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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need


You can figure how many panels your house will need by dividing the total watts of electricity you use each day by the number of hours of daily direct sunlight your home receives. This will tell you how many watts you need to generate each hour. You can figure approximately how much power you use each day by examining your electric bill.

Solar panels are measured by the amount of watts they produce at peak sunlight. A 200-watt solar power panel will produce 200 watts of electricity per hour of direct sunlight. If you use 1,000 watts per hour (1 kilowatt-hour), then you need five 200-watt solar panels to compensate (ten 100-watt panels and so on).

In that case, it would take only five solar panels to power the house. Unfortunately, there is more than one hour in a day. To compensate for the majority of each day when there is no direct sunlight, you must add panels to the system. An average home requires about a 5- or 6-kilowatt solar system. While the home may only use 1 kW of power in its busiest hour, the extra panels will make up for power used at night.

This excess power produced during peak sunlight can be stored in batteries for later use, or sent back to the regional electric grid and “traded” for grid power at night. Given the numbers and panel ratings above, a 5-kW system would require 25 solar power panels to completely power the house. Just remember that these are simplistic numbers designed to provide a general idea of how many solar panels it takes to power a house. Only a sit-down between you and a solar contractor can truly get these figures right.

The more energy efficient you become, the fewer panels you will need to become self sufficient. Becoming energy smart is a critical step in switching to solar power and should be on your mind when using conventional electricity as well. Also, the size of your home must be considered. A larger home is going to use more juice than a smaller one. Your location and the amount of sunlight you get also directly affects how efficiently your system will perform. How many solar panels to power a house will depend on each and every person’s unique living situation.

Solar panel technology prices have been on a steady decline over the years due to a higher demand for the product, but the amount of electricity they generate has remained consistent. So, you are still going to need a substantial number of panels to supply the kilowatt hours needed to power a house. However, the question of how many solar panels to power a house does not have to be one cut and dried answer.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for Powering My Home

In a typical home, electricity is used to light up the home, operate its various electrical equipment and in some cases for heating. Installation of solar panels can be quite expensive and so heating of a home is better done with oil, coal or gas based furnaces. So, other than heating, a typical home may require about 600 watts of power on an average. This translates into 14,400 watt hours for a day.

Solar panels can produce about 70 milliwatts per square inch, and assuming only a 5 hour exposure to the sun that is beneficial to produce power, this translates into 350 milliwatt hours per day. So to produce the required amount of power you will, in theory, need 41,000 square inches of solar panels or about 285 square feet. While this area is not too large for a typical home, the direction of the sun and the ability of the installation to take advantage of the sun can decide the placement of these solar panels.

Solar power panels are available as panels that have a wattage rating. The normal ones vary from 100 watts to 200 watts per hour.

Costs of Power Generation from the Sun

As the sun shines only for a part of the day, (we have assumed five hours) you then need to provide a bank of batteries to store the power for use when the sun is not shining and the necessary inverters to convert the electricity to one that is usable by all the appliances and other equipment that you have. This in itself can almost double the cost of an installation. An installation of 285 square feet in today’s terms will cost about ,000 plus the added cost for the other equipment.

It is possible to reduce the requirements of electricity by completely cutting out any air conditioning or heating equipment, using energy efficient refrigerators with limited capacities, using only CFL bulbs and considering other alternatives. 600 watts of electricity purchased from the grid can cost you just about 0 per year, and this makes solar power very uneconomical. However if you are considering powering up a house that is far from any electrical grid, than solar power is the way to go, because bringing the grid to your home may remain very prohibitive in terms of cost.

Some electrical utilities do agree to take power from a solar power installation , and this can save you the costs of batteries etc, as you can agree to trade that power for cheap power from the grid at night when the solar power will not be available.

Why Must You Consider Solar Power

For electricity to be produced a lot of the earth’s natural resources need to be used. This includes coal, oil and gas all of which are non renewable and resources that can deplete and get over. The sun is a source that is renewable and inexhaustible. Research into materials that convert solar energy to power is continuing to reduce the costs of making such cells and increasing the efficiency with which they work. In the long run this can reduce costs to a great extent. Maintenance in the case of systems that produce energy from solar power is almost negligible and requires not much more than keeping surfaces of the panels clean.

If a home is located in an area where the sun shines for a larger part of the year, it makes sense to utilize the energy from the sun to reduce your utility bills. Even if installation of solar panels is something beyond your budget at the moment, you can consider other alternatives that are much cheaper and use the heat from the sun to heat water instead of using electricity for this.

A number of state and federal grants and loans are also available for installation of solar panels, and it is best to get sufficient information on this before you decide on any solar panel installation.

Solar power is abundant and inexhaustible, compared to other natural resources. So, do your bit for the environment by looking at how many solar panels do I need for the home and see if you can find a way to install them .

Items Description Avarage Electricity Usage (per hour)
Ceiling Fan 80 Watts
Floor Fan 125 Watts
Energy Saver 24 Watts
Bulb 60, 100, 200 Watts
TV 300 Watts
DVD/VCD/VCR/BluRay 80 Watts
Refrigerator 550-800 Watts
AC 0.75 Ton Window 900 Watts
AC 1 Ton Window 1200 Watts
AC 2.5 Ton Window 3500 Watts
AC 1 Ton Split Unit 800 Watts
Air Cooler 325 Watts
Mivrowawe Oven 1400 Watts
Toaster 1400 Watts
Washing Mashine/Dryer 400 Watts
Water Pump 1 HP (746 Watts)
Computer Desktop 400 Watts
Monitor 19″ 120 Watts
Computer Laptop 45 Watts
Tube Light (modem) 40 Watts



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