Here’s How Much A Solar Power System Will Really Cost You
With the cold months literally on our doorstep, coupled to the often unpredictable load shedding issues, it is a good idea to look into alternative electricity and heating solutions.
With South Africas sunny weather, Wendy Williams, Director of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa, says solar power provides an ideal source of energy that can be converted into electricity, and with Eskoms erratic power supply, many homeowners are exploring the solar power system option. Although the initial set up costs are high, it can save you thousands of rands in the long term.
Williams discusses why solar power systems are beneficial:
What is a solar power system?
A solar power system is a system that is installed in a house in order to draw energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. Solar panels, which are installed on the roof, collect solar energy and convert it into DC electricity which is then sent to an inverter. The inverter takes the DC electricity from the solar panels and charges the batteries. The batteries are connected to the mains and feed electricity into the home to power lighting and various appliances such as televisions, laptops, hairdryers, washing machines, dishwashers, kettles and toasters, but not appliances with larger heating elements such as stoves, ovens and geysers. In a nutshell, a solar power system consists of solar panels, an inverter and a lithium battery bank.
Where to start
What are the costs?
Factors That Determine How Many Solar Panels You Need
You may think that the size of your house determines how many solar panels you need, but it doesnt! To really understand how many solar panels your solar energy system needs, you need to determine the following:
- Your energy usage: The more electricity you use, the more solar panels you need to cover your electricity costs
- Sunlight in your area: Homes in areas that receive less sunlight will need more solar panels to eliminate their electricity bills than those in sunnier states. As a rule of thumb, the southwestern United States gets the most sun in the country, while the northeast gets the least
- Panel wattage: The wattage of the solar panels you choose, also called the power rating, determines how much energy the panels will produce and most solar panels installed today have a power rating of about 320 watts per panel fewer panels are needed when you install panels with high wattage ratings
Below, solar expert Will White breaks down everything you need to know to figure out how many solar panels you need to power your home.
Do Solar Panels Make Sense For My Home
Some factors, like roof direction, roof shading, the solar inverter you choose, and whether or not youre including a solar battery could also influence the number of panels you need. These factors, however, are hard to quantify on your own.
The best way to determine the ideal location for your home solar power system and how many solar panels you need is by getting quotes from qualified local solar companies. Solar installers will also be able to give you an idea of the upfront costs of solar for your home and what rebates, incentives, and tax credits homeowners in your area qualify for.
In the meantime, using the steps in this article can give you a rough estimate of how many photovoltaic solar panels you need to power your home with clean, renewable energy.
Is going solar worth it where you live?
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The Amount Of Solar Energy Your System Will Produce
5kW systems are particularly popular. They produce a reasonable amount of energy and theyre not overly expensive to install or maintain. You also dont need an enormous roof. However, some people install systems as small as 3kW or 4kW, while others install systems as large as 15kW.
If you can afford it, and you have the roof size, then larger solar panel systems will save you more money in the long run, all things considered. The cost of installation per kWh goes down when youre installing more solar panels.
What Time Of Day Will It Produce The Most Power
The 5kw Solar System produces the most power between 8 am 5 pm with the peak time being 10 am 2 pm. This is due to the intensity of light received by the panels when the sun is highest in the sky. This system will produce at least 20kw of energy every day. This can offset the entire energy usage in a single home.
5kW solar system really means the amount of power the system will produce per hour during peak periods is 5000 watts .
There are some things that can affect the output of your 5kw solar system that has nothing to do with light levels. Even just a small drop in output per hour can have a large effect on the overall output of your system per day and year.
Dirt on the panels can reduce the amount of power produced. Since the panels are placed on the rooftops, it is easy for them to attract dirt, pollen and other coverings. These block the solar cells from receiving the required amount of sunlight even at peak hours. Dirt reduces power production by up to 5%.
No special equipment is required to clean the panels. You can use a hose or a bucket with warm soapy water. Always use a soft sponge to avoid damaging the panels.
In order to ensure you get maximum power output with a 5kw Solar System, ensure these 2 things:
i. Purchase the highest quality solar panels and inverters. The inverter is an electronic devise that changes Direct Current to Alternating Current which is supplied throughout the home.
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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Off
Like any project, installing an off-grid solar system has positives and negatives to consider. Off-grid solar systems have high start-up costs, but tax rebates and credits are available to lower costs. These systems also eliminate your monthly electric bill, saving money long-term. Furthermore, while traditional energy costs continue to rise, your systems costs remain constant.
If you live or want to build in a rural area where electrical lines do not reach, an off-grid solar system allows for many modern amenities that would be impossible without electricity.
Going off-grid can also be better for the environment because many areas use fossil fuels to produce their electricity, contributing to climate change.
On the other hand, going off-grid means anticipating all potential electricity needs ahead of time and making sure your system can handle them. Electricity needs can fluctuate throughout the year. You may have to install a larger, costlier system than you originally planned for.
If you go off-grid for electricity, you may still have other utilities connected to the grid. If you eliminate those too, you may find that you have higher insurance costs or that your home is no longer insurable. You should speak to your home insurance agent to find out more before you begin going off-grid.
Will Solar Panels Work At Night
Like any other solar panel, the 5kw Solar System does not work at night. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. Therefore, the absence of sunlight means no energy is being produced at night. The PV panels absorb the sunlight, convert it to DC and the inverter converts it to AC . AC is the energy your home uses.If the solar system produces excess power, it is transferred back to the electricity grid using net metering. This surplus energy adds credits to your electricity bill meaning you end up making money. The net metering amount has dropped significantly and you really dont make a lot of money, but it does help to offset the electricity you use from the grid at night.
The grid connections ensure that you have a constant supply of power even with a fluctuation in energy production.
An alternative to grid connections is to install a solar battery. Also known as going off-grid this allows you to store any excess energy your system produces and use it at night after the sun goes down and the solar panels sign dormant until sunrise.
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Labor Costs To Install An Off
Labor costs make up a large percentage of the total cost to install an off-grid system. The cost to map out the best position for the panels, install the panels and batteries, connect the various components, and get the system up and running comes out to about 10% of the systems complete cost. For a $50,000 system, the labor portion is usually around $5,000. However, many companies roll labor costs into the overall package rather than pricing it out separately.
Labor costs vary depending on several things. These include the general layout or setup, if your roof requires additional reinforcement to support the panels, the pole type for mounting the panels, and the projects size.
How Many Solar Panels To Produce 30 Kwh Per Day
With an average irradiance of 4 peak-sun-hours 25 solar panels rated at 300 watts each would be needed to produce 30kWh per day. This equates to a 7.5kW solar power installation. The solar output will vary depending on the irradiance at any particular location.
Domestic solar panels can have power ratings anywhere from 200 watts to 350 watts.
Lower rated panels such as the very common 100 watt variety are mainly used for small projects, local battery charging, camping vans/RVs, sheds and pergola roofs.
Lets say the panels in question are 300 watts. Ill also choose the location of the panels as Atlanta, Ga. Other factors, such as voltage, doesnt really matter.
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How Many Watts Do You Use
When looking at your utility bill, you should be able to see kilowatt-hours . KWH for homes can vary greatly depending on location. A home in the south is more likely to draw massive amounts of energy from air conditioner units.
Finding the average daily energy usage will help you calculate your solar needs. Once you have your usage you can look at how much wattage youll need to be able to run everything.
How Much Maintenance Does A 10 Kw System Require
While not a huge requirement, solar panels do require some routine maintenance. A few times throughout the year you will want to take care to remove any accumulated debris and dirt.
This can be done quickly and easily with a garden hose to gently spray the panels. Do this in the early morning late evening and avoid using very cold water to minimize risk of cracking your panels. There are a few automated cleaners available if you prefer a simpler cleaning method.
Such systems work in a similar manner to in-ground sprinkler systems used for yard watering. If interested, talk with your supplier and contractor about options they are familiar with.
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How Much Electricity Does A 10kw Solar System Generate
In total, this system generates about 10,000 watts of electricity per hour as defined by laboratory Standard Test Condition results. This breaks down to an average of between 29 and 46 kWh per day.
It is recommended that your current energy usage be at least 20 kW per day and that your current bill be at least $800 per billing cycle if you plan on using a 10 kW solar system. If youre using less electricity, a smaller solar panel installation may be more appropriate.
What Kind Of Household Does It Suit Best
5kW solar systems are perfect for medium to large households using larger amounts of electricity. So if you have teenage kids, or a pool and reverse cycle air conditioning, this is the system for you. It suits an electricity budget of $350 or more per bill cycle.
If youre interested in learning more about 5kW solar PV systems, and if its the right choice for your home, give us a call on 1300 074 669.
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Compare Quotes From Up To 7 Installers In Your Area Now
Your rate of self-consumption will depend the amount of energy that you use on a daily basis, the pattern of your consumption throughout the day, and the size of the system that you install.You can increase your solar self-consumption ratio by running more of your devices during daylight hours possibly manually, on timers or using a home energy management system.
The table below contains very rough solar self-consumption ratio estimates for a range of popular solar system sizes and energy consumption levels. If the cell is red, the system is probably too large . If the cell is green, the system size is likely have a favourable payback period .
|Your daily energy consumption|
Remember: The table above is a highly generalised, indicative guide it does not take into account your location or the tilt & orientation of your roof not to consider system prices or financial details like payback period. If youd like to take a more detailed look, use our Solar PV System Payback Estimator or our Simple Solar System Sizing Estimator.
What Can A 5kw Solar System Power
The following chart guide is based on a standard American home with four people. What this shows is that a 5kw solar system can run all of these appliances. This is only meant to give you a general idea of what a 5kw solar system can power. Depending on the household, the appliance usage will vary.
|Game Console standby mode 10||Standby mode||10|
The total monthly wattage comes up to 528kw. It is well within the range of the 600-700kw capacity of a 5kw system with 5 hours of sunlight available. There is enough power left to run other appliances like a food processor, blender, toaster etc. a few minutes a day.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
- The appliances listed above are among the most commonly used. Yours may be different, so use your own list.
- The usage is the US national average for a household of four. The watt consumption will differ significantly depending on the number of persons per household.
- The size of the house is not as important as the power usage. It is the number of appliances being used that matters.
Power consumption will vary depending on the season. You will run an AC unit during the summer months but not in the winter. In the same vein you will turn the heater up during the winter only. This could even things out in terms of usage, but it is better to be more specific. By looking up your power bill as suggested, you will know exactly how many kilowatts you use regardless of the season.
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Why Are 5kw Solar Panels So Popular In Australia
5 kilowatt solar systems have become one of the most popular sizes in Australia, thanks to the combination of high energy yields and great value-for-money that they deliver. What are the price ranges, electricity yields and financial returns that a household can expect from a 5kW solar PV system? This article takes a look.
Faqs 5kw Solar System
How much power does the 5kw solar system produce?
Normally, a 5kw solar system produces 20 units per day when it is sunny outside. So accordingly, it will produce 600 units per month as an average.
What will be the cost of this 5kw PV solar system?
The exact cost of a 5kw solar system depends accordingly, whether it is on-grid solar system, off grid solar system or it is hybrid solar system. A 5 kW solar system is available from Rs.1,74,878 to Rs.3,94,553.
Know more about: Types of Solar System
How much space is required to install a 5kw solar system?
For installing 5 kilowatt solar system, 500 square feet of shadow-free space is required. You can install a solar system either on your rooftop or on the ground.
If I run 10 LED lights, 6 fans, 1.5 ton AC along with 1 TV, then what will the battery backup be?
If you are running all these appliances on 5kW PV solar system then the batteries will provide you a backup of at least 11 to 12 hours.
How many batteries will be installed in the 5kw off-grid solar system?
Batteries are needed only if you are installing off grid solar system or hybrid solar system. In a 5kw off-grid solar system, almost 8 solar battery of 150 Ah capacity.
Read more about: Solar Battery
What capacity solar inverter will be best for my 5kw solar system?
Know more about: Solar Inverter
What can I run on 5kw solar system and what is 5kw solar system price?
To claim the warranty of the solar system, we should contact whom?
Read more about: Solar Water Pump
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Cost Of 5kw Solar System Installed
5kW systems can meet the needs of smaller homes with average energy use in a moderately sunny climate. They can reduce grid dependency in larger homes or work with a backup system for larger homes going off-grid. A 5kW solar system includes an array of panels, inverters, batteries, and controllers. This is a whole-house system, so it requires space inside and outside. These systems typically cost $40,000 to $45,000, with installation usually included for an additional $4,000.
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.
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