Home Solar Power Economics Example
The following example illustrates solar energy economics on a home in Alberta based on the ATCO pricing cited earlier. The situation will differ slightly if you were to examine solar panels in Edmonton or Calgary.
1. 8.0kW system
2. 30 Year analysis period
3. Total installed cost = $2.00/W +gst
4. O& M Cost = $100/yr
5. Client consumption = 9,000kWh/yr
6. Generation = 8,600kWh in year 1
7. Degradation = 0.5%/yr
8. Grid Energy = $0.070/kWh + 4.0%/yr. This escalation results in a grid energy price of $0.12/kWh in 15 years.
9. T& D = $0.038/kWh + 2.0%/yr . This T& D escalation results in service charges of $0.051/kWh in 15 years.
10. Discount Rate = 1.5%
Solar Panels Cost Data: Solar Choice Price Index
Solar Choice has been publishing the Solar Price Index for residential solar & commercial-scale solar since 2012 and 2014, respectively. We regularly compile pricing & product and warranty information from our pre-vetted network of over 200 installers to produce the Residential Solar PV Price Index and Commercial Solar Price Index.
Our price index is used frequently as a benchmark to residential customers and businesses as Australias best guide on how much solar panels cost and is included in reports derived by industry experts such as SunWiz and Bloomberg NEF.
Monitoring Solar Panel Output & Production
Chances are, when your solar panel system was installed it including system monitoring capabilities tied to the inverter or microinverters that were installed. The most common solar system monitoring platforms are from Enphase Energy and SolarEdge.
Keeping track of system output and production is important because, after all, every kWh that you produce is money saved. Problems are easily diagnosed with a monitoring system. Many of these devices will tell you which areas of your solar panel are not functioning properly and need repair.
MAINTENANCE TIP: Monitoring allows solar panel owners access to real-time data to ensure they are maximizing a solar investment. If you currently have system monitoring capabilities, be sure to check it regularly or turn on email notification alerts. If you need monitoring capabilities, reach out to your solar installer and see what options they offer.
Save Money With Solar Panels! 24/7 System Monitoring Included!
At StarAlt Solar, we include system monitoring for all solar customers. Contact Us today to schedule a free solar assessment and find out how much money you could be saving!
Read Also: What Can A 120 Watt Solar Panel Run
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.
Solar Panel Output Per Square Metre
The most popular domestic solar panel system is 4 kW. This has 16 panels, with each one:
- around 1.6 square metres in size
- rated to produce roughly 265 watts of power
To work out the output per square metre, use this formula:
Number of panels x Capacity of solar panel system
Capacity ÷ Total size of system
- 16 panels of 265 W each:
- 16 x 265 = a capacity of 4,240 kW
- Total size of the system
- 4,240 ÷ 6 = 165 W per m2
Also Check: What Are Solar Panels Used For In Homes
Complete Guide For Solar Power Alberta 2021
Congratulations! Youve found the ultimate guide for going solar in Alberta!
Published by Rylan Urban on Jan 28, 2018. Last updated May 1, 2021.
Alberta is currently ranked the #3 province in the country for installing a solar power system, scoring as one of the best provinces for sunlight levels, cash rebates, and installation costs.
This page contains all relevant information about installing solar in Alberta including utility policies, system financing, solar incentives, and natural factors
The guide begins by answering the two most common questions about solar systems, then it explores each solar ranking factor.
You can read from top to bottom, or skip to your preferred section by clicking on it below:
|3. System Costs|
How Do I Calculate How Much Solar Power I Need
The first step to calculating how much solar power you will need for your household is to determine the average energy requirements of your home. You can do this by looking at past utility bills and calculating the average. However, make sure to make special considerations for any times of the year where energy usage is considerably higher. If you do not have any large swings in energy demands from one time of the year to the next, the easier it will be to determine how much solar power you will need. If you have large swings, you may want to consider whether you are hoping to make your home 100 percent off the main grid and 100 percent solar energy independent. You may want to plan your solar power needs then to cover your peak usage times of the year, and in the lower usage times of the year, you can always sell the excess energy generated back to the electrical company for a profit.
If you have any questions or concerns about how much solar power you may need for your household, you can always consult a professional solar installation company that will most likely be able to complete all these calculations for you. Additionally, many online calculators can assist with the math if you plan on doing most of the installation work on your own1.
Also Check: How Tall Are Solar Panels
History Of Solar Prices In Australia
Prior to the solar boom in 2008 solar power prices were as high as $15 to $20 per watt and was really only taken up by the early adopters with greater financial means.
Solar took off in 2008 and 2009 as the government introduced premium feed in tariffs which offered up to 60 c/kWh for solar energy exported into the grid. This attracted a lot of customers and installation companies to the market and ultimately all the schemes in each state were closed ahead of schedule around 2011 to 2012.
In 2011 the government introduced the federal rebate program which provided a significant contribution to the upfront cost of a solar system. At the same time product manufacturers were started to reach significant economies of scale and implementing robotic-automation in factories to steeply drive down the underlying cost of solar panels and solar inverters.
The Solar Choice Price Index tracks prices from Aug 2012 showing the continuing progression of solar panel technology and manufacturing processes driving down the prices presented to end-consumers. With over 300,000 solar power installs completed last year, residential solar is now considered a mass market product.
How Does My Home Size Affect The Amount Of Solar Panels I Need
While solar panel dimensions have more or less remained steady over the past several years, the power output with the same area has dramatically increased. In fact, many manufacturers like SunPower have reduced the size of gaps between panels and use invisible framing and mounting hardware to keep the panels tight, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing. Check out the table below for a ballpark estimate of how many solar panels your home would need based on its square footage.
How many solar panels can I fit on my roof based on my homes square footage?
How Many Kwh Can Your Solar Panels Produce The Complexities Of Production Ratios
The amount of power your solar energy system can produce depends on how much sunlight exposure your roof receives, which in turn creates your production ratio. The amount of sunlight you get in a year depends on both where you are in the country, and what time of year it is. For instance, California has more sunny days annually than New England. But in either location, youll be able to produce enough power to cover your energy needs and say goodbye to your utility billsif you live in an area that gets less peak sunlight hours, youll just need to have a larger solar array system installed at your home. Thus, production ratios differ according to geographic location and a lower production ratio means youll need more solar panels to get the amount of energy production you need.
Additional Components To The System
If youre looking to install additional components while installing the solar panels, this will increase your cost of equipment but can decrease the installation costs. Whether youre planning to install a solar battery storage system or additional features like pigeon proofing your panels, it is best to club them with installing the panels, so that you can decrease the installation cost.
Read Also: Is My House Good For Solar Map
Why Does Solar Panel Output Matter Calculating Panel Wattage
Power output is an important metric for your home or commercial solar panel system. When you buy or install a solar photovoltaic energy system, the price you pay is typically based on the total power output of the solar panels in the system .
Solar panel wattage represents a solar panels theoretical power production under ideal sunlight and temperature conditions. Wattage is calculated by multiplying volts x amps where volts represents the amount of force of the electricity and amperes refers to the aggregate amount of energy used. The financial savings you derive from the solar system is a result of the electric energy that it generates over time .
What About Solar Panel Costs In The Future
Many people in the solar industry expect the price of solar systems to continue to decline, albeit at a much slower pace. Manufacturers continue to progressively release improvements in cell efficiency and panel designs which are now edging leading Solar Panels towards 1,000W of power. However, a lot of the early step change efficiencies of production have already been achieved in robotic-driven factories of enourmous scale. Additionally in Australia the STC rebate reduces each year until it is scheduled to phase out completely in 2030. This upward driver in solar prices has led to pricing level out over the last 12 months which can be seen in the above graph.
Recommended Reading: How Much Do Solar Panels Save The Average Household
Not All Homes Are Suitable For Solar Panels
To maximise what your panels can make, it’s best to make sure your home is right for them:
Finance Options For Solar Panels
There are a number of companies offering finance for solar technology in the United Kingdom. Finance, in the form of loans and leasing agreements, is available for domestic, commercial and industrial installations, in both the private and public sectors. Finance for renewable energy technologies allows customers to avoid large upfront costs and make payments out of the income from any Feed-in tariffs, as well as energy bill savings.
Finance may be offered on a range of bases, each offering varying levels of financial risk and reward, as well as varying interest rates. Typically, the finance company will provide the money to fund the cost of installation in return for payments spread over a period of time. Depending on the type of agreement, the client will most likely own the technology from the outset.
The arrangements offered by finance companies will vary, and each company will offer different advice. It is therefore advisable to obtain quotes and agreement terms from a range of companies. They should be based on clients energy needs and financial situation. Caution should also be taken when calculating ones ability to make repayments, as the returns offered by some renewable technologies depend in large part on the weather. Remember that if using finance arrangements this may impact on your future benefits and savings from having the solar panels and this should be carefully considered.
Look Here for some UK companies offering finance for renewable technologies.
Don’t Miss: How Does A Residential Solar System Work
How Much Power Does A Solar Panel Produce Over A Month Or A Year
When we measure a solar panels output over time, we use the unit kilowatt hours . It is equivalent to 1000 watts of continuous power production over 1 hour.
Now lets look at:
- What is the solar panel output of different modules based on their wattage rating
- How many solar panels would be needed to power a 6 kW solar panel system
Solar panel output by power output rating
|SunPower Maxeon 3|
*Based on an average of 4 peak sun hours per day and average month length of 30.4375 days. Expect power output to vary over the year due to day-to-day changes in weather and seasonal changes in climates.
The above table is useful in helping you get an idea of how many solar panels you need to reach a desired power output. It allows us to answer the following questions:
Keeping Solar Panels Un
Shading is the biggest enemy which prevents a solar panel from being able to do its job and absorb sunlight. Many times, an initial location on your roof may be deemed proper for a solar panel installation, but over time that same location can become shaded as nearby nature grows.
Partial shading on just a few solar cells can cause a dramatic reduction of power output. Multiply this loss of output from tree limbs by 5+ hours of sunlight per day, 30 days per month, 12 months per year, and its easy to see that theres a compounding effect.
MAINTENANCE TIP: Site your solar panel installation where there will be no regular shading. Check growing tree limbs each month, and prune as needed in order to maximize your solar investment.
Don’t Miss: Is Financing Solar Panels Worth It
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost Let’s Take A Look
Switching to solar power is a proven method for reducing your environmental footprint, energy burden and reliance on traditional utility companies. However, even though the cost of solar has dropped 80% in the last decade, the upfront cost of solar panels is still significant. When selecting the best solar company for your home installation, price is one of the largest factors.
But what is the average cost to install a solar energy system? What are some of the factors that can impact pricing? How much would it cost me, specifically? In this article, we’ll answer questions like these with the goal of helping you make a fully informed, responsible decision about a solar energy investment for your home or business.
If you’re looking to work with a solar installer, we recommend getting quotes from a variety of providers. Use this tool to get matched up with local solar companies in your area, or fill out the form below.
How Much Does A Single Solar Panel Cost
If youre looking to buy your own solar panels and install them yourself, you can expect to pay somewhere between $200 and $250 per solar panel. That doesnt include other costs, like inverters, wiring, and installation, which is why the cost of a full solar panel system installation seems much higher.
You May Like: How Many Inverters Per Solar Panel
Looking For A Way To Save On Your Bills And Do Your Bit For The Environment Weve Got The Lowdown On How Solar Panels Stack Up
With the cost of electricity having skyrocketed and experts predicting prices will go even higher, you might be wondering whether it’s worth investing in solar panels.
READ MORE: How much does underfloor heating cost?
Not only can they save you money on your electricity bills, but youll also be helping the environment by cutting your carbon footprint.
But solar panels dont come cheap and some of the more generous incentives to install solar systems have been withdrawn in recent years. So what can you expect to pay and save?