Calculating How Many Solar Panels You Need to Go Solar?
Quantity & Quality Solar Panels
Calculating the number of solar panels needed to meet your energy requirements. When it comes to installing solar panels, people frequently ask us how many solar panels they need on their roof. The answer depends on a variety of factors: how much energy you use, the wattage and quality of the panels, and where the panels will be placed on your roof. We discuss each of these in turn so that you can make the best choice when deciding to go solar.
Understanding Your Energy Consumption
Many of the electrical appliances in your home such as the air conditioning unit, refrigerator, washing or drying machine all use electricity that comes to your home from the energy provided by the utility company. The electricity you use in your home is measured in kilowatts per hour (kWh). The average home uses about 30 kWh a day. The meter on the side of your home changes each month as you use more or less energy than the previous month. The utility company checks this reading each month and bills you accordingly.
With the rising cost of utility electricity in the United States, it helps to gain energy independence. Now, utility companies must use more clean energy. However, even though this energy will enable them to produce power at very low kWh rates, they insist on charging their traditional, escalating rates. We believe you can cut out the middleman and use your energy, your way by making the switch to solar.
Arizona has some of the best access to the sun in the world. This is measured by determining peak sunlight hours, which is defined as an hour of sunlight that offers 1,000 watts (1 kilowatt) of photovoltaic power per square meter. In essence, this is measuring the intensity of sunlight in a specific area, typically when the sun is the highest in the sky. Arizona averages about 6.5 hours/day, which ranks it among the highest in the United States. With this amazing access to the sun, more homeowners are seeing the benefits of going solar as means to reducing their electricity in Arizona.
Premium Solar Products Make a Difference
Calculating If your solar panels can absorb more sunlight or have a higher wattage, then you may not need as many installed on your roof. Solar Topps uses only Tier 1, mono-crystalline solar panels that range from 300 – 400 watts per panel. We couple these panels with Enphase microinverters, which provide the ultimate premium quality at an affordable price. We prefer Enphase because of its reliability to perform in the most extreme elements, like the Arizona summers.
So how does the size of the panel impact the amount you require? Let’s use a 310-watt panel as an example. The average peak sun hours (6.5) multiplied by the panel wattage (310) equals the daily watt-hours per panel: 6.5 x 310 = 2,015 watt-hours. Remember, we measure energy in kilowatt-hours (kWh), with “kilo” representing per 1,000. In our example, the panel will produce 2.015 kWh per day. If the average home consumes 30 kWh daily, you’ll need approximately 15 solar panels on your roof. You would need fewer panels if they were a higher wattage and vice versa.
Location, Location, Location
The panel’s size and wattage matter, but so do the roof’s size, direction, and pitch. In Arizona, varying roof directions generate different energy amounts based on sun orientation and sunlight exposure. South-facing roofs receive the most sunlight, making them the preferred location for solar panel installation. In preference, prioritize west and east facing roofs, while only consider north-facing roofs if necessary. Depending on your particular circumstances, the difference in production can be as much as 30%.
The Main Takeaway
Knowing your energy consumption is crucial for calculating the number of solar panels needed for your roof. When you request a quote from Solar Topps, we will calculate your annual kWh usage by analyzing your utility bills. Then, based on the layout and orientation of your roof planes, we will determine how much energy you can offset. Using only premium products, Solar Topps ensures that each panel on your roof drives value for you and your family. Trust Solar Topps experts for the best money-saving home solar system.