You want to switch to solar, but how many panels you need depends on what you want from your system. Do you want to replace all electricity or just some? If you want to replace all of it, you need more solar panels.
Before you can determine how many solar panels you need, you must know a few things.
How Much Solar Power do you Need?
Look at your past utility bills to see how much energy you use. Look specifically at your household’s hourly usage and your average sunlight hours. Multiply your average hourly usage by your area’s peak sunlight hours and divide that number by the average panel wattage. This will tell you approximately how many panels you need.
If you don’t know your hourly usage because your bill only breaks it down by month, do this:
Take your monthly usage and divide it by 30 days. Then divide that number by 24 to get your hourly usage.
Know your Area’s Sunlight
You must know the area’s peak sunlight hours. These are the hours that will help the solar system. The fewer hours of peak sunlight that your area has, the more solar panels you need and vice versa.
Choosing the Right Panels
The number of solar panels you need is also dependent on the quality of the panels. The more sunlight they can absorb, the fewer panels you need. Once you know how many wattages a solar panel can produce, you can choose the right number of panels.
Know your Home’s Exposure
The size and placement of the solar panels also make a difference. If the panels will be in an area where there is adequate shade, you’ll need higher capacity efficiency panels that can provide the output you need.
Of course, the only way to truly know how many solar panels you need is to have a professional installer look at your home, the peak sunlight hours, and the architecture of your roof to determine the best number of panels and the best placement for the most effectiveness.
Going solar is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money. While it’s a hefty investment up front, it pays off in the end with lower utility bills and the help you provide the environment.