What size solar panels do I need?
Determining how many solar arrays we need requires various factors to really achieve our target of making green energy.
Either you go for whole energy consumption of your bill expense or just target specific appliances as a startup.
Compared to what I wrote before on this subtopic, What size solar system do i need?, I list factors that we need to consider when defining the solar panel capacity that is run. But for now, we are going down a little bit deeper, which includes some easy calculation (link) that not only defines how many, but also how big solar panels need to be. That means you certainly can define what size solar panel you need.
Before we start the calculation, how about we recap back to the relation between the three factors that I mentioned in my earlier post here?
1. Average kilowatts per household
2. Total amount and duration of sunlight
3. The rating of solar panels we use
Now, why do these three factors matter?
We must know the average kilowatts in our house, of course, to replicate the size of solar panel necessary to cover the energy used. By doing this, we are also determining whether we target specific appliances to cover the energy expense. With the total amount and duration of sunlight, we know how much energy we need to fulfill our appliance needs, just as I referred to in the first factor.
And lastly is the rating of solar panel we use; for me, this factor is more to determine how much electricity we can produce per day. It takes measurements from the total amount and duration of sunlight multiplied by the wattage rating of the solar panel. For example, if we take a solar panel rated at 500 watts and we get about 5 hours of direct sunlight per day, the total watt-hours provided would be 500 into 5, i.e. 2500 watt-hours. By getting this info, we can simply determine if it is enough to fulfill our average kilowatts needed.
The correlation is simple. For example, we cannot produce 2.5kWh electricity if we only have 3 hours of rising sunlight.
To start, you can either look at your bill or refer to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to get average reports on energy expenses per household.
And for the amount and duration of sunlight, you can refer on my first post.
Image above credited to solar quotes.
Referring to the image above, if you really want to get more details on how much sunlight you may get, you have consider this timing, even though I don’t really recommend it because it just wasting my time. It is better to use the report provided by the EIA.
This article is created to provide useful information to individuals who want to make use of alternative energy in their residence and save money.
Bear in mind, the below calculation are just to make you understand the correlation and concept you need to follow when deciding your solar panel’s size. That means that you must change all the details according to your actual value of your energy and money spent on appliances.
Do The Math To Start Saving Money
To begin the discussion of answering the question stated above, the first thing you must know is the exact quantity of solar panels you will need to install in your backyard to provide enough energy for your home. And in order for you to know how many solar panels you will need, you must follow these simple steps:
1. Calculate your average monthly consumption of electricity (kWh)
The first thing you have to do is know the devices and appliances that you have in your home. Let’s say you only have the basic appliances, such as the television, refrigerator, radio, and a couple of lights. Then, the next thing you have to do is know the total kilowatt-hours (kWh) used by each of the appliances per month. An average television can use 0.10 kilowatt/hour of electricity. The total number of kWh per month will depend on the number of hours leave your TV on. Let’s say you watch TV an average of 8 hours a day.
So, this means the daily kWh for the TV is 10 x 8 = 80 kWh, and the monthly kWh is 80 x 30 days = 2,400 kWh.
As for the other appliances, the average monthly kWh of the refrigerator is 78 x 24 hours = 1,872 kWh; 1,872 x 30 days = 56,160 kWh.
The average monthly kWh of the radio is 7 x 5 hours* = 35 kWh; 35 x 25 days** = 875 kWh.
The average monthly KWh for the light is 50 x 9 hours* = 450 kWh; 450 x 30 days = 13,500 kWh.
NOTE: * – the number of hours used by an average person.
** – the number of days used by an average person.
Therefore, the average total kWh load per month on your home is 2,400 + 56,160 + 875 + 13,500 = 72,935 kWh.
2. Determine the size of the solar panel you are going to install – The next thing you have to do is know the size of the panel you’re going to put up so that you will know how many you will need for your residence. What you need to do is know the average monthly load of kWh, then divide it by the average number of hours of sunlight in your area. Let’s say you have an average of 155 hours of sunlight in your place.
72,935 kWh / 155 hours = 470.55 kWh
So this means that you have to install a panel system that can provide 470.55 kWh of electricity to make everything work in your home per month. Let’s say the average dimension of a solar panel is 59″ x 26″ x 2,″ and it produces about 125 watts of electricity.
3. Know how many panels you will need for you system – To get the exact number of panels you will need, you must do this:
470.55 kWh / 125 watts = 3.76
So therefore, you will need 3.76, or approximately 4, solar panels measuring 59″ x 26″ x 2″ to provide enough electricity to run your entire house.
Knowing how many solar panels you need to supply your house with enough electricity is the best start in saving some money. Hopefully, you have learned something new from this article.
Rather than trying to calculate it yourself, how about just grabbing the earth4nergy.com product. This product will show you how to make your own solar panel via step by step videos. Additionally, you will receive the Solar Sizing Calculator for free. After keying in your respective numbers, this powerful software will show how much DIY solar panels will save you each month on your energy bill.
Again, Earth4energy is packed with 2 high quality videos provided by their co-founder and inventor
of the product, Michael Harvey.
Following are a few screen shots taken from the aforementioned high quality, step by step, videos: