If you are considering solar panels for your home, you are bound to ask how many are needed to power it. While every home is different, there are some common approaches you can use to determine this number for yourself. In this article, we will cover some of the factors you should consider when calculating how many solar panels you will need.
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How Many Solar Panels Are Needed to Power an Average House?
When it comes to generating solar energy for your home, the most important factor to consider is the number of kilowatt (kWh) hours of electricity that you use in a year. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average home consumes about 10,972 kWh per year. This kind of usage would require somewhere between 28 to 34 solar panels to power the average home.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?
Of course, there are some factors that will make every home a little different when it comes to the number of panels needed. Here are some things to keep in mind when you analyze your home:
- Roof size
- Location relevant to the sun
- Shade from nearby trees
- Pools and hot tubs that draw a lot of extra power
- Hours of sunlight (Nevada can see an a see an average of 10 hours of sunlight per day during some stretches of the year)
It’s also imperative to understand what your goal is with your panels. Are you simply doing it to minimize your carbon footprint? Or are you trying to save as much money as possible? Most people want to do both, but you do need to know what percentage of your current usage you plan to offset with your new system.
How Do I Calculate The Number of Solar Panels Needed?
The number of solar panels you’ll need will be determined by your daily kWh usage for your home. To get started, you will need to gather the previous year’s worth of electric bills. Start by figuring out your average monthly kWh that you use, then divide your average monthly kWh by 30 (days in the month). It’s important to note that this will be a starting estimate, and you should speak with an experienced and qualified solar contractor to confirm your numbers.
For example, if your average monthly kWh usage is 1,000, you divide that by 30 to get 33.3 kWh per day. If you use a 250 watt panel that puts out 1 kWh per day, then you would need about 33 panels for your home. We are using fairly simple figures here to display how this calculation will work. Assuming you are using a 250 panel (which is most common) that puts out around 1kWh per day, your calculation should be pretty close.
Keep in mind, every home is made of many different factors (mentioned in the section above) that can alter calculations. You also need to set your own goals in terms of what percentage of usage you would like the solar panel system to offset. In order to come up with the most accurate projection of the amount of solar panels that you’ll need, it’s best to work with a skilled and experienced solar contractor. This will ensure that you have the proper amount of panels to hit your energy consumption needs.