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How To Figure Out Solar Power Needs

Location And Direction The Panels

How Much Solar Power Do I Need? How to Calculate Your Needs

The location of your home has a big impact on how much energy your solar panels are capable of producing since it is directly related to the level of exposure to the sun over the year. As the experts from explain, even though high exposure to the sun leads to increased solar energy productions, it is possible to effectively use them in areas with a little sunlight as well. Another factor in solar output related to the general location of your home and also any potential shading factors is the direction panels are facing. Placing your solar panels in a direction that receives the most sunlight, gives them the best chance to obtain that solar energy. The best direction for your solar panels depends on a few differences in both the physical space or your rooftop and the surrounding environment.

How Much Does The Shape Of My Roof Matter

In short, a lot! Solar panels on average are about 3Ã5 feet in size and depending on how much energy you need them to produce, you might need 20 panels, thats 300 square feet of solar panels that need to fit on your roof. Along with the space you need, you also need to look at what direction your roof is oriented. A true southern-facing roof plane is the ideal spot to install panels in North America. If your roof only has space for panels on a plane that is facing a different direction, solar can still be a good option, you just may need to add additional panels to make up for lost hours of solar production. An expert solar installer will assess your roof to optimize the placement of panels.

Is A 4kw Solar System Worth It

With the average U.S. irradiance of 5.3kWh/m2/day , a 4kW solar system generates about 21.2kWh of energy per day, or 7738kWh/year.

This is quite a lot less than the average energy consumption for a U.S. home is 11000kWh/year. A 4Kw solar system may or may not meet a homes energy requirement, as it depends on the location and how much the home uses.

Whether such a system is worth it or not also depends on the electricity cost, which varies from state to state. The cost of the solar system must also be known, and this assest cost may be reduced by government or state solar incentives.

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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need

  • Team Nexamp

As more homes throughout the country consider installing solar panels, one question commonly asked is, how many solar panels do I need?. Well, it depends there are a few factors that go into determining how many solar panels you would need to power your home or business home energy usage, roof or property surface area, orientation of your roof and geographic location. In this piece, well break it down for you.

How much solar energy do I need?

When determining how much solar energy you need your homes average energy usage is the first thing to look at. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2019, the average electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,649 kWh. Thats an average of about 877 kWh per month. To understand your own usage, a good rule of thumb is to look back at your total energy consumption from the last twelve months on your utility bills. Most utility bills provide this information. Divide that number by 12 and you have a great estimate of what youll need your solar panels to generate each month.

Solar Panel Wattage Calculation Formula

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Solar panel wattage is the amount of solar energy your system requires to produce to fulfill your needs. The formula for calculating the solar panel wattage needed is given below,

Solar panel wattage calculation formula

We already explained above that total load wattage is the amount of electricity you use per day.

Moreover, the 5 represents the direct sunlight hours. As most countries get almost 5 hours of sunlight every day we are dividing the load wattage by 5.


Assume your total load wattage per day is 10kWh, this is how you would calculate your solar panel wattage needed.

Solar panel wattage = 10/5


It simply means that you need to get a 1 kW solar panel to produce enough power for your needs.

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Choose The Right Solar Panels

If you have a small or odd-shaped roof, solar panel size is an important consideration when deciding on the size of a solar system. Take these factors into account:

  • With a large usable roof area, you can buy more larger panels to get to your target energy output.
  • If your usable roof area is limited or partially shaded, using fewer smaller high efficiency panels will ultimately be the most cost-effective, long-term solution. You can add more panels later on to accommodate increased energy needs.

What Size Solar Panel Do I Need

Solar Panels power generation is commonly given in Watts e.g. 120 Watts. To calculate the energy it can supply the battery with, divide the Watts by the Voltage of the Solar Panel.

120 Watts / 18v = 6.6 Amps

Please note that Solar Panels are not 12v, I repeat Solar Panels are not 12v. Any one who works out the Amps of a solar panels using 12v as the voltage calculation does not understand solar or has been misinformed. All solar panel voltages should be marked in the item description of our website or on the unit itself.

The size of the solar panel required to charge a lithium battery depends on the lithium battery’s capacity.

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What Is Solar Energy

Simply put, solar is the most abundant source of energy on Earth. About 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strike the Earth at any given time – more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy needs.

By capturing the sun’s energy and turning it into electricity for your home or business, solar energy is a key solution in combating the current climate crisis and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Calculate How Many Solar Panels You Need

Off Grid Solar Power – How to Calculate Your Needs

Put simply, you just take your solar system size , multiply it by 1000, and divide by the wattage of your chosen model of solar panels. Heres the math equation:

Solar system size x 1000 / panel wattage = # of solar panels

You can get solar panels that produce anywhere from 45 watts up to nearly 400 watts. Obviously, the 400-Watt panels cost more. But you will need fewer of them to meet your production goal.

So, lets say the 20 kW solar array from our step 5 example decides to go with solar panels that produce 315 watts each. This is a fairly common figure.

20 times 1000 equals 20,000. Divide that by 315, and you get 64 panels .

This particular farmer would need about 64 panels to produce 3000 kWh per month.

If you want panels that produce less power, like 200-W panels, youll just need more of them. If you want premium panels up around the 370-W range, youll pay more for each but youll need fewer of them. Just use the math above and play with the numbers.

Again this approach only gives you approximations. If you use the PV Watts calculator, your answer will be more accurate. But its still an estimate because every location has specific variables that can only be measured on site.

But hopefully this was helpful and now you have a clearer picture of what it would take for your hog farm to go solar.

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Calculate How Many Solar Panels You Need For Your Home

The average American home needs between 19 and 23 solar panels based on the average electricity usage of 877 kilowatt-hours per month. Installing that many solar panels would cost between $13,000 and $16,200 after the federal solar tax credit.

However, chances are your energy usage doesnt line up exactly with the U.S. average, plus the number of solar panels you need depends on several other factors, like the location of your home and what kind of solar panels you choose.

So how exactly do you figure out how many solar panels you need? Weve got you covered.

Calculate how many solar panels you will need to power your specific home

Factors That Influence How Many Solar Panels You Need: Size And Output

To determine how many solar panels are needed to power a house, several factors must be considered. For example, if there are two identical homes powered by solar energy in California and New York, with exactly the same energy usage, the California home will need fewer solar panels because the state gets more sunshine.

The following are some of the most important factors to consider when figuring out many solar panels you need:

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How Many Solar Panels Does It Take To Run A House Off Grid

Solar panels, solar battery charger, batteries and an inverter used in off-grid solar systems

As a general rule, you need the same amount of solar panels as for a grid-tied system, but with extra panels depending on how much autonomy you require.

Lets say you have a home that uses 30kWh per day and the irradiance in your location is the US average of 5.3 peak sun hours per day. A 5.7kW solar system would meet your needs in theory, ignoring PV system losses.

Most of your homes energy usage, maybe 75%, is used in daytime. You need to make sure that your battery bank is fully charge duing the day so that you have uninterrupted electrical supply through the night.

Also, what if you have several days of cloudy days with low solar output? In this case the energy storage battery bank would have to meet the shortfall in energy production.

I would add another 25% to the estimated solar system size required, in this case making the system size 7.5kW and a battery bank sized to supply the home for 48 hours with no solar generation.

The average US house running with off-grid solar would need 25 solar panelseach rated at 300 watts.

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Column Descriptions For The Power Needs Table

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Applicances/Loads â In this column put each thing that you want to power with your off-grid system.

Power â Put here how much powereach of the appliances you put in the first column uses while itâsturned on. For light bulbs itâs easy since the amount of power is written right on the light bulb .

Some items are listed in the table below. These may be wrong foryour appliance as things differ a lot but theyâll help if youâre stuck.

For a fridge itâs more difficult. The way I find out is to use awatt meter. If youâre not familiarwith these then click on the link in the previous sentence for a pageall about them. You plug your fridge, or whatever, into the watt meterand then plug the watt meter in the wall. The watt meter will tellyou over time how much power was used in kWh Leaveit like this for 48 hours At the end of that time, divide the power used by 48 and then multiply by 1000.That will give you the average power used per hour which is whatâs needed for column. For example:

2.784 kWh / 48 hours = 0.058 kW 0.058 kW x 1000 = 58 watts

Some things demand a lot of power briefly when you first turn themon, known as a surge, and then use less power after that. For this table ignore the surge. Weâre concerned only with the normal power usage once itâs up and running.

Hours used in a day â Put how manyhours each appliance is used per day.

Watt-hours per week x x â Multiply each value in columns , and together and put theresult here.

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How Many Solar Panels Are Required For House

the amount of solar panel boards you need for your homes livelihood needs depends on a number of variables. Beginning from the number of apparatuses and hardware, for example, coolers, TVs, lamps and a washcloth machine that utilizes energy.

In a typical home, the number of individuals living in each room and the amount of kWh for exercises like showers similarly affect the requirements.

In some expressions, a typical family unit utilizes about 900-1000 kWh every month. Forced utilization means 30 to 304kWh of normal daily.

For example, you have a solar panels board that builds 1.5-kilowatt hours every day, at which point you need about 22 solar panel boards for all your capacity needs.

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need For 1000 Kwh Per Month

A family with several siblings can easily reach a monthly consumption of 1,000 kWh. In places with expensive electricity, this results in monthly electric bills of over $200. However, solar power is an effective solution to reduce energy expenses.

As explained above, the number of panels needed to reach 1,000 kWh per month changes depending on local sunshine and panel wattage. To simplify calculations, solar radiation is specified in peak sun-hours per day. Weather scientists calculate this value by measuring the total sunshine in a location and converting it to equivalent hours of peak sunshine.

  • Peak sun hours should not be confused with daylight hours
  • Since sunlight is moderate in the early morning and late afternoon, these hours do not count as complete peak sun hours
  • You may find a site that gets 12 hours of average daylight, and 6 peak sun hours per day

There are many online databases that provide peak sun hours based on site coordinates, including the Atmospheric Science Data Center from NASA. Once you know the peak sun hours, estimating the number of solar panels needed for 1,000 kWh is simple.

  • The first step is calculating the kilowatts needed. You must simply divide the average daily kWh by the peak sun hours
  • Assuming a 30-day month, an electricity generation of 1,000 kWh is equivalent to 33.33 kWh per day
  • If the site gets 6 peak sun hours per day, you need 5.56 kilowatts

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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.

How Much Watt Solar Panel Required For Home

How To Figure Out Emergency Solar Energy Needs [Prep 365: EP210]

A solar panels wattage is measured in watts and determines how much power it can produce. The wattage required depends on how much power you want your system to produce, but generally speaking, most systems require around 2-3KW panels at a minimum even if they are small in the area each year that they are needed to power. For average solar panel requirements, you should consider the average energy consumption of your home. These days, average solar panels should produce about 1KW of electricity so it is advisable to be safe rather than sorry and opt for 3KW if you want a decent amount of warmth or power in your home.

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The End Result For Step 1

You now have what you need to move on to sizing the rest of your system,such as your batteries and your solar panels. Record theresult from Part C above, i.e. the Wh/day , and the Highest power used at one time which you got as a total at the bottom left of the above table, and move on to the next steps by clickingon the icons at the top or bottom of this page.

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Good Data In Good Data Out

First, lets debunk some common solar system sizing misconceptions. Using the total square footage of your building is NOT a great way to calculate your solar panel system size needs. Its also not about how many people live in your home. This might give you a ballpark estimate of your energy needs, but when dealing with sizing a solar system, you want to be as precise as possible. Like any calculation, if you put bad data into the equation, you get a bad answer out of it.

Remember what youre trying to do here. Youre trying to figure out how much energy your solar system should be capable of producing on any given day. Whether its generated from dirty fossil fuels or from clean renewable sunshine, energy is measured in kilowatts and youre billed for it based on kilowatt-hours . Because of this, your previous electric bills are actually the best guide for how to properly calculate your solar panel system size requirements. More on this later.

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