The Sonoran Desert sun of the greater Phoenix area is ideal for harnessing abundant solar power. With almost every day being sunny, it’s no wonder that many homeowners in the area are considering solar panels as a way to reduce their monthly electricity bills and shrink their carbon footprint. So, how many solar panels does the typical house in the Valley of the Sun require to meet its energy consumption needs? Let’s explore this question in detail.
Calculating Energy Needs
To determine the number of solar panels required for the average house, the first step is to consider your household’s energy consumption. This figure varies depending on factors such as the square footage of your house, the number of occupants, and the energy efficiency of appliances and HVAC systems. For a rough estimate, the average annual electricity consumption for a typical American household is around 10,400 kWh.
The Valley of the Sun receives an incredible amount of sunshine with approximately 300 sunny days per year. The amount of solar energy available is measured typically in peak sun hours. On average, your home receives about six to seven peak sun hours per day. This is a crucial factor in determining the number of solar panels needed.
Solar panels have different efficiency ratings, which indicate how effectively they convert sunlight into electricity. In our area, it’s common to find solar panels with efficiencies ranging from 15% to 22%. Higher efficiency panels produce more electricity per square foot, so the choice of panels impacts the number needed.
Sizing the Solar Panel Array
To determine the size of the solar array (the total wattage of solar panels needed), you can use the following formula:
Total wattage = Annual energy consumption multiplied by daily sunlight hours divided by panel efficiency
Total wattage = 10,400 kWh (365 days x 6.5 hours) divided by 0.18 = 8,955 watts or about 9kW
With a 9kW solar array, you can then estimate the number of panels needed. In this case, you’d need approximately 15 to 23 panels to generate 9kW of power. A typical 2,000 square-foot home needs about 19 panels, but the ultimate number of solar panels depends on your energy consumption and other factors.
Cool Blew Solar Panel Expertise
It’s essential to consult with a locally owned solar installer to get a precise estimate tailored to your family’s specific circumstances and energy goals. Call your highly rated local solar panel installers today at Cool Blew Solar for a free quote at 623-234-2836.