Factors That Affect Solar Panel Output Efficiency
All things being equal, the design of the solar panel determines how efficient it is. This, in turn, specifies how well each square foot can convert sunlight into energy.
For example, gridlines on most panels reduce the active surface area. Therefore, they are not as efficient as those without them. In addition, grid panels are susceptible to peeling, further reducing efficiency.
Quality plays a role, too. For example, if the construction is subpar and introduces corrosion and cracking, it can also impact the ability of the panel to absorb sunlight.
But as a rule of thumb, expect residential solar panels to give you between 150 370 watts. This translates to an average solar panels wattage per square foot of 15 watts.
The Solar Rebate: Still Very Much Alive And Kicking And Generous
The famous Australian federal solar rebate, technically known as the STC scheme, acts as a point of sale discount off a solar installations final cost.
All the prices you see advertised will already include this discount. Its worth about $447 per kilowatt of solar panels installed in 2022, but this will vary slightly depending on where you live.
So, for example, 6.6 kW of panels attracts around $2,950 in rebates.
Anyone can claim the rebate, even if youve already bought solar power systems in the past and want to buy a new system.
The only restrictions on claiming the rebate are:
- Your system installation must be less than 100 kW in size .
- You get it installed and designed by a Clean Energy Council accredited professional
- You use panels and solar inverters approved for installation in Australia by the Clean Energy Council .
The federal solar rebate is slowly being phased out. It reduces by one-ninth of todays value every January until it goes to zero in 2031.
For Victorians, the Labor government introduced a state-level rebate that offers eligible recipients an extra $1,400 off the cost of a solar system installation at the time of writing.
Pro-tip: The federal rebate is based on solar panel capacity, not the inverters size. This often makes adding panels over and above the inverter rating very worthwhile.
How To Find The Right Solar Equipment And The Best Local Installers
Equipment decisions will significantly impact how much youll pay out of pocket for a solar panel system. Theyll also impact how much you can save over the lifetime of your system. To figure out what your specific system will cost, try our Solar Calculator this tool uses your electricity consumption and factors in real-time market prices to offer an instant solar estimate. Once youve figured out your real cost to install solar, you can begin comparing quotes from pre-screened installers in your area and start laying out your equipment preferences.
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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.
How Much Roof Space Do You Need For A Home Solar System
After you estimate how many solar panels power a house, the next step is calculating the roof area needed for their installation. The exact dimensions may change slightly depending on the manufacturer, but a typical solar panel for residential use measures 65 inches by 39 inches, or 17.6 square feet. You will need 528 square feet of roof space to install 30 panels, and 704 square feet to install 40.
In addition to having the required space for solar panels, you’ll also need a roof structure that supports their weight. A home solar panel weighs around 20 kilograms , which means that 30 of them will add around 600 kilograms to your roof.
You will notice that some solar panels are described as residential, while others are described as commercial. Residential panels have 60 individual solar cells, while commercial panels have 72 cells, but both types will work in any building. Here are a few key differences:
- Commercial solar panels produce around 20% more energy, thanks to their extra cells.
- Commercial panels are also more expensive, as well as 20% larger and heavier.
- Residential 60-cell solar panels are easier to handle in home installations, which saves on labor, and their smaller size helps when roof dimensions are limited.
Some of the latest solar panel designs have half-cells with a higher efficiency, which means they have 120 cells instead of 60 . However, this doesn’t change the dimensions of the panels.
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What To Expect From Your Solar Power System
One common misconception is that the solar panels will pay for themselves in three to five years and will make you rich. Another equally unfortunate misconception is that solar panels will never pay for themselves and are a poor investment.
Both are incorrect. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Solar power systems will typically pay for themselves in 7 to 15 years depending on the size of your system and the grants that are available to you. In select cases, under favourable conditions, a solar power system may pay for itself in less than 10 years, but we like to err on the side of caution and not over promise on your investment.
Your solar panels are performance warrantied for 25 years and are expected to last for 30+ years. Solar panels also come with a 10-year material warranty as well.
Inverters generally come with a 10 or 12-year warranty which you can extend to 25 years as well.
What The Inverter Does
An inverter converts the direct current produced by your solar panels into the alternating current that your electrical appliances need to work. Its probably the most important part of the whole system.
A small unit installed inside your home, the inverter takes the DC and runs it through a transformer so it essentially becomes the typical household 230-volt AC. From there, the current runs through the fuse box and meter to your appliances.
Any electricity you dont use can be fed back into the national grid.
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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need To Run Power Tools
We cannot cover every power tool, so we will go with the most widely used for home improvement and workshops. And no matter what tool you use, the calculation will be the same.
Power tool watt usage + 10% = solar panel size
Suppose you want to use a 5 1/2 inch circular saw. Its running watts ranges from 1500-3000, but for our example it is 1500 watts.
If the saw has 1500 running watts, its starting or surge power requirement is about 3000 watts. The surge watts is what it takes to start the saw. It takes a second or less but your solar panels must be able to supply this.
Because solar power varies throughout the day , add 10% as reserve.
3000 + 10% = 3333 watts
Rounded off to the nearest solar panel size, that is 3500 watts. So the solar panels must generate 3500 watts to run a 5 1/2 inch circular saw.
The circular saw will not consume the entire 3500 watts when you use it. As we pointed out, it only needs 1500 watts to run continuously. But your solar array must provide 3500 watts to start the motor.
Once the saw is running, it frees up the rest of the solar array for other uses. This is also how solar power tools work if you run them on inverters.
To generate 3500 watts you need several solar panels. An array consisting of 5 x 300W solar panels can produce 1500 watts an hour, enough to power a circular saw. .You can star off with the Renogy 300 Watt Solar panel Kit and then add another three 100 watt solar panels.
Power Tool Solar Power Guide
How Do Solar Leases / Solar Ppas Work
Under a solar lease agreement, the solar installer builds a system on your property, but they still own the equipment. It is the installer who gets to claim the Federal Tax Credit and any local incentives. The installer rents the equipment to you for a monthly fee, and you get to use 100% of its production regardless of how much power it generates.
Power purchasing agreements are similar to leases. The solar installer builds a system on your property and claims the tax credit. The only difference is that instead of renting the equipment, you pay a flat rate for the power you use.
Both PPAs and leases lag quite a bit behind personal loans in terms of lifetime value. Visit our solar financing page to compare all three options in depth.
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How Many Solar Panels Does It Take To Make 2000 Kwh A Month
If your aim is to produce 2,000 kWh of energy a month, you’ll need to do a few quick calculations to determine how many solar panels you need. As a general rule of thumb, you can divide your annual kWh needs by 1,200 to calculate your ideal system size. In this case, 2,000 kWh per month x 12 months = 24,000 kWh per year. 24,000 kWh / 1,200 = a 20 kW system.
But how many solar panels are in a 20 kW system? The number of solar panels you’ll need will depend on the power output of the panels. The best solar panels have output ratings between 330W and 360W, and the lowest-producing panels typically have a 250W output.
Let’s say you purchase panels with an output of 340 watts. You’ll need to divide your total system wattage by your panel wattage to determine how many panels to order. So, 20,000W / 340W = 58.8 panels. If you purchased 250W panels, your formula would look like this: 20,000 / 250 = 80 panels.
How Many Panels Do You Need
Using a 300-watt solar panel and assuming 4 hours of sunlight, to be on the safe side, one panel will generate 36kWh per month. If you need 1,000kWh per month, then you will need 1,000/36 panels = 28 solar panels.
A single 300w panel measures 3.5 feet by 5 feet so you will need nearly 400 square feet of roof space to install a system of this size, and you should expect to pay around $22,000 for the installation and equipment.
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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Alberta
The cost of home solar panels will be largely proportionate to the installed capacity . Larger solar arrays can be installed a lower rate, in terms of $/W . An average solar power system will cost around $12,000 to $25,000 and be installed for approximately $2.00/W to $2.75/W.
The $/W is how much bang you are getting for your buck, like$/sq.ft. in the flooring or painting industry. The lower, the better.
The cost of solar panels in Edmonton is comparable to the cost of solar panels in Calgary, Red Deer or other major hubs in Alberta.
What Size Solar Panel Do I Need To Charge A 12v Battery
If you live in an RV, van, or cabin, solar with battery storage is a great way to meet your energy needs. Once youve selected your solar panel kit, youll need to purchase a battery to store that energy produced from your panels. But how do you make sure that battery gives you the power you need and how do you know that solar panel will charge that battery effectively? Lets break it down.
Deep cycle batteries may look similar to the batteries used in your car, but they are actually very different. In contrast to car batteries which only provide short bursts of energy, deep cycle batteries are designed to provide sustained energy over a longer period of time. Deep cycle batteries can be discharged up to 80%, but most manufacturers recommend not discharging below 45%. Regularly going beyond that point will shorten the life of the battery.
Solar batteries store the energy that is collected from your solar panels. The higher your batterys capacity, the more solar energy it can store. In order to use batteries as part of your solar installation, you need solar panels, a charge controller, and an inverter.
When using batteries for solar panels as part of a home solar system, youre able to store the excess electricity your panels produce instead of sending that energy back into the grid. Electricity will be sent to the grid if your batteries are fully charged and your panels are still producing energy.
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Solar Industry Research & Reporting
DSIRE stands for Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. It is a federally backed database that tracks renewable energy incentives in all 50 states. It also tracks any local policies and laws that will impact your solar project .
NREL is a government research center with 18 research programs that produce over 1,000 scientific and technical reports every year.
They are without a doubt the organization that produces the most original research and data-driven analysis in the renewable energy space. This is the best place to find historical data on pricing trends and reports on the health of the industry.
SEIA is the national trade association for solar industry professionals in America. You dont need to be a member to use their site, which has valuable resources like a state-by-state breakdown of solar incentives and a national database of solar companies.
Energy.govs Homeowners Guide to Going Solar
If you own your home and want to go solar, energy.gov has a fantastic list to guide you through all the questions youll need to ask before committing to a purchase.
Main Components Of A Solar Panel System
Below are the basic and general components and devices which needed for a solar panel system installation at home. Details of each device is given below each section.
Solar panel also known as Solar Cell or Photo Voltaic Cell is the backbone of solar power system. There are some types of solar panels such as polycrystalline and monocrystalline. Monocrystalline is more efficient and little bit expensive as compared to polycrystalline solar panels. The selection criteria for a solar panel are different i.e. space, warranty, efficiency, technology type, cost etc. Keep in mind that output is the king when selecting a proper solar panel for residential solar power installation.
In general, the solar panel is directly connected to the charge controller but there are different connection of solar panel arrays such as series and parallel connection which depends on load calculation and specific energy requirement for home appliances, battery bank connection, roof surface space, climate and peak sunshine hours.
In fig below, a 120 watts, 12V and 10A solar panel is shown which produce 12V DC supply for direct battery charging and DC load can be directly connected through it via charge controller.
There are multiple types of charge controllers are available in the market such as follow:
In fig below, a 5-100 Ampere MPPT Charge Controller is shown which can be used for 12-48V battery bank and the max rating for solar panels system is 170A, 150V.
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Is It A Good Time To Get Solar Panels In California
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Number Of Residents And Amount Of Energy You Use
Households with more members normally use a higher amount of electricity, and this also means they need more solar panels to increase energy production.
Electricity usage is a very important factor, as it determines how much power must be generated by your solar panel system. If your home uses 12,000 kilowatt-hours per year and you want to go 100% solar, your system must be capable of generating that amount of power.
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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Solar Panel Setup
How much does it cost to install solar panels? The average cost of installing solar panels in the United States is about $ 12,000 under federal tax incentives. At the lower end, you can install a smaller system for about $ 5,000, while a high-priced Tier 1 solar cell system can cost $ 40,000 or more.