One of the number one questions that we hear at True Green Energy is how many solar panels people need to put on their home. The answer to this question is a little bit more complicated than you might think, and it is bound to change from each situation that we are approached with. For example, powering an 800 foot apartment and a 2000 foot home are two completely different tasks, and the region in which those buildings are located also have a major impact.
Here are several important factors that determine how many solar panels you should install on your home…
Find out how much power you currently use
In order to make an educated decision on the number of solar panels on your home, you need to determine how much energy your home actually uses, on a regular basis. This can vary, wildly. For example, if you live in a household of two and neither of you are home very often, then you may not be using that much energy in the first place. However, if you have five kids who are frequently using electronics and other amenities, then your power bill probably gets to be pretty substantial.
For your purposes, you want to figure out how many kilowatt hours (kWh) your home uses, on average, every day. Ideally, your power bill will show you how many kWh you used, and then you can divide that amount by the number of days over the pay period. If your power bill doesn’t show you your kWh, then you can check your electric meter reading and calculate off of that.
Breakdown how much solar-generated power you need
Once you know how much energy you are using, you need to figure out how much solar panel you want to be generating every month. Essentially, you want to look at the electricity you are using, and then fill each kilowatt hour with its solar panel equivalent, depending on if you want to be completely solar powered or are going to have a hybrid-powered home.
For example, if you use 5,000 kWh in a year, then you will need to use either 19 SunPower low-wattage 150W solar panels, or 8 high-wattage 370W solar panels, or a mixture of both to generate the same amount of kWh each year. However, those numbers are only true if your home exists in an ideal environment, which brings us to our next point!
Look at environmental factors
Solar panel technology continuously gets better and handling the impact of cloudy weather. However, it’s still important to note that there are different weather conditions and different hours of the day that lead to peak solar panel performance. A home in a desert in the southwestern United States where it rarely rains and the days are longer is going to enjoy better solar panel performance than a home on the coast in the northwestern United States where it is cloudy for 250 days out of the year.
For this reason, the size and efficiency of solar panels that your home should utilize is likely going to change, depending on the geographic location of your home. In addition, the immediate surroundings of your home, particular the things that cause shade, such as trees or other buildings, are also going to have a major impact.
Call experts for a consultation
Our experienced technicians at True Green Energy can help make these complex calculations for you, and can give you a healthy sample of options to set your home up with sustainable energy that makes for a healthier environment and greater energy savings.
Call our team today to see how we can help you!