A person interested in investing in solar or wanting to generate their power might ask themselves, “How many solar panels for home will I need?” Usually, anyone would wonder if the number of solar panels is linked to the size of their home.
However, that is not necessarily the case. The square footage or area of your home does not determine the number of solar panels needed. Several factors are responsible for your annual energy usage. Energy usage depends on a few things:
- Cooking and heating your home.
- Heating water with fossil fuels or electricity.
- Location of your home.
- The number of people in your home.
An example you can visualize is two elderlies who live with a stove, gas furnace, and a water heater. They require minimal electricity. On the other hand, there is a family of five, two adults and three children. They are using appliances with higher power consumption. This shows how similar-sized houses can have varying energy usage.
Number of Solar Panels for Home
Getting right to the point, an average home in America covering 2,000 square feet of the area needs sixteen to twenty-one solar panels. This is based on statistics provided that the home’s roof gets full sunlight daily.
The above details are a rough estimate, but the average U.S house covers a little more than 2,000 square feet of area. The average occupant utilizes about 10,800 kilowatt-hours each year.
Again, this number can vary and is prone to changes depending upon the state in which the home is located, the type of home, and the number of people living in that home, but for clarity, we have discussed averages.
The state your home is located in can directly influence the effectiveness of your solar panel. This is because of the difference in sunlight received by each state. For example, one kilowatt (kW) of solar panels for home in Arizona generates about 1,900 kWh in a year. On the other hand, the same 1 kW of solar panels only generates 1,400 kWh of electricity in Michigan.
By doing some math, you can easily calculate solar power generation yourself. Companies like SIlfab and Qcells make solar panels that average out on 370 watts. Check your total power usage in a day. Then divide that number by 370 to get a rough estimate of the number of solar panels for home needed. But keep in mind that it does not factor in homes that use less or more than 10,800 kWh of electricity each year. Try a solar calculator to get a more accurate representation and calculation.
Solar Panel Installation Cost
Since there are many different types of solar panels in the market: used, refurbished, or new solar panels for home, their prices can vary a lot. But industry experts have examined the average prices for people buying solar panels for home. The number is expressed in dollars per watt. The average solar installation price in the United States is around $3.20 per watt.
Calculations say that the average price of a 7.7 kW system would be $24,640, and the cost of a 5.7 kW system would be around $18,240. Remember that the above prices are without state and federal incentives such as utility rebates and solar tax credits.
Figuring Out The Amount of Solar Panels Needed
You have to factor in certain things to figure out the number of solar panels needed for your home:
- The direction in which your roof faces.
- Your yearly electricity utilization.
- The location of your house.
You can look at your utility bills if you are curious about your energy usage. It pretty much contains all the information about your energy usage. This will give you an idea of how many kilowatts you use. It might also have a chart showing all your energy usage in a month.
Factors Affecting Solar System Size
As mentioned before, 370-watt solar panels ranging from sixteen to twenty-one in number are required for the energy production of an average home in the United States. Again, there are many variables on which this depends:
- Type of fuel.
- Amount of heating.
- Energy consumption of appliances.
- Air conditioning.
There are different ways of producing and using energy. There is a thing called off-grid and a thing called grid-tied. Both are very different but hold similarities. Going off-grid means cutting off the utility grid and generating your energy through solar panels for home. In-grid-tied, you can either use the grid’s electricity or save money on bills by generating some energy from solar panels.
If you are going for off-grid solar panels, you need to get some big solar panels. This is because you will need a lot of energy, especially during dark winter or cloudy days. Since you are not connected to the utility grid, start oversizing your solar panel. Also, add in a solar battery to store excess energy for unfortunate times or later use.
In short, you can never estimate or calculate the number of solar panels you will need for power generation just by looking at the size of your home. Instead, you should estimate your solar needs by looking at your daily power usage and checking how much energy each solar panel can generate in a year. Every home is different, and every home’s energy consumption is different so do your calculations wisely and install your solar panels for home smartly.