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When you take the first step towards solar panels installation for your house, the introductory question that comes to your mind is, “How many kW solars do I need to power my house?” While there is not a short and straightforward answer to this question, there are several factors and variables we consider before deciding how many solar kW are needed to run a house.
The number and size of solar panels needed to cover the energy consumption of a house depend upon the following factors:
- Monthly and annual electricity demands
- Solar panels location and sunlight exposure
- Solar panel quality and efficiency
Hiring a professional solar installation company to guide you and maintain your solar needs is essential. It is better to consult solar experts as they will calculate your solar panel needs according to your house size and energy consumption.
However, taking a closer look at these five factors will determine the number of kW solar required to run a house.
How Many Kw Solar to Run a House?
If you are consuming almost 893 kWh of electricity per month, you will require almost 16 to 17 360 watts of solar panels based on your electricity usage. The average cost of such a solar panel system will range from $12,000 to $16,000, along with the federal tax credit.
Typically, one home requires about 20 to 24 solar panels to cover its electricity consumption. The actual number of solar panels, however, depends on your personal requirements. It is important that you put together your requirements prior to investing in your solar system because the more your energy consumption is, the more panels you will have to buy.
Monthly and Annual Electricity Demands
The electricity consumed by your household in a year is measured in kilowatt-hours or kWh. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an average American home uses about 10,632 kWh electricity per year.
The hourly energy consumption in your household, the amount of sunlight that a solar panel receives, and the wattage of the said solar panel determine how large a system you require. A house that consumes more kWh of electricity needs a larger panel system than a house will lesser needs. However, this whole approach boils down to two other questions. Whether you are seeking to reduce your monthly bill or achieve 100% energy compensation through solar power?
Talk with a professional solar company about your goals, and they will deduce the most appropriate solar system size for your household needs.
Solar Panels Location and Sunlight Exposure
A house in Michigan may require more solar panels to cover its electricity needs than a house located in Arizona. The amount of sunlight exposure that a solar panel receives determines its energy production. Those people who live in the cloudiest states of the USA need to install more solar panels to reduce their utility bills.
While installing solar panels, it is essential to avoid shaded areas near trees and neighboring buildings and chimneys so that your panels can get all the light they require. Your solar panels should receive at least 5 to 6 hours of direct sunlight every day.
Solar Panel Quality and Efficiency
Solar panels come in a variety of types. The three main types of solar panels in the market are polycrystalline, thin-film, and monocrystalline. These panels are differentiated by their wattages. Most residential solar panels range from 360 to 400 watts per panel. However, the energy production depends on the size of the solar panel.
If you are investing in high-quality solar panels that can create more electricity, then you will need a lesser surface area or a lesser number of panels. If you are buying lower-grade panels, then you will need to buy more panels. The grading of solar panels also depends on the location of their installation. A higher-grade panel can produce electricity even when placed in a shaded area.
How to Determine How Many Solar Panels Needed
Your local area solar panel installer will provide you with the most accurate number and size of panels you will require. However, if you want to have an average idea, here are the steps that can help you calculate the number of solar panels needed according to your electricity consumption.
1. Energy usage
Your monthly electricity usage is shown on the bill as measured in kWh. You need to estimate your yearly electricity consumption to estimate the solar panels needed. Add your electricity usage from the past 12 months, then divide the figure by 12 to get an average annual electricity consumption value.
2. Ask the locals how much energy solar panels produce in your area
Each state of the USA has different peak sun hours. The monthly peak sun hours will determine how much kWh of electricity your 1kW solar panels can provide in a month. Suppose your state has an average of 150 peak sun hours per month. Then your 1 kW solar panel will produce 150 kWh of electricity each month.
3. The size of your solar panels
When you calculate the kWh electricity that a single panel can produce in your area, you can determine the number of panels you need to cover your utility bills. Divide your monthly usage by monthly peak sun hours, and you will get an idea of the size of solar panel system you need.
For example, if your state receives 150 peak sun hours every month, and you consume 893 kWh of electricity, then you need a 5.95 kW of solar.
4. Find the number of solar panels from the solar system size
Now you take the calculated amount of solar system size and multiply it by 1000 to convert the kW value to watts. A 5.95 kW solar system multiplied by 1000 gives the value 5950 watts. Now divide this value by the number of watts a single solar panel gives.
The average residential solar panel in the USA provides 360 watts of electricity, so you must divide 5950 watts by 360 watts. The answer is 16.52, which means that you will need approximately 16 to 17 solar panels for your household requirements.
Factors That Determine How Many Solar Panels You Need
One of the best ways to determine your monthly and annual electricity consumption is by studying your electricity bills. Your bills show the energy consumption monthly while comparing the current consumption with electricity consumption in the past. A good solar panel provider will help you determine exactly how many panels you’ll need to cover your increasing need for electricity by considering all electricity-consuming sources like air conditioning units, lights, fans, air purifiers, and heaters.
Talk to a Professional – America Green Solar
Our expert team guides you about the most appropriate solar size for your electricity consumption needs. From the solar panel efficiency, installation procedure, system size requirements, and the number of panels, we will cover all costs and deduce an appropriate plan to guide you on what size of solar panel system your house qualifies for.