What size solar panel do I need
As more homeowners consider installing, one frequently asked question is “what size s do I need?” To be honest, it depends – several factors contribute to determining the number of solar panels required to power your home or business, including your home’s energy consumption, the size of your roof or property’s surface area, the orientation of your roof, and your geographic location. We’ll break it down for you in this article.
Factors That Affect the Number of Solar Panels You Need: Size and Output
Numerous factors must be considered when determining the number of solar panels required to power a house. For instance, if two identical solar-powered homes in California and New York consume exactly the same amount of energy, the California home will require fewer solar panels due to the state receiving more sunlight.
The following are several critical factors to consider when determining the number of solar panels you require:
Your Home’s Size and Available Roof Space
Larger homes consume more energy and therefore require more solar panels. They do, however, have the additional roof space required for larger solar panel installations. This rule may have exceptions.
Solar panels can be installed on a variety of different surfaces. However, depending on the condition of your roof, the number of solar panels that your home can support may be limited.
If you have a chimney, a rooftop air conditioning unit, or a skylight, for example, you will need to install panels around these fixtures. Similarly, shadowed roof areas are not suitable for panels. Additionally, the majority of leading solar companies will not work on asbestos roofs due to the health risks to installers.
Direct Sunlight Intensity in Your Area
Wherever there is more available sunlight, there is more energy available for conversion into electricity. Each solar panel produces more energy per year in states like Arizona or New Mexico, which receive more sunlight than less sunny regions like New England.
Solar radiation maps have been created by the World Bank for over 200 countries and regions, including the United States. The map below can help you determine the amount of sunshine available in your area. Bear in mind that homes located in more sunny regions will typically require fewer solar panels.
Number of Residents and Energy Consumption
Households with more members typically consume more electricity, which means they require additional solar panels to increase energy production.
Electricity consumption is critical because it dictates how much power must be generated by your solar panel system. If your home consumes 12,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year and you want to go completely solar, your system must be capable of generating that much energy.
Solar Panel Type and Efficiency Rating
High-efficiency panels generate more watts per square foot, requiring fewer of them to meet your electricity generation target.
Solar panels are classified into three types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Monocrystalline panels are generally the most efficient type of solar panel, followed by polycrystalline panels. The least efficient type of panel is thin-film.
A professional installer will assess your architecture, angle to the sun and other factors to see if and how you’d be able to physically arrange the right number of panels for your home or business’s needs.