What About A Battery
A storage battery will capture the unused solar power generated during the day, for use at night and on low-sunlight days. Installations that include batteries are increasingly popular. See our case study of the first Australian home to install a Tesla PowerWall battery.
But for most homes, we think a battery doesn’t make economic sense yet. Batteries are still relatively expensive and the payback time will often be longer than the warranty period of the battery. However, it’s likely that battery technology and prices, together with future changes in how the electricity market works, will make batteries a good option for most homes within the next few years.
And remember: for most grid-connected systems, having a battery doesn’t necessarily protect you in the event of a blackout. You may still lose all power to your home, despite having solar panels producing power and a charged battery ready and waiting. This is because grid-connected systems have what’s known as “anti-islanding protection”. During a blackout, the grid and any engineers working on the lines must be protected from “islands” of electricity generation pumping power unexpectedly into the lines.
For most solar PV systems, the simplest way to provide anti-islanding protection is to shut down entirely. So, when it senses a grid blackout, your solar PV system shuts down and you have no household power at all.
How Much Power Does Your Home Need
Once you know how much energy you’re using over the course of a year we can begin to work out how many solar panels you’ll need.
The power output of solar panels is measured in watts and can range from around 245W right up to 400W.
If your home has a particularly high demand for electricity then it makes sense to consider solar panels with a larger power output more than 325W. Investing in solar panels with a higher output will not only mean they generate more energy, you will need less of them.
To reach the UK average energy usage of 3,800 kWh, only 10 400W solar panels would be needed as part of the solar PV system, whereas 16 250W solar panels would be needed to achieve the same output.
|Size of Solar PV System||Number of 400 Watt Solar Panels||Estimated Annual Output|
It’s worth noting that you don’t need to install a solar system that meets your entire demand for electricity. A solar system can also subsidise part of your energy usage, which will help to reduce energy bills and your carbon footprint but mean that you still have a fair amount of reliance on your energy supplier .
How Many Solar Panels Will You Need
To know how many solar panels you will need, you will want to determine how much electricity you use in your home and the solar panel types installed.
The average house in the United States uses about 900 kilowatt hours a monthroughly 11,000 kWh a year. You can easily calculate your actual usage by looking back at your electricity bills. As a general rule of thumb
- A 3-kWh solar panel system will generate about 3,600 kWh 4,800 kWh per year.
- A 5-kWh system produces about 6,000 8,000 kWh per year.
- A 10-kWh system can produce about 12,000 kWh 16,000 kWh per year.
Depending on the size of the system, the solar panels cost would be between $4,000 and $16,000. Add in another $3,000 to $10,000 for other necessary components, such as racks for the panels, wiring, solar inverter costs, and the total solar panel installation cost would now be closer to $20,000.
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The Benefits Of Solar Panels For Tiny Houses
Many people move into tiny houses in an effort to minimize energy usage. The tiny house movement has moved many, per se, to live a more sustainable and conservationist living, putting the environment first before anything else.
Compared to traditional houses, tiny houses are much smaller. Yet, that doesnt necessarily mean they dont need energy. In fact, tiny houses need energy as much as conventional homes. They need power for heating, cooling, lighting, and other appliances.
Tiny house dwellers choose solar panels because they generate clean and free electricity. This way, they cut their energy bills further and save money.
Theres a lot of benefits you will reap from having solar panels on your tiny house. As mentioned already, you can save money on electricity bills. Plus, you can also help protect the environment and take control of your own electricity generation.
If you have a solar panel system, it will help increase the value of your home if you decide to put it on sale in the future. You see, prospective buyers admire free and renewable energy.
Moreover, tiny houses are mobile, meaning youll likely move from various places over time. So if you have a tiny house on wheels, then a solar panel system is the way to go!
And because you have your very own electricity, you will not have to rely on power sources wherever you end up placing your tiny home for a bit of time. Instead, you can have a continuous source of energy no matter where you are.
How Much Solar Power Do I Need To Run My House
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? Unfortunately, the answer isnt so easy to find. All kinds of variables come up in this seemingly simple calculation: the intensity of the lick, variations in the size of the Tootsie Pop itself, the weather, and more.
Predicting how much solar power it will take to power your house is a lot like expecting how many licks it will take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Different variables can affect how much energy solar panels can generate, so theres no simple answer.
Thats why weve created this article to answer the question: How much solar power do I need for my house? First, we will give you an overview of many variables that can affect solar power generation. From there, well discuss the average amount of solar panels needed to power your home and how to get the most out of your solar panels.
Lets get started.
On any given day, there are a lot of different factors that can affect solar power production. They include:
- Sunlight hours
- The tilt of your panels
- Where your panels are located
- The efficiency of your solar panels
Other factors include the age of your panels and elements that create very tiny variations over time, like how clean your panels are.
So How Many Solar Panels Do I Need
Once you know the system size you need, you can check your panel wattage to figure how many panels to purchase for your solar array. Multiply your system size by 1,000 to obtain watts, then divide this by the individual wattage of each solar panel.
Most of the best solar panels on the market have an output of around 330W to 360W each. The output of less efficient panels can be as low as 250W.
So, if you need a 10-kW solar installation and you’re buying solar panels that have an output of 340W, you’ll need 30 panels. Your formula will look like this: 10,000W / 340W = 29.4 panels.
If you use lower-efficiency 250-watt solar panels, you’ll need 40 of them panels.
Keep in mind that, although the cost of solar panels is lower if you choose a lower-efficiency model over a pricier high-efficiency one, the total amount you pay for your solar energy system may come out to be the same or higher because you’ll have to buy more panels.
How Many Amps Does A 400
You can expect a 400-watt solar panel to have around 9.5 amps or lower with lower wattage panels. However, each panel manufacturer and model will have a specific output rating for voltage and amperage.
These two numbers can be found on the spec sheet for each type of panel. The watts rating advertised is created from the engineered system of specific voltage and amperage units.
So, for example, the REC Alpha Pure Black Series solar panels have a range of wattage values from 293 to 405 watts. The lowest wattage unit has 7.55 amps, while the highest wattage panel has 9.56 amps.
You can see how the watts are calculated from the spec sheet by multiplying the amps by the volts. Here the 405-watt panel equates to the following values: 42.4 volts x 9.56 amps = 405 watts.
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Key Points To Keep In Mind
Although the upfront costs of a residential solar system might seem high, there are a few ways to save money on your investment. For instance, the federal government provides a tax credit on new solar installations, and many state and local governments offer rebates or incentive programs. Alternatively, if you can’t afford to purchase your panels, you can choose to rent them .
Figuring out the number of solar panels you need is only part of the equation. Learn more about the benefits and costs of home solar from CNET:
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need To Power My House
We estimate that a typical home needs between 20 and 25 solar panels to cover 100 percent of its electricity usage. The actual number youll need to install depends on factors including geographic location, panel efficiency, panel rated power, and your personal energy consumption habits. Importantly, the number of solar panels you need for your home directly impacts the price you pay for solar.
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Can A House Run On Solar Power Alone
Practically, it is not often possible. This is because solar only works when the sun is shining – which means when it is cloudy or nighttime, they do not generate electricity. There are some battery solutions to provide power during these times, but they still tend to be quite expensive. Most homes with solar panels still rely on the grid from time to time.
Pros And Cons Of Solar Panels For Your Home
Like most things, solar power has its benefits and drawbacks. At the same time, some economic costs may be defrayed by the social benefits to the environment and lowering your carbon footprint, which exceeds pure monetary evaluation.
Green energy that lowers your carbon footprint
Net metering allows you to sell back excess energy produced
You may be eligible for certain tax breaks
Installation and maintenance costs still high
Solar only works when the sun is out
Parts of the system need to be replaced every few years
Some tax breaks may have expired or will be expiring
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Why You Should Not Get Solar Panels
Low energy costs. For residential solar systems, its generally not a good idea to move your off-peak hot water to the main phase of your home and then run on solar energy. Because the rate on your off-peak hours is so low, it takes much longer than the average 3-5 years before the system pays for itself.
Solar Power For The Home: Costs
Solar power is capital intensive, and the main cost of owning a system comes upfront when buying the equipment. The solar module will almost certainly represent the largest single component of the overall expense.
Other equipment necessary for installation includes an inverter , metering equipment , and various housing components along with cables and wiring gear.
Some homeowners also consider battery storage. Historically, batteries have been prohibitively expensive and unnecessary if the utility pays for excess electricity that is fed into the grid . The installation labor cost must also be factored in.
In addition to installation costs, there are some further costs associated with operating and maintaining a PV solar array. Aside from cleaning the panels regularly, inverters and batteries generally need replacement after several years of use.
While the above costs are relatively straightforwardoften a solar installation company can quote a price for these for a homeownerdetermining subsidies available from the government and/or your local utility can prove more of a challenge. Government incentives change often, but historically, the U.S. government has allowed a tax credit of up to 30% of the system’s cost.
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How Do I Get Started
Our Solar Consultants are ready to walk you through the options and help you calculate the economics and payback. With Smart Solar Financing, many of our clients are able to go solar for zero money down and have payments that are less than their old electric bills. Some clients treat solar as an investment with a stable and predictable return every client is different and we look forward to helping you evaluate your options and harness the clean, free energy of the sun.
To start the free evaluation process with one of our Solar Consultants and get a more precise quote for your specific household, you can call us during regular business hours at: 877-696-7652 or you can complete our online form HERE.
Find How Much Energy Solar Panels Produce In Your Area
Now that you know how much electricity your home uses in a month, you need to find the amount of sunlight your area receives. This is usually measured in something called peak sun hours, which is essentially the intensity of sunlight in your area.
You can find the average number of daily peak sun hours for your state here. This number is how much sunlight you receive daily, but we need to know how much you receive monthly. To do this, simply multiply your states daily peak sun hours by 30.
The monthly peak sun hours you get tells you how many kWh of electricity 1 kilowatt of solar panels will produce in your area in one day. So, if your state receives 150 monthly peak sunlight hours, 1 kW of solar will produce 150 kWh of electricity per month.
Not sure about the differences between kW and kWh? Read our guide about kW versus kWh and what they mean.
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Solar Array Cost Breakdown
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.
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So How Much Does Solar Cost
Our average home solar panel system costs $24,000 before any incentives are considered . For the typical home in Ohio, solar prices this year come in a range from about $16,000 to $30,000 before the tax credit. All our systems are custom designed, so the average price is just an average. Looking at the big picture: the price of home solar can range from $10,000 $100,000 based on your energy usage, goals, batteries, and budget. The reason it is hard to find an easy answer to your question is because solar systems are custom designed based on several factors unique to you . The best way to get an answer is to sign up for a free, no-obligation solar quote.
Calculate Area Needed To Install Solar Panels:
To calculate your total rooftop area requirement to install solar panels use the following equation.
Area required for solar panels = Total number of solar panels x area of one panel
In our above example for a 7.8 kW system we needed 24 solar panels which will need an area of,
Area for 7.8 kW of solar panels = 24 x 21.50 = 516 sq.ft
Mind you this is just the area required to mount all the solar panels back to back and side to side to each other. In real life you need to leave spaces between rows and columns of solar panels so that you can easily clean your solar panels every now and then, and also have safe access to perform any trouble shooting and maintenance.
Considering cleaning space and access for troubleshooting and maintenance of solar panels we can assume to install 1 kW of solar system on a metal roof you will need 85 sq.ft of shadow free areaand to install 1 kW of solar system on a RCC terrace you will need 100 sq.ft of shadow free area.
The following table summarizes the area needed to install solar system.
|Solar System Size|
|30||750 sq.ft 900 sq.ft|
The values on the left in the area column indicates the bare minimum area required to install solar panels and the values on the right indicates the minimum area required to install solar panels .
Cost of solar panels:
Cost Of Solar On Grid System:
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