How Many Solar Panels Will You Need?

The decision to go solar gives rise to the question — how many solar panels will be needed to power the house? There is no straight-off answer as the size of the solar power system will depend on a lot of variables. Such as:

Average electricity usage: The number of solar panels needed directly depends on the energy requirements of your household. The more air conditioners, heaters, appliances and lights you use, the more panels will obviously be needed to power them up.

Study the previous utility bills to ascertain the average monthly or daily power usage. Adding a 15% cushion to the target average will allow for peak energy usage during the harsh summer or winter months of the year. Here, you also have to take your solar power goals into consideration — do you want to become completely energy independent or will reducing your utility bills suffice? Do you want to save as much money as possible or are you just looking to decrease your carbon footprint?

Solar exposure: Another prime factor is the number of hours of sunlight you can expect in your area. This obviously depends on the location as southwestern states receive much more solar insolation than the rest of USA. Incredibly hot weather will work in your favor here. Sunlight also varies with the season, so you again have to allow a cushion for periods of heavy rainfall or the severe winter months.

Panel efficiency: All solar panels are not created equal. The performance and capabilities of various solar power systems vary depending on technology, quality and brand. The efficiency rating of solar panels reflects how much of the sun’s energy they can convert to usable electrical energy. It follows that it takes fewer solar panels with a high efficiency rating to generate the solar power required for your household. If you opt for lower efficiency panels, the number of solar panels required will certainly be more.

Budget considerations play an important role here as higher efficiency panels are definitely much more expensive than their counterparts. Roofs with smaller usable areas can accommodate fewer solar panels, and therefore opting for higher efficiency panels becomes a must. In either case, you have to allow a cushion to offset panel inefficiency where they may produce less energy than expected.

Considering the range of factors and variances that come into play when choosing the number of solar panels, this task is best left to the professionals. The best solar company in California will take the above dynamics into account apart from considering issues such as roof architecture, angle to the sun, elements that may interfere or shade the panels and so on.

The best solar company is in the right place to customize the optimum size of solar panels required by your household to supply your home’s energy needs. What’s more, they will even give you an estimate of the kind of financial benefit you can expect!

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