In 2019 the average American home consumed 10,649 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year or 877 kWh per month. You may be looking at your electric bill wondering whether you can benefit by making the change to solar energy.
When considering solar solutions, one of the first questions you may have is the number of solar panels you will need. There is a way to calculate the need, taking into consideration additional factors that affect that decision. Read on to learn how those calculations are made.
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Calculating Your Solar Solutions Needs
The number of solar panels necessary is based on your estimated household consumption level. Look at your monthly electricity bill to view your last 12 months of power consumption. One kWh is equal to using 1,000 watts of power per hour.
Multiply your home’s hourly energy requirement by the number of peak sunlight hours you have. You then divide that number by the panel’s wattage. Panel wattage ranges between 150W to 370W. The popular size for home usage is 250W.
The final calculation will give you the number of panels necessary to provide sufficient energy for your average daily usage. When calculating the number of panels you need or want, also consider how much roof space you have to hold your panels.
A large roof allows you to purchase more panels at a lower efficiency rating to meet your energy needs. A small usable roof area or a roof that has areas in the shade may require a lower number of panels at a higher efficiency rating. Your total solar solutions expert will be able to provide you with guidance in this area.
How Many KWh Do Solar Panels Produce?
The production level of your solar panels depends on how much sunlight your panels receive. This varies by the part of the country you reside in and the time of the year. If you live in an area with less sun, you will need more panels in your home to produce power.
If you have a home in Yuma, Arizona, which is the sunniest place in the U.S., you will require a smaller solar panel system than a home in St. Clair, Michigan, where the weather is more temperamental. Both homes can become 100% dependent on solar power, but the Michigan home will require a larger system.
Solar panels do not operate at maximum efficiency 100% of the time. For that reason, you may want to increase the number of panels by 25% to provide a cushion for your energy-producing ability.
When shopping for sun solar solutions, you must also consider solar panel installation companies. When shopping for installation you may discover a wide range of pricing differences. Large installers can be more costly due to higher advertising and marketing costs, not the services they provide.
The time it takes for your installation to be complete depends on:
- The company you contract with
- Local permit and inspection requirements
- The size and style of your solar panel system
- Property characteristics
- The utility company has an interconnection
The average time from the signing of the contract to having the system installation complete and operating is about three months. The actual residential rooftop installation is between 1 and 3 days. This is dependent on the number of panels and how difficult the installation area is.
Consider Sun Solar Solutions
When making changes to your home’s energy efficiency, consider solar solutions. Speak with a solar energy professional who will assist you in calculating your home’s needs and how panels will fit on your roof. They will help determine the proper panel efficiency size for your home.
Once you have made your solar panel decision, we invite you to check out our other blogs for more great information.