How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

Americans have recently turned the corner on solar energy, with 46% of new electricity capacity attributed to solar power. Several excellent reasons why more Americans switched to a solar system for their home last year.

The savings alone from conventional power has people buying solar panels in huge numbers. Environmental factors significantly impact the decision to buy a solar system.

Yet, many still struggle with understanding how solar panel installation works. So if you ask, “How many solar panels do I need?” you need to read this guide. Here is an easy-to-follow guide for determining your solar energy requirements.

Calculating Solar Energy Usage

Determining how many solar panels you need begins with knowing how much energy your home uses each year. The average American home uses 10,700 kilowatt-hours annually. The best solution to determine your home requires checking last year’s energy bill from your electric company.

Take the amount from your annual total and divide by twelve for the months of the year. Using the above example, your home needs about 892 kilowatt-hours each month. This figure is critical for your solar prep for installation.

Another necessary step is to learn the average daily sunlight for your location. No matter where you live, solar panels are designed to provide enough output for an efficient solar system. You can learn your daily sunlight hours by visiting energy websites or consulting your solar panel installation professional.

Choosing Solar Panels

Two more factors determine the number of solar panels you will need. American solar panels get designated a production ratio based on the panel’s output with daily average sunlight. You can divide the solar system wattage output by the average electricity you use annually.

However, most panels have an average production ratio of 1.3 – 1.6, which you can learn from your solar panel installation team. The solar energy output for all solar panels also factors in your final calculation. Yet, you will need to choose your solar panels to suit the style of your roof and its load capacity.

For example, an average solar panel produces 350 watts with a production ratio of 1.3. If your home’s roof can support the weight and size of these solar panels, you can then use a simple calculation to learn how many solar panels you need.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

Now you have the information necessary to answer the question, “How many solar panels do I need?” If you know it takes 10,700 kilowatt hours each year to power your home, divide that by the production ratio of your solar panels and their wattage output.

For example, 10,700/1.3/350 = 23.51, which means you will need 23 to 24 solar panels. Provided your roof has the square footage to accept these solar panels, your new solar system will give you clean and renewable energy for many years.

Consulting with experts will help you get the best solar panel installation possible. And for more valuable tips, consult our blog often for excellent insights.

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