Deciding on and finalizing the number of solar panels for your home starts with an understanding of the ‘energy goals’ of your home. The usual questions people usually want answered are – how to lower the carbon emissions? How to maximize returns on their investment and save a significant amount on energy prices? In order to calculate the number of solar panels your home solar system would need, the most important things to determine are:
- the electricity requirement of your home
- the area on the rooftop that could be used to install the system
- the kind of climate and amount of sunshine received in your home’s location
- wattage and efficiency of the technology of the solar system panels
- availability of net metering / government incentives
a). Energy requirements of the home
This can be assessed by looking up old electricity bills and averaging out the amount of units used. To arrive at the daily usage, simply divide the monthly amount by 30. The figure that you will get would be in kilowatt / hour (KWH). KWh is the amount of power being consumed at any given point, multiplied by the amount of time it is in use.
b). The target average daily
Since the output of these panels depends on the weather, they may not always operate on maximum efficiency when the weather is not bright and shining. In addition, some hardware issues could also lower system emergency – it makes sense therefore to ensure a 25% buffer to the target daily average to offset these issues.
c). Hours of sunlight in the area
The peak direct sunlight periods in the area you live in would directly affect the amount of energy your solar power system would produce. What this would mean for people living in areas with lesser sunlight is that they would need more panels in the system. The method to calculate the number of watts required for your home, would be divide your home’s daily KWh requirement (in point a) by the number of hours your home receives strong and direct sunlight. This calculation will provide the amount of energy the panels would require to produce every hour. This figure then multiplied by 1000 will give the hourly power generation requirement.
d). Panels required to provide required hourly wattage
The panel quality makes a huge impact and difference since there are a number of variations and capabilities of solar panels – that is they range in wattage. By dividing ones home’s energy requirement by the total wattage of the panels, will help to arrive at the total number of panels required.
These pointers should help you arrive at relatively definite idea for the number of panels you would require for your home solar system. Your solar installer would need to assess your roof’s structure and tilt, and any other factors to help them arrange the panels on the roof in the optimal position to ensure maximum energy production. This will ensure that you would meet the energy requirements for your home and may be even exceed it.
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