How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Run My House?

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Run My House?

Similar to the move toward solar energy, which can be considered like the smartphone revolution from years ago, people are curious and excited to know about this technology. One of the most common questions is how many solar panels a typical Canadian house could be equipped with. This post will seek to answer this question considering some aspects such as energy requirements, roof size, and amount of sunshine. Our target is to estimate the average required number of solar panels for a Canadian household. Though 17 to 21 is the estimated solution, we promise to equip you with a broad grasp to help you start your journey towards a sustainable life.

How Much Solar Energy Do You Need?

Determining the amount of solar power required to power your home will be achieved by inspecting your old energy bills. This will show how much energy in kWh you used on average. The number of solar panels you need to be installed is defined as the multiplication of the hourly energy needs by the number of peak sunlight hours in the area, then dividing the result to the wattage of a solar panel. To illustrate, if we consider a low-power panel with 150 W of capacity and a high-power panel with 370 W at the same time we will need between 17 to 42 panels to produce 11,000 kWh/year. Be mindful of the roof size and the amount of sunlight it gets. The two are important factors to consider when calculating the collector size.

Factors That Determine How Many Solar Panels You’ll Need

The correct number of collectors for your house is a case-specific decision. This feature is impacted by various variables such as amount of the sunlight exposed in your area, the power usage, the panel size and output and the size of the rooftop.

  • Electricity Usage

Your home’s energy usage is a key factor. Energy use is evaluated using kilowatt-hours (kWh), the unit of energy indicated on your utility bill. For instance, a household which employs 900 kWh per month and has an average of five peak sunlight hours per day demands more solar power panels as compared to one using 400 kWh monthly.

  • Energy Efficiency

Homes which are furnished with energy-saving features, such as LED light bulbs, energy-saving appliances, and proper insulation would require fewer solar panels than a much lesser efficient home of the same size.

  • Solar Panel Size

The average solar panel for a house is estimated around 65 by 39 inches in size, but it can vary. Compact or non-standard roofs require you to consider the quantity and dimensions of your solar panels which are now central factors.

  • Solar Panel Wattage

While solar systems can be similar in appearance, at least initially, the wattage can vary greatly, acting as a measure of electrical output. Considering that most solar panels in the market operate between 250 and 400 watts, customers need to examine the wattage to ensure that the selected panel provides the desired power for the specified project.

  • Production Ratios

An energy productivity ratio of the solar panel system is given where one quantity of generated energy per kilowatt (kW) is compared to the size of the system in watts (W) over a time period. The exposure of the roof to sun may not be the same throughout a year, therefore, the actual size of the solar system would be therefore designed to provide the appropriate energy generation level.

  • Sunlight and Climate

The climate of your area determines how many sunny hours and how much energy your solar panels will make. If the region experiences reduced brightness and inconsistent sunshine, you need to equip yourself with extra solar panels.

  • Home Size

The size of a house is an important factor that can determine the amount of kilowatts of solar power your panels will use. The electrical consumption of a one thousand five hundred square feet home is estimated to be 630 kWh. In contrast to this, a 3,000 square feet house is more costly in terms of bill, and it will require 1,200 kWh a month that is, twice as much.

  • Budget

On a national basis, the average price of solar panels stands at $16,000. Furthermore, some can be costly and can price up to $ 35,000. However, the value of the collectors is not the only expenditure to be concerned with. The additional equipment like batteries that store energy during the rainy season and of course, the maintenance cost should be factored in. The rise of cost could increase the overall cost.

How to Calculate How Many Solar Panels You Need

Estimating the collectors required involves considering three key factors. These include your monthly electricity usage, average sun hours and watts power of the solar panel.

So what does this entail?

Step 1: Identify your electricity usage.

The kWh that you can find in an electricity bill reflects precisely the number of solar panels you ought to install. The more power you consume, the larger solar panel you should install.

Step 2: Make Certain of Sunlight Take in.

No doubt, the amount of sun that your home gets can affect the quantity of solar panels you will install. Homes in sunnier areas will need less panels than those in the areas where light is deficient. The strength of sunlight exposure is measured in the number of peak sun hours for the sunniest regions (up to 210 per month) and for the cloudiest regions (135 peak sun hours).

Step 3: Estimate solar panels system capacity.

Having the expertise on how you can calculate your electricity consumption and electricity from the sun will help you to determine the required solar system in kW. Divide the household electricity consumption by the total peak hours of sunlight per month to obtain the suitable size of the system. The solar panels nowadays have a rating of normally about 400 W (0.40 kW). Be careful to convert the output of the panel to kilowatts from watts by dividing the wattage by 1000.

Step 4: First figure the number of solar panels

Next, divide the solar system size by solar panel pow power output to determine exactly how many solar panels should be installed. A higher power producing solar panel would result in the use of fewer of them.

Home Batteries for Use with Solar Panels

BLUETTI AC300 + 2*B300 Home Battery

Priced at C$6,198.00, the setup is a powerhouse kit to meet the needs of your home solar power. It is equipped with a 3,000W AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter with a surge capacity of 6,000W. Besides, the 3,072Wh system can be expanded by plugging additional four units of B300 units up to 12,288Wh. Also, with over 3,500 life cycles to 80%, LifePo4 Battery comes with a long service life and durability. 

Its main features include 240V Split Phase Bonding as well as 24/7 UPS home backup. In addition, by offering seven methods of recharging, including; AC, Solar, Car, Generator, Lead-acid Battery, Dual AC, and AC+Solar, it provides flexibility. Furthermore, the flexibility of the system includes a solar input of up to 2400W and a quick dual charge capability of 5400W (Solar + AC).

AC500 + B300S Home Battery

This unit, which is valued at $5,699.00, is equipped with a 5000W continuous power with a surge of up to 10000W. Besides, the system’s capacity can be scaled from 3072Wh to a big 18432Wh of juice. Further, the Lithium-ion Phosphate (LiFePO₄) battery provides more than 3,500 life cycles at 80%. Other than that, this device is built around smart APP control with WiFi & Bluetooth connection. This system also offers a 240V/10KW Split Phase System with a maximum power output of 36.8KWh.

It has six options for recharging, including AC, Solar, Car, Generator, Lead-acid Battery and Dual Charging (AC/AC+Solar). Another excellent feature is that the system has 16 versatile sockets that can be used with 99% of devices. It also has a 24/7 UPS Home Backup function. Lastly, what will put you at ease is that it comes with a 4-Year Warranty which in turn guarantees long-term reliability.

Can Solar Panels Power Your Entire House?

Well, yes, technically, solar panels can provide the overall electricity needs of a house, but it is a bit more complex than it may look. Unlike traditional energy systems, solar panels function by providing electricity to your home mostly through the day, as long as it is sunny. At night, most homes are powered by grid electricity. Hence, the question here is how does the solar electricity toll charge your entire utility bill?

Many utility companies have programs that allow homes with solar panels to channel surplus energy from their panels back into the grid during the day. As reimbursement, these companies give solar homeowners credit on their bill that cover grid electricity used later. It is this process, called net metering, that can provide credits worth more than what the retail rate is.

Often, the installers design a system that generates just enough energy to cover your daily electricity needs at midday. Thus, this offers you credits to offset your evening electricity costs. If your goal is to make your house 100% powered by daylight electricity, you should also have a sunlight battery at hand. This setup would store the sunshine power produced during the day for future use.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, installing solar panels can be a very wise financial decision for homeowners under the right conditions of course. Nonetheless, due to the very high upfront costs, this method may not be cost-effective for those who don't own a home or aren't eligible for net-metering and solar tax-cuts. Therefore, tese variables must be taken into account before choosing to transition to solar energy.

share this article