You’re ready to reap the benefits of solar energy and lead a more sustainable lifestyle by installing a new solar panel system for your home. But there’s a lot to consider as you begin the process, including how many panels you’ll need for a home of your size. Vision Solar guides homeowners through this step on a daily basis and has assembled some tips on how to determine the proper solar panel amounts for your home.
Determining Your Home’s Energy Needs
The best place to start when figuring out your home’s solar panel amounts is your past utility bills. They will show your average energy usage based on how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) you typically use per month. Depending on your utility company, kWh may not be explicitly stated. In that case, you can consult your beginning and ending meter readings for that period.
There will then be some math involved to pinpoint roughly how many solar panels your home would require. If you’re using meter readings, subtract the previous total from the latest total. Then, divide that number two separate times — once by 30 days and once by 365 days. From there, divide those two numbers by 24 to find out your daily and hourly usage.
If you’re not confident in calculating your average energy usage yourself, Vision Solar is here to help. During a free, no-obligation consultation, we’ll do the math for you and provide you with a quote based on the recommended amount.
Sunlight in Your Area
Once you determine your home’s average daily and hourly kWh usage, you’ll have to factor in the number of peak sunlight hours your area receives on any given day. In general, homes in locations with fewer sunlight hours will require more solar panels than homes in areas with more sunlight hours. But to pinpoint your specific needs, multiply your hourly kWh usage total by the number of peak sunlight hours your home is exposed to.
Then, divide that total by the wattage offered by any solar panels you’re interested in, and multiply that number by 1,000 to convert it into watts. In the final step of the equation, divide the hourly wattage by your location’s number of peak sunlight hours. This will tell you how many kilowatt-hours your solar panel system has to generate to cover all of your energy needs.
The formula above will point you in the right direction as far as solar panel amounts go. But it’s also important to keep some other factors in mind. For example, if you opt against a ground system, you’ll need to know how big your roof is. Be sure to get the exact dimensions of your roof and check to see if there’s enough space for battery storage. It’s also helpful to keep track of how much sunlight reflects off of your roof throughout the day.
Another factor to consider is which type of solar panel system you want. For instance, photovoltaic (PV) solar panels range between 150-370 watts per panel. There’s a lot to think about, but that’s what Vision Solar is here for. Take the guesswork out of figuring out your solar panel amounts and allow us to provide you with a free estimate. For more information about Vision Solar or our 30-day residential installation process, contact us today.