How Many Solar Panels Do I Need

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For My Home

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Table of Contents
Formula to Estimate How Many Solar Panels
Tips For Estimating
Tips For Pricing Solar Panels
More Resources

Formula to Estimate How Many Solar Panels Your Solar Electric System Will Need

1 Average daily kilowatts of electricity used (from utility bills)
2 Multiply by 1000 (kilowatts x 1000 = watts)
3 Multiply by percentage to be provided by solar
4 Divide by solar insolation value
5 Multiply by 120% (to allow for normal energy loss within system)
6 Divide by solar panel peak wattage (per manufacturer)
7 Equals Number of solar panels needed (round up to next whole Number)

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Estimating the total number of how many solar panels to power a house requires a number of simple calculations on our part.

First thing first!!!

Read slowly, because it’s technical a bit..

First we have a look at what a solar panel is and what is its composition.

A solar panel basically consists of an arrangement of solar cells which are connected together electrically. This means that a single solar panel is nothing but a group of much smaller electrical units. These cells are also known as photovoltaic cells and when grouped together they produce low voltage DC current. An individual solar panel is rated on the basis of the total wattage of all its component solar cells. The rating gives us an idea of the total power capacity of the given panel.

To calculate the how many solar panel or the capacity of solar panels do we need, we have to look at 3 plain and easy factors: which is,

1. the electricity demand of the house

2. such as total amount and duration of sunlight

3. The rating of the solar panel used.

By taking into account all these factors we get a fair idea about the total solar panel requirement.

Average Kilowatt Hours per Household

We start off by estimating the total power consumed in the household or to be more specific, average kilowatt hours per household. Your power bill contains the total number of kWh (kilowatt hour) used that month. This will give you an idea as to how much power is consumed per month on an average and by dividing it by around 30 you get daily usage.

For example if your electricity bill shows 300 kilowatt hours consumed, then you get average daily usage as 10 kilowatt hours. This is a general estimate and usage may vary from house to house.

Total Amount and Duration of Sunlight

Next step in this process is to get a fair idea about the total amount of sunlight which can be harnesses in that particular area. Special maps are Total Amount and Duration of Sunlightavailable from certain government scientific bodies like the United States Department of Energy and this is one of good example, The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) provides a wide range of astronomical data. They provide data on the average duration of sunlight in that particular location. You need to have a pretty good idea about the amount of natural light available to make fairly accurate calculations.

We need to realize this is not a perfect system and some power loss should be factored into the calculations. Normally a 25 percent addition to the daily requirement would be enough to compensate for any losses. This would increase our daily requirement from 10 kilowatt hours to 12.5 kilowatt hours. We need to convert this into watt-hours and multiplying 12.5 by 1000 gives us 12500 watt-hours. 12500 watt-hours, is a pretty decent estimate and this gives you the entire power needed to run your house for a day.

The Rating of the Solar Panel Used

The rating and daily capacity of each solar panel should be known. First multiply the wattage rating on the panel by the expected number of hours of direct sunlight per day. 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. This means each solar panel would produce 2500 watt-hours per day on average.

Now we know the average daily power requirement, the amount of sunlight in the area, the production capacity of a single solar cell. We have also compensated for any energy losses that may be suffered.

HOW Many Solar Panels Do I Need For My Home

Now we can proceed to the final stage of our calculations. Our final calculation involves the number of panels do we need. We know that the total power required per day on an average is 12500 watt-hours after factoring in the power loss which happens through the wiring, battery etc. Also the production capacity of a single solar panel was found to be 2500 watt-hours.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need

Now by dividing the daily requirement by capacity of one cell we get 12500 divided by 2500 i.e. 5 solar panels. Hence we need just 5 solar panels for providing energy to the entire house. Care must be taken that these calculations may vary according the needs of each household and this was just a general calculation. The daily usage may be more in months of winter and this must be accounted for in the calculations. Also the daily amount of sunlight may vary across different regions and seasons. The wattage rating may vary according to the type of solar cell used.

Hey, I try to make this article short as I can, but it seem it become more longer than I thought, just to make you all really get what I mean here.

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solar panels

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