How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?

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The rising price of fossil fuels has created a surge in homeowners thinking about ways to save money on monthly electricity bills with clean solar energy. Investing in a home solar system is a smart strategy to reduce costs. But, how many solar panels will your home require to meet your specific solar energy needs depends on a few primary factors:

  • Geographic location of your house
  • Family energy usage habits
  • Number of peak sun hours during the year

Let’s look at the different factors and data needed to determine the number of panels.

Monthly Energy Consumption

To meet your home’s energy needs, you’ll need to calculate the amount of electricity your family uses. This amount will vary for every homeowner. The more energy your home uses, the more energy that must be generated by your solar panel system. The best way to figure out the average energy usage is to look at the last 12 months of your utility bills. You’ll want to look for the total number of kilowatt hours (kWh) you’ve consumed monthly, add up all the kWh used, and divide by 12. Then, divide your monthly kWh average by 30 to calculate the daily average.

For an even more reliable daily average, look at the last two to three years of energy usage. This figure will provide you with the most accurate view of your home’s energy consumption.

Monthly Peak Sun Hours

Peak sun hours are the number of hours per day when the sun is directly above your roof. This time period, generally in the middle of the day, is when solar panels produce much of their daily energy. The amount of average solar radiation can vary depending on the season and your home’s geographical location. With the Valley of the Sun having 299 sunny days on average, resources, such as The Global Solar Atlas, can help provide a rough estimate of peak sun hours.

Number of Watts Needed

When your monthly energy consumption is divided by the average number of peak sun hours, you’ll know how many watts is required. A few additional calculations will provide the number of panels needed. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average family home in the U.S. consumes about 900 to 1,100 kWh of electricity per month, requiring between 21 to 34 solar panels to meet 100% of energy needs.

Your solar installation professionals at Cool Blew Solar can provide additional details and help you calculate a realistic range of solar panels needed. Call Cool Blew Solar today at 623-234-2836 for a free quote.