How Many Solar Panels does Your Home Really Need?

by Sep 14, 2020energy, Information, Residential Solar Panels, Solar Energy, Solar Panel Tips, Solar Questions

So, you’ve decided to make the switch to solar energy for your home. Whether you’re switching to solar power for the long term financial benefits or to eliminate your energy footprint, you have a lot to consider about how you want to implement this change. The biggest thing to consider is the size of your roof and how many panels you’ll need to effectively power your home. Here’s how you can calculate your solar energy needs based on your home and lifestyle.
Determine Your Average Energy Usage
To calculate your solar energy needs, you’ll first need to take a look at your last twelve months of energy use. You can get this information from your current utility provider, and most providers make it easy to access. However, some providers can be more difficult and you may even have to add your last year of electric bills up on your own.
Consider Your Location
The amount of energy you’ll be able to get out of your panels depends largely on where you live. You can easily find maps that show the average amount of kWh you can produce in a year per kW of solar panels. Find your area’s average kWh, and then divide your yearly electricity needs by this number. For example, if you need 9,000 kWh of electricity and you live in a zone with an average of 1,600 kWh, your system needs to be 5.625 kW in ideal conditions. Divide this number by 85% to account for slight electricity losses.
Understanding Net Metering
Net metering is a complicated topic, but here’s a basic overview: when your system overproduces solar energy, your utility provider can take the extra energy off of your hands and exchange it for access to grid energy when you need it. With the increased affordability of solar energy, utility providers can’t make as much profit from net metering as they used to. Most states still offer net metering to solar panel owners, but it’s becoming more difficult to access. Iff your state doesn’t offer net metering, your best option is to reduce the size of your system to prevent excess energy from being produced.
Calculate Your Solar Needs
Now, it’s time to calculate the number of solar panels you’ll need. The average household needs a system around 6.62 kW in size to produce an average of 9,000 kWh every year. All we have to do is divide this number by the average hourly output of one solar panel under full sun, which is 320 watts. 6.62 divided by 0.321 rounds up to 21 solar panels needed to power the average American household. Replace these numbers with your own to determine how many panels you’ll really need.
Make the Switch with Kosmos Solar
Solar energy is a great way to reduce or eliminate your electric bill, do your part for the environment, and become nearly or completely energy independent. If you’ve chosen to make the switch to solar energy, do it right with Kosmos Solar. Kosmos Solar offers quality solar panel installations at affordable prices. Our talented solar technicians are dedicated to giving you an installation that serves you for years, as well as teaching you how to get the most out of your solar panels. Call or visit our website for a free quote on our services today!