The Home And Site Evaluation
In the design phase, the solar installer will evaluate your home to determine the best solar panels, inverter, racking and other components. SunPower dealers often recommend our SunPower Equinox platform, an integrated solar system that combines SunPower® solar panels, micro-inverters and other components all covered under SunPower’s industry-leading Combined Power and Product Warranty. Other installers will design systems with components that may come from several different manufacturers, all with different warranty terms and services.
As part of the evaluation, your solar installer will make an appointment to inspect your attic, your roof and your home’s electrical system. He or she will determine the best location to mount the hardware that runs your system . During the inspection, the installer will evaluate your property to ensure that the installation is code compliant and will recommend upgrades if required. For example, if you have an older home, your electrical panel may need to be updated, or when inspecting your attic or roofing, the installer may discover issues that require repair before your system is installed.
Summary: How Many Panels Do You Need
Knowing the answers to the above questions will give you an idea of the ideal number of panels for your electricity generation needs or at least a realistic range. Next, a professional installer needs to assess your roof architecture, angle to the sun and other factors to see if and how youd be able to physically arrange the right number of panels on your roof to achieve your daily energy production goals.
You should also consider net metering as youre considering how much money youll save and make from your solar system. Net metering is how your utility company credits you for producing excess solar energy when the sun is shining and then lets you draw from those credits when youre using conventional power grid at night, if you dont store your excess solar energy in a battery storage system.
To get started, check out our solar calculator, which can help you figure out how much you might save going solar.
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
- Package Dimensions:13.2 x 9.8 x 8 cm 176 Grams
- Date First Available:1 April 2021
Find answers in product info, Q& As, reviews
Your question might be answered by sellers, manufacturers or customers who bought this product.
Please make sure that you are posting in the form of a question.
Please enter a question.
Read Also: Are Solar Panels Worth Buying
Pairing A Home Battery With Solar
Based on the above information, we can assume that it would be possible for most households to limit their electrical consumption to around 5 or 6 kWh per day. With a home battery alone, you would be able to power your basic amenities for about a day or two.
Of course, you can extend this electricity use indefinitely if you pair your home battery with a solar panel system. If the weather is right, your solar panels can generate enough energy each day to fully charge your home battery so that you can continue using your electricity.
Few Things About Solar Panel Output Efficiency
Solar panel type and quality make a significant difference in terms of solar output and efficiency. Not all solar panels are the same.
For instance, monocrystalline photovoltaic solar panels are known to be the most efficient solar panels on the market, but also the most expensive.
Their two main advantages over the other types of solar panels such as polycrystalline or thin film panels is that 1) they absorb more sunlight than conventional cells and their output efficiency is not affected that much by temperature and 2) they occupy less space. These are an ideal option if you do not have enough roof space for standard panels.
On the other hand, polycrystalline panels are cheaper, they are less efficient and therefore occupy more space, but offer a better return on investment than monocrystalline panels.
Because of these wide differences in quality and efficiency, its up to you to decide which solar panels are right for your home.
The main takeaway is that, the more efficient the panels are, the more power they can produce, and the fewer photovoltaic panels you will need on your roof to get the same energy output as you would get with polycrystalline or thin film solar panels.
Overall, if money is not an issue, monocrystalline panels are the best option.
Also Check: What I Need To Know About Solar Panels
Analysis Of Solar Power Needs
Solar panels are an excellent investment for your homes, but only if theyre installed correctly, there could be little to no issues.
However, if theyre installed incorrectly, you could be living a nightmare for more than 20 25 years.
Homeowners first need to know the number of solar panels they will require to run the house.
There are scores of solar panel calculators in the market.
All you need to do is just enter a few basic details and they will tell you how many solar panels your home will require.
The next step then is to hire a solar installer that is reliable, trustworthy, and someone on whom you wont regret spending money.
Randomly walking into a store and purchasing expensive solar panels for the whole house is not a smart thing to do.
Salespeople usually dont have all the required knowledge on solar panels.
They just focus on selling the number of pieces as fast as they can.
Its always better to consult solar panel experts and consulting firms who can provide you with correct information and guide you in the right direction.
You can do some research, read reviews online, receive quotes from multiple installers, consider multiple solar panel brands and designs, check the installers qualifications and license, and ask about warranties and safe financing options.
Electricity Usage For Home Heating
In some places in the United States, you might need home heating only a couple weeks a year. This includes the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions, and southern California. For those situations, electric resistance heating tends to be used much more than in states that have several months of heating days.
Electric resistance heating uses electricity to heat a coil, like in a toaster or hair dryer. Youâre probably familiar with electric baseboard heaters or small space heaters. Electric resistance heating is inefficient, but itâs handy in regions with low heating requirements, because itâs cheap to install and doesnât require ductwork.
In cold-weather US states with multiple heating months, natural gas is the most popular heating fuel. While a gas furnace does use some electricity to power the fan, itâs a fraction of the power that would be needed for a fully electric furnace.
Note that electric resistance heating is different from highly efficient electric heat pumps, which use electrically-driven compressors to pull heat from the air or ground, much like the way that a refrigerator or air conditioner works. Heat pumps are becoming more popular, even in very cold climates. Many utility companies and local agencies offer rebates on both air source and ground source heat pumps.
You May Like: Can I Get Sole Custody Of My Child
Sunpower & Tesla Solar Rooftop Solar Comparison
As part of my familys journey to learn more about residential renewable energy, I decided to look into solar panels for our house. We are in the middle of Texas, and who can forget power going out for one week across the entire state in February. We were fortunate, but many of our neighbors had to be without power for a week. The state has done minimal winter weatherization for the coming winter. I fear this winter will be bad, and if not this winter, an upcoming one in short order. Natural gas prices are spiking across the world. According to the Dallas Fed, natural gas and coal make up the majority of power production in Texas. The good news is that wind and solar have made great strides in Texas, but there is much more to go.
A friend of mine mentioned that their average electric bill has increased to $170 a month this year from $140 a month last year. Thats a 20% increase. Retail consumers may have been isolated if they had a fixed rate plan during the freeze. Utilities had to keep buying at ridiculous wholesale prices. Im sure they will lobby the government for rate increases to make up for all their losses. We can assume electricity prices will go up over the coming years. If the world continues warming, and summers get longer and hotter, thats another reason our electric bills will go up.
How To Calculate The Number Of Solar Panels You Need
Our calculator below is the fastest, easiest, and most accurate way to find out how many solar panels your home needs – and you dont have to do any math.
Our solar panel cost and savings calculator is the fastest, easiest, and most accurate way to find out how many solar panels your home needs – and you dont have to do any math. Plus, well give you the average cost of a solar installation for your specific home and how much itll save you on your electric bills.
However, if you want to put pen to paper and work out the calculations for yourself, follow these four easy steps to find how many solar panels you need.
You May Like: How To Estimate Solar System Size
Why Use Solar Panels To Power Your House
Today, solar arrays large and small can be seen on the roofs and property spaces of residential areas in nearly every US city. With millions of homeowners adding dispersed solar generation alongside commercial and industrial installations, solar energy capacity in the United States has skyrocketed over the past decade.
So why are people installing solar panels? Well today, solar energy is a perfect solution for both people and the planet. As a renewable source of emission-free electricity, modern solar panels have an extremely low carbon footprint. High-quality solar panels are designed to last for 20 years and more, and most components can be recycled.
In terms of finances, solar energy is free to produce, which is extremely convenient as it is also the most abundant source of power on the planet. With decades of production at no additional fuel expense, wise solar power investments can save electricity users tremendous amounts of money on long-term energy expenses.
Analyzing Solar Power Needs
Solar panels are an excellent way to save your on-electricity bills, but you will need to install them properly to have no future problems. They are installed improperly you will end up having a disaster in your house for years. Before installing a solar panel, you will need to calculate the amount of energy you will consume each day.
There are many solar panel calculators available for you to use, and that will help you know the number of solar panels to install in your house. The solar panel calculator will require you to feed in some necessary details, and you will immediately know how many solar panels you will need in your home.
After getting that information, you will need to get a trustworthy installer who is reliable and knows what they are doing. You do not want to spend money on the wrong person and regret later.
You should not depend on salespeople to determine the kind of solar panel you need for your home. Salespeople are just there to make fast sales, and you will not get all the relevant information needed for a perfect solar panel.
It would help if you got information from solar panel experts or consulting firms. You will get accurate and reliable information regarding the type of solar panels you need for your house. You can also do your research, check reviews online, and inquire from installers who have been installing panels for some time.
Recommended Reading: Where Do Solar Panels Come From
How Many Watts Do You Currently Use
Look at your electricity bill for average usage. Look for Kilowatt Hours Used or something similar, and then note the length of time represented . If your bill doesnt show kilowatt hours used, look for beginning and ending meter readings and subtract the previous reading from the most recent one.
You want daily and hourly usage for our calculations, so if your bill doesnt show a daily average, just divide the monthly or annual average by 30 or 365 days, respectively, and then divide again by 24 to determine your hourly average electricity usage. Your answer will be in kW.
A small home in a temperate climate might use something like 200 kWh per month, and a larger home in the south where air conditioners account for the largest portion of home energy usage might use 2,000 kWh or more. The average U.S. home uses about 900 kWh per month. So thats 30 kWh per day or 1.25 kWh per hour.
Your average daily energy usage is your target daily average to calculate your solar needs. Thats the number of kilowatt-hours you need your solar system to produce if you want to cover most if not all of your electricity needs.
Its important to note that solar panels dont operate at maximum efficiency 24 hours a day. . Weather conditions, for example, can temporarily reduce your systems efficiency. Therefore, experts recommend adding a 25 percent cushion to your target daily average to ensure you can generate all the clean energy you need.
Solar Power For The Home: Benefits
A significant benefit to PV installation is a lower energy bill, but the magnitude of this benefit depends on the amount of solar energy that can be produced given the available conditions and the way in which utilities charge for electricity.
The first consideration is the solar irradiation levels available in the home’s geographical location. When it comes to using solar panels, being closer to the equator is generally better, but other factors must be considered. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory produces maps for the U.S. showing solar irradiation levels the tools on its website provide detailed solar information for specific locations within the U.S.
Similar maps and data are available in other countries as well, often from government environmental agencies or renewable energy organizations. Equally important is the home’s orientation for rooftop arrays, a south-facing roof without trees or other objects obstructing sunlight maximizes the available solar energy. If this is not available, panels can be mounted on external supports and installed away from the house, incurring additional costs for the extra hardware and cables.
The final benefit is the potential effect on a home’s value due to the addition of a solar array. In general, it is reasonable to assume that solar panels would raise the value of most homes.
Also Check: How Much To Add Solar Panels To House
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need For Common Household Items
If you are considering solar energy for your home, you may also be asking how many panels are needed to power specific appliances. However, it is important to understand how solar generation works:
- Solar systems deliver most of their energy production in the hours around noon
- During the early morning and late in the afternoon, solar generation is much lower. This is because there is less sunlight reaching the panels
- Households have the highest energy consumption in the evening and early morning
Since solar panels depend on sunlight, you cannot control their electricity production. Powering home appliances directly with panels is impractical and potentially dangerous, unless you use a solar battery to store energy. If you connect home appliances directly to the panels and inverter, a dark cloud passing over your home will shut off the power. At night, you would have to switch to the local power supply anyway.
The most practical solution is synchronizing solar systems with the local power supply, which lets them operate as a single power source. When solar generation cannot power your home appliances by itself, the rest of the energy comes from the grid. If your panels have surplus production, you can send it to grid to get a credit on the next electricity bill.
This table considers the most power-hungry appliances found in homes. Most small appliances and electronic devices have a very low consumption, which does not even match the production of one panel.
Putting It All Together
With those variables in mind, we can roughly estimate the number of solar panels for home that you’ll need. In this example, we’ll use the average annual energy consumption, solar panel wattage and hours of sunlight that we mentioned earlier.
Let’s say that your property receives four hours of sunshine each day, and you’re purchasing 325-watt solar panels. In that case, each panel can generate 1,300 watt-hours per day . Assuming that your energy usage is in line with the average of 29 kWh per day, you’d need 23 325-watt panels to create enough electricity for your home.
You May Like: Should I Go Solar In Arizona
What Type Of Solar Panels Should I Install
The choice of solar panel type can be based on efficiency, cost, and available space. Some types of solar panel are more efficient that others, and this would affect the number of panels you need to install.
For example, you need less space to install monocrystalline panels compared to thin film and polycrystalline solar panels.
There are different types of solar panels that can be installed on your roof, but the most commonly installed panels are monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels.
- Lower efficiency rate compared to monocrystalline
- More sensitive to high temperatures compared to monocrystalline