Solar Energy Strength: How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?


Solar energy is a blossoming sector of electricity production. It has been around since the early days of the Industrial Revolution when, in 1839, a French physicist invented the first photovoltaic solar cell.

Since its conception, solar energy has grown more affordable, widespread, and applicable for everyday use by homeowners. 

One area you will have to explore if you choose to make the solar switch is how many solar panels your home will need. This guide will tell you all you need to know about how to determine the right number of solar panels for your home.

Calculate Your Home’s Energy Usage

The first step in determining how many solar panels you will need is to calculate the total average kilowatt-hours of electricity your home uses in a day and an hour. You will also want to find out your yearly average energy usage as well.

A quick call to the utility company can provide you this information. You can also sift through old electricity bills and do the calculations yourself. 

Once you have the proper figure, you can contact a company that specializes in residential solar panel installation. They can provide you a customized assessment.

They will let you know what system works best for you and determine the total number of solar panels your home needs to power itself. Each case is different, so calling a professional is your best bet.

Solar Energy Specifications

The average solar panel produces about 250 to 400 watts of electricity per hour, depending on how efficient they are. A panel will only produce this amount of electricity during peak sunlight hours without obstruction, such as clouds or shade.

The average American home uses 877 kilowatt-hours per month. A kilowatt-hour is 1,000 watts of electricity sustained for one hour. 

Therefore, if your solar panel’s output is 250 watts of electricity per hour, you will need five of them sitting in direct sunlight for one hour to produce 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity. 

This is why finding out your home’s hourly energy usage is crucial in determining the number of panels that you need. A professional solar installation company will be able to muddle through all of the details and find a system that works best for you.

A good ballpark estimate for an average home is about 30 solar panels to fully cover average electricity production. However, only a professional can determine what is needed for your home.

They will analyze factors such as sun strength, coverage, hours of daylight, and the best location for installation. They will determine the best system for your home based on your home’s unique energy use levels and environment.

Solar Energy Is a Clear Choice

There has never been a better time to switch to solar energy. Determining the right amount of solar panels for your home is a mathematical challenge that is best left to the professionals.

Call a professional solar panel installation company today to receive your estimate. For all of your other information about homes and gardens, make sure to check out the rest of our blog!


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