend adding a 25 percent “cushion” to your target monthly average to ensure you can get enough energy you need.

Sunshine Hours

It is an obvious rule that solar panels need sunlight to function. But what homeowners often don’t realize is that their houses’ exposure to sunlight and how many sunshine hours they get can have a direct impact on the numbers of solar panels they will need.

When calculating how much electricity your solar panels can produce, it is very important to figure out how many peak sun hours your location receives on an average day. Peak sun hours are not just the number of hours between sunrise and sunset–they are each hour the sun’s intensity reaches an average of 1,000 watts per square meter. To be simple, peak sun hours are the hours when sunlight is most powerful and when your solar panels will be the most productive. The more peak sun hours you get, the more energy you will have. This directly impacts what size solar power system you will need.

If you live somewhere with lots of sunlight, you will need a smaller solar power system. But if there is less sunlight available in your location, you will need a bigger system to produce the same amount of electricity. The direction of your roof and how much shading there is can also change the number of solar panels that you need.

Solar Panel Efficiency

Not every solar panel is alike. Different brands offer different levels of efficiency. Depending on which brand of solar panel you choose, you can expect an efficiency anywhere from 250 to 350 watts per hour.

Although highly-efficient solar panels tend to be a little expensive than their less efficient counterparts, they can end up saving you money if you need to purchase fewer solar panels. Besides, they will also take up less room on your roof.

Your Energy Goal

The size of solar power system you need will also depend on how much you are aiming to save on your future electricity bills. Do you want to just cover your daytime energy needs, or do you want to add a battery to make yourself almost completely self-sufficient? Keep your clear goal in mind about your energy requirements and share this goal with your solar installer. Your energy goals will directly influence the size of the system you need and the number of solar panels required.

In conclusion, taking the above factors into your consideration of installing solar panels is beneficial for you.