How Many Solar Panels Do You Need to Go Solar?
When it comes to installing solar panels, we are frequently asked how many solar panels are needed on someone’s 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. Utility companies are now being required to use more clean energy. However, even though this energy will allow them to produce power at very low kWh rates, they are set 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
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. We will take the average number of peak sun hours, 6.5, and multiply it by the panel wattage, 310, to get the daily watt-hours of energy each panel will produce: 6.5 x 310 = 2,015-watt-hours. Remember, we measure energy in kilowatt-hours, kilo meaning per 1,000 so the number of kWh’s a panel will produce in our example is 2.015 kWh per day. If the average home uses about 30 kWh a day, then you will need about 15 solar panels on your roof. You would need fewer panels if they were a higher wattage and vice versa.
Location, Location, Location
It’s not just the size/wattage of the panel that makes a difference, but also the size, direction, and pitch of your roof that matter as well. In Arizona, different roof directions produce different amounts of energy due to the orientation of the sun and where the sunlight hits most. South-facing roofs receive the most amount of sunlight, and are thus the most preferable location to install solar panels, then West or East facing roofs, and lastly, only if you have to, would we recommend installing panels on a north-facing roof. Depending on your particular circumstances, the difference in production can be as much as 30%.
The Main Takeaway
Knowing how much energy you consume is crucial to estimate how many solar panels will need to go on your roof. When you request a quote from Solar Topps, we will calculate your utility bills to determine your annual kWh usage, and then based on the layout and orientation of your roof planes, how much energy can be offset. Using only premium products, Solar Topps ensures that each panel on your roof drives value for you and your family. You can trust the experts at Solar Topps to provide you with the best system for your home that will save you the most money. Contact our team today to get started.