Calculating how many solar panels are necessary to power your house can prove to be a demanding task. And that is because there are many things that have to be taken into consideration. The fact that different households have different energy needs is common sense. The good news is there is a straightforward algorithm that can help you calculate exactly the number of solar panels for you house.
To make this calculus, you need your monthly electricity bill. It will help you find out your electricity usage. Also, you need to know how many hours of sunlight your house receives every day, and how many watts your solar panels can produce.
- Calculate the electricity usage of your house
First, you need to determinate how much electricity your house consumes, on average. This information can be found on your monthly electricity bills. The energy you consume differs from month to month, so you need an average number. Because you consume more energy in winter, you could take one of the winter bills as a basis for your calculus. On your bill, you will see the number of kilowatt hours of electricity you have used during that month. Assuming that is the amount you use every month, divide that number by the number of days in a month, to find out your daily energy usage.
- The number of sun hours in your area
The solar panels produce energy as long as the sun is shining. How many hours does your house enjoy sunlight every day? Again, take winter days as a base, because, in winter, your house receives the least sunlight. Let’s assume your house receives sunlight 6 hours per day.
- The amount of energy per hour your panels need to produce.
You know how much energy per day your house needs. Multiply that number by 1000 to transform the kilowatts in watts. Divide that number by the number of sun hours (6 in our example). Now you know how much energy the panels have to produce per hour.
- Calculate the number of necessary panels
A final piece of information is the number of watts your panels can produce. When you buy the panels, you have to pay attention to the number of watts written on their label. An average panel produces around 100 watts, but larger panels can produce more. If you want to buy 100 watt panels, divide the number of watts per hour you calculated in the last step by 100, and you will find out how many panels you need to power your house!