It is widely known that installing solar panels is a great investment to reduce energy costs and become more efficient. But how do you determine how many panels you need to meet your home’s energy needs?
While the average American home requires between 15 and 19 solar panels, this number can vary based on several factors.
For example, your energy consumption may not align with the national average, and the location of your home can influence the amount of sunlight it receives.
If you’re considering installing solar panels in your home, it’s important to calculate the number of panels you need to ensure that your solar system is effective and allows you to save on your electricity bill.
In this article, we will help you understand how to calculate the number of solar panels needed for your home.
Keep reading to discover how many solar panels you need to power your home efficiently and cost-effectively.
Key factors to calculate the number of solar panels needed for your home.
Determining the appropriate number of solar panels for your home is crucial to maximize savings and reduce dependence on the traditional electric grid.
Next, we delve into each of the factors that influence the number of solar panels you need:
Energy Usage: The first step in determining the number of solar panels you need is to analyze your energy consumption. You can review your electricity bills to determine how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) your home consumes per month. The more energy you consume, the greater the number of solar panels you will need to meet your electricity needs.
Sunlight in Your Area: It is true that the amount of sunlight your home receives is an important factor to consider when determining the number of solar panels required. However, it’s not just about the amount of sunlight or the sunny or cloudy climate in your area. Other factors influence the performance of solar panels, such as temperature.
While solar panels can function on cloudy days, their efficiency is not the same as on sunny days. It is estimated that on cloudy days, solar panels produce between 10% and 25% of their normal power output, depending on the thickness of the cloud cover.
However, it’s important to note that solar panels don’t necessarily perform better in extremely hot or sunny climates. In fact, the performance of solar panels starts to decline if the panel surface temperature exceeds 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).
Therefore, it’s not just about the amount of sunlight your home receives but also other factors like ambient temperature.
Panel Power: Panel voltage, also known as nominal power, is another important consideration when determining the number of solar panels you need. Higher-power panels generate more energy per panel, meaning you will need fewer solar panels on your roof to generate the same amount of energy as lower-power panels. Currently, most solar panels on the market have a nominal power of around 370 watts per panel.
By considering these factors, you can determine the appropriate number of solar panels for your home to meet your energy needs efficiently.
How to calculate the number of solar panels you need.
Our solar panel cost and savings calculation tool is the fastest, easiest, and most accurate way to find out how many solar panels you need for your home, and the best part is that you don’t have to do any calculations.
Furthermore, we will provide you with the average cost of solar panel installation for your specific home and how much you could save on your electricity bills.
However, if you prefer to do the calculations yourself, here are four simple steps to determine how many solar panels you need:
Step 1: Determine your energy usage
To know how many solar panels you need, it’s important to analyze your energy consumption. You can refer to your most recent energy bill to see your monthly electricity usage, which is typically displayed at the bottom of the bill in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
Your annual energy usage will give you the best estimate of how many solar panels you need since energy usage can vary across different seasons, for example, more energy is typically used for air conditioning in the summer.
Since monthly energy usage can vary greatly, it can be beneficial to review your monthly electricity bills over the past year, sum up the electricity usage for the entire year, and divide it by 12.
However, using just one utility bill to find your energy consumption is still sufficient for a rough estimate.
Step 2: Find the amount of energy produced by solar panels in your area
To determine the number of solar panels you need, it’s important to know the amount of sunlight your area receives. This value is measured in peak sun hours, which indicates the intensity of sunlight in your region.
On our website, you will find a comprehensive list of the average daily peak sun hours for each state. This is the amount of sunlight your area receives on a daily basis, but it’s necessary to know how much it receives monthly. To do this, simply multiply the daily peak sun hours of your state by 30. On average, the United States receives between 120 and 150 peak sun hours per month.
The monthly peak sun hours indicate the amount of kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity that 1 kilowatt (kW) of solar panels will produce in your area in a month. For example, if your state receives 150 monthly peak sun hours, 1 kW of solar power will generate 150 kWh of electricity per month.
With this information, you will be able to determine the number of solar panels needed to cover your monthly energy consumption.
Step 3: Calculate the size of the solar system you need
Now that you know how much 1 kW of solar power will produce in your area, you can determine the size of the solar system you need to meet your electricity needs.
Divide your monthly electricity consumption by the monthly peak sun hours in your area to find the size of the system you need in kW. For the average home in the U.S., the calculation would look like this:
893 kWh consumed / 135 monthly peak sun hours = 6.61 kW of solar power
Step 4: Calculate the number of solar panels required.
Now that you know the size of the solar system you need to meet your energy requirements, how do you calculate the number of solar panels needed?
To begin, take the size of the solar system in kilowatts and multiply it by 1000 to convert it to watts. Following the previous example:
6.61 kW of solar energy x 1000 = 6,610 watts of solar energy.
Next, take the size of the system in watts and divide it by the rated power of the solar panels you want to install. On average, solar panels in the USA have a power output between 350 and 400 watts approximately.
For this example, you will need around 18 solar panels to meet your energy consumption.
6,610 watts of solar energy / 370 watts per solar panel = 17.86 solar panels
Therefore, you will need 18 solar panels to meet your energy needs. Done!
How much roof space is required for solar panel installation?
To determine how much roof space you will need for the installation of solar panels, multiply the number of panels you require by 17.55 square feet, which is the area of most residential solar panels available today. The average solar installation will require between 260 and 340 square feet of roof space.
Following our example:
18 solar panels x 17.55 square feet = 315.9 ft²
If you have limited roof space, you may need high-efficiency panels or panels with a higher power output to install fewer panels and still meet your energy needs.
The time is now!
Now that we know solar energy is the best option to reduce your energy costs and decrease your carbon footprint…
It’s time to take the next step and start saving on your electricity bill!
At Babio, we understand how important it is to save money on energy bills. That’s why we offer a unique tool to help you determine the number of solar panels you need in just seconds.
Our solar calculator will allow you to estimate the required number of solar panels for your home, saving you time and money.
Simply enter some basic information and discover the potential savings and the exact number of solar panels you need for your home.
Don’t wait any longer, visit our solar calculator today and embark on your journey towards clean and renewable energy!