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If you’re interested in purchasing solar panels for your own home, congratulations – you’re about to unlock a host of different benefits, all at the exact same time. For starters, you’ll almost immediately start saving money on your monthly utility bills by having your energy consumption offset by the panels themselves. Most residential solar owners save literally thousands of dollars over the lifetime of their system. Not only that, but this is by far one of the most environmentally conscious decisions you can make – allowing you to do your part to help protect our fragile planet as much as possible.
Having said that, it’s also important to understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach to solar panels. Only by carefully considering your own energy requirements will you be able to put together the type of system that is right for you.
Sizing Your Solar Panel System: An Overview
In order to figure out exactly how many solar panels you will need, you will first need to take a closer look at your past utility bills to figure out the average energy consumption of your home. Take out one of your past bills and look for a section on your historical energy usage. You’ll want to pay particular attention to “kilowatt hours used” over a specific period of time, which is usually represented in increments of either 30 or 365 days.
If your bill only has your average annual usage, don’t worry – just divide that number by 365 to come up with your average daily usage, which will be expressed in kWh. Divide that number once again by 24 to come up with the average amount of electricity you and your family use per hour.
Then, you need to figure out how many hours of peak sunlight you can reasonably expect in the area you live in. There are many tools online that allow you to do this, including the Solar Resource Data, Tools and Maps section of the NREL website. Use one of these tools to find the peak sunlight hours for the nearest big city to where you live – like Phoenix Arizona, for example.
Take hourly usage and multiply it by 1,000 to convert it from kWh into watts. Next, divide the number you just calculated by the total number of peak sunlight hours for your location that you find online. The number that you arrive at will be roughly the amount of energy that your solar panels need to produce every single hour to meet your energy needs.
all you have to do is divide that number by the total wattage of each panel you’re thinking of purchasing (a low wattage panel may produce 150 watts, whereas a high wattage panel may produce 370 watts or more) and the number you’re left with is the total number of solar panels you need to generate (pun intended) the results that you’re after.
If your ready for solar panels or If you’d like to find out more information about how many solar panels you’ll need our virtual consultants are ready for you call! (888)714-6786