What is the average number of solar panels needed for a house? What is the recommended number of solar panels for a three-bedroom house? For a 2000-square-foot home, how many solar panels will I need? All of these questions are common among aspiring solar homeowners. In order to determine how many solar panels you’ll need for your home, you must first figure out what your goals are.
Would you like to minimize your carbon footprint? Would you like to maximize the return on your investment? Do you want to save as much money as possible?
It is common for people to want to save money while minimizing their environmental impact.
The number of solar panels you need depends on the following:
- The average amount of energy you use
- The wattage of your current energy use
- Climate and sunlight in your area
- Consider the efficiency of the solar panels you’re considering
- Your considerations for the size of solar panels
The amount of solar panels you need depends on your roof!
Solar Panels: How Many Do You Need?
The size of your house does not determine how many solar panels you need! In order to determine how many solar panels your solar energy system needs, you must determine the following:
There is a direct correlation between the amount of electricity you use and the number of solar panels you need to cover your electricity bill.
Those who live in areas where there is less sunlight will need more solar panels to eliminate their electricity bills than those who live in states with more sunlight. The southwestern United States receives the most sun out of all the regions in the country, while the northeast receives the least amount of sun.
It is important to note that the wattage of your solar panels, also known as their power rating, determines how much energy they will produce, and most solar panels installed today are rated with a power rating of about 370 watts per panel, and so when you install panels with a higher wattage rating, you don’t have to install as many panels.
In order to calculate how many solar panels you will need, all you need to do is follow these four simple steps. You can put pen to paper and do the calculations by yourself if you wish.
Step 1: Determine Your Energy Usage
To find out how much electricity you consume on a monthly basis, take a look at your most recent power bill. Most of the time, the total amount of electricity used in a month is shown at the bottom of the bill in kilowatt-hours (kWh). As energy usage fluctuates in different seasons, it is important to estimate how many solar panels you will need based on how much electricity you use for air conditioning in the summer (just think about the amount of electricity you use for air conditioning in the summer!).
Since monthly energy usage can vary so much, you may want to dig up your electric bills for the past year, add the electric usage together, and divide by 12.
To get a ballpark estimate of your energy consumption, you can still use just one utility bill to determine how much energy you consume.
In order to calculate the amount of sunlight your area receives on a daily basis, you will need to find out how much electricity your home uses every month. In most cases, this is measured by something called “peak sun hours”, which is basically the intensity of sunlight in the area in question.
The amount of sunlight your area receives daily, but you need to know how much you receive every month. Multiply your state’s daily peak sun hours by 30. The U.S. receives 120 to 150 peak sun hours per month on average.
Solar panels produce one kilowatt (kW) of electricity per month based on the monthly peak sun hours in your area. Accordingly, if your state receives 150 peak sunlight hours per month, 1 kW of solar will produce 150 kWh of electricity.
The amount of electricity 1 kW of solar generates in your area will help you determine the size of solar system you need to cover your needs.
Divide your monthly electricity usage by the peak sun hours in your area to determine your system size in kW. In the U.S., the calculation would look like this:
893 kWh consumed / 135 monthly peak sun hours = 6.61 kW of solar
You now know the size of solar system you need to cover your energy consumption. What’s next? Calculate how many solar panels you need by multiplying the solar system size by 1,000 to convert it from kilowatts to watts. Let’s use the same example as before:
6.61 kW of solar x 1,000 = 6,610 watts of solar
Next, divide the wattage of the solar panels by the size of the system in watts. The average solar panel in the U.S. is about 370 watts in size. To cover your energy usage with solar panels, you would need 18 panels.
6,610 watts of solar / 370-watt solar panel = 18 solar panels
Voila! To power your home, you’ll need that many solar panels.