17 Sep Does the Quantity of Solar Panels Matter?
When it comes to powering your home with solar, the size of your system matters. Depending on how much electricity you use on a daily basis, you’ll want to make sure that your system is large enough to meet your needs. Solar companies will determine how many panels you need based off of how much of a contribution you want the system to make. The systems contributions can range from a small percentage of your electricity to covering 100 percent of your electrical needs.
If you aim for, say, 80 percent of your power to be supplied by your solar panels, the remaining 20 percent will still be sourced from your utility company. If you’re aiming for 100 percent of your electrical needs to be met by your solar panels, you’ll still want to be attached to your power company as a backup in case your system fails or falls short during certain times of the year.
Calculating Daily Consumption
To understand your daily consumption of electricity, all you need to do is check your monthly power bill. See how many kilowatts of electricity you consume in a one-month period. Divide that number by 30 days a month, and you will get your average daily consumption of electricity.
Let’s say that your home consumes an average of 30 kW of electricity each day. A single solar panel produces about 1 kW of electricity daily, meaning that to cover 100 percent of your solar needs, you will need 30 panels. If you only want 80 percent of your power produced by solar, you will need 24 panels. The solar company that will install your solar panels can help you determine the quantity that you will need to meet your electrical needs.
These scenarios provide a simplistic look at what you should reference in order to determine how many panels you will need. The solar company you work with should also factor in other variables, like your needs during certain times of the year, how much sunlight you experience in your region, and the direction your roof faces.
Is Your Inverter the Right Size?
In addition to determining the number of solar panels that you need, you’ll also want to make sure that you get the right size inverter. If you have the appropriate number of solar panels but use an inverter that is too small, you won’t reap the full benefits of your panels. Solar companies charge based on the size of the system, and some try to skimp by using a smaller inverter. This ends up helping their bottom line but hurting the customer.