How to Calculate the Number of Solar Panels You Need for Your Home
Updated: Mar 4
Are you considering making the switch to solar energy? If so, you may be wondering how many solar panels you need to power your home. The answer will depend on several factors such as the size of your house, local climate, and roof space available. Read on to learn more about how to calculate the number of panels needed for your home.
Calculating Your Home's Peak Sun Hours
The first step in determining how many solar panels you need is calculating your home's peak sun hours (PSH). This is basically the amount of sunlight that reaches a particular location during its brightest period of the day. The average PSH for the U.S. is 4-6 hours per day, but this can vary depending on your geographic location and time of year. To get an accurate estimate for your home, you'll want to use a tool like Solar Anywhere or PVWatts Calculator from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).
Determining Your Power Consumption
Once you know your PSH, it's time to figure out how much energy you use on a daily basis. An easy way to do this is by looking at your monthly electric bill—it should list both kilowatt-hours (kWh) used and average cost per kWh charged by your utility company. Multiply those two numbers together and divide by 30 days (assuming a 30-day month) to get an estimate of how many kWhs you use each day.
Calculating Panel Size
Now that you know both your daily electricity usage and PSH, it's time to start shopping for solar panels! The size of panel needed depends on both of these factors; larger homes with higher energy consumption will require more powerful panels than smaller homes with lower energy usage. Generally speaking, a single 100 watt panel will generate about 8 kWh per day in ideal conditions—equivalent to roughly one month’s worth of electricity for an average household. So if your daily electricity usage is 27 kWh per day, then you would need approximately 34 100 watt panels (27/8 = 3 + 1 for good measure).
Conclusion: So there you have it—determining how many solar panels are needed for powering a home isn't as complicated as it might seem! All it takes is some basic math and knowledge about local peak sun hours in order to determine what size solar array best suits your needs. Of course, it’s always best practice to consult with a professional installer or engineer when undertaking any DIY projects related to electrical wiring or installation! With that said, we hope this article serves as a helpful guide in getting started with planning out the perfect solar array setup for powering up your home! Happy calculating!