14 Sep Solar Calculator
Before you invest in solar panels for your home, you should calculate solar savings estimates. While many believe that having solar panels will help them save money on utilities, there are a lot of factors that go into figuring out if purchasing solar panels is worth it for your home. Making a decision about solar requires the services of a solar panel installation cost calculator. While there are a number of solar system calculators online, they can be confusing to use and require a great deal of data input.
Calculating Your Home’s Solar Needs
At Solar Engineering Group, we have developed some simple guidelines to help you determine whether having solar panels will save you money. If you are looking for a solar estimator, follow these DIY steps. They will help you generate your own solar calculator to get the facts and figures you need.
Estimate the monthly cost of your electricity usage
Depending on where you live, electricity may be less expensive for you. If that is the case, you’ll want to determine whether or not having solar panels will help you save money, or if the cost for the solar panels will not be offset by how much you save on electricity.
One way to do this is to figure out how much wattage you use for major appliances in your home. Since you use different appliances with varying frequency, be sure to estimate how often you use each appliance. Then you’ll want to add the total amount of those watts together and divide by 1,000 to determine how many kilowatts you use. Multiply that by the number of days in the month. Then you’ll want to multiply the number of kilowatts by the price per kilowatt for where you live. Keep in mind that some cities work on a tiered system, so once you surpass a certain number of kilowatts, the amount increases.
To save money with solar panels, they will have to produce at least as much as the amount of energy you use. However, make sure to look up solar regulations where you live. Some cities or states may charge you money if your system overproduces.
Determine how much sun your home gets
If you live in the middle of a forest, having solar panels won’t do you much good. You’ll want to determine how much energy your solar system could produce and then calculate solar savings estimates. If your location won’t provide enough power to compensate for the energy you consume, having solar panels may not be worth it. One way to determine a solar system’s worth is to use a solar system calculator. This calculator is a formula you can use to determine how many watts you will produce.
If you have a 10-watt solar panel, that means that for each hour of sunlight, your panels produce 10 watts of energy. So you have to multiply the hours of sunlight, by the 10 watts (2 hours of sunlight would be 20 watts a day). Keep in mind that in the winter, there are fewer daylight hours, while summer has more. Also, the direction and the pitch of the roof will also affect how much sun your panels get. Houses that have a roof slanted to the east or west will have panels that won’t get direct sunlight for half of the day. Additionally, if you have a building nearby that shades your home during certain times of the day, you will lose sunlight in those hours.
Figure out what type of panel you need
Different types of panels produce different amounts of wattage. Once you figure out how much wattage you use, and how much your home could potentially receive, you need to figure out what kind of panel will be best to assure that your solar panels don’t under- or over-produce. This simple formula is equal to the number of watts required divided by the number of sunshine hours for the time of year. If you are looking to use your solar panels year-round, you will have to look at your needs for the time of year with the smallest amount of sunshine.
Review these requirements for a solar panel cost calculator. If the numbers behind this solar savings calculator are too confusing, or if you want additional information, you can reach out to professionals for help. At Sun Engineering Group, our engineers are seasoned solar estimators with vast experience in providing numbers, resources and plans for homeowners looking to buy solar panels. They can help you determine if solar is right for you and which solar panels would be best for your home. They provide price comparisons for different sellers and installers.