How to size solar system

Can you estimate what solar system size you need for your home? Do you know how to calculate your home electricity consumption? There are a few steps you can take to know for sure. These are:

  1. Put together the monthly kilowatt-hours(kWh) usage of your electric bill. It is best to use bills that go back 12 months. You will find it easier to calculate the monthly kWh usage when you work with a year’s worth. In the summer and winter, energy consumption spikes. This is because you tend to use more of your heating and A/C units.
  2. Find out what your usage is on an average month. To do this, add up your monthly kWh usage for 12 months, then divide the total into 12. This will give you the average monthly consumption. In the summer, there is peak sun exposure. This will make your grid-tied system to overproduce.
  3. The final thing is to find out what your daily usage is. You can divide what you get for an average month by 30.

In order to accurately find your home energy usage, there are methods to help. The home appliances power consumption table is a great tool for more accurate calculations.  If your utility is able to give a favorable net metering policy, it can be an advantage. You can bank the energy generated by your system. This can be banked as a credit for late use. You should confirm with your local provider to see if this is possible. Not all utility companies provide the option of credit.

How can you calculate solar panels for your home?

In order to size your solar system, the formula is as follows:

Find out what your daily kWh energy requirement is. Divide your findings by the peak sun hours received in your area. This gives you the kW output.

Next, you should divide the kW output by the efficiency provided by your panel. This will give you an estimate of the number of panels you require for your system.  (DailykWh / Average sun hours) x 1.15 efficiency factor = DC solar system size

PV System Losses

System losses are effects that are not explicitly modeled by simulation engines. Application of the linear loss factors can be done as percentage reductions to the estimated system production. These are calculated by the simulation engine.

Solar panel sizing calculator

Do you know how many solar panels you need? Every house will have different calculations. A 3-bedroom  house and a 2000 sq. ft. home will averagely have different electricity consumption levels. 

If you plan to have solar panels in your home, you should first define your goals. Some of the common reasons for installing solar energy are:

  • To reduce carbon footprint
  • To maximize return of investment
  • To save money

Sometimes, these reasons can be joined. You may want to install solar energy to save money while minimizing your carbon footprint. 

In order to calculate the number of solar panels your house needs, you need to know the following:

  1. Your current energy usage in watts
  2. Your average energy requirements
  3. The physical size of the panels you would like
  4. The climate and amount of sunlight in your area
  5. The efficiency of the solar panels you would like

For some of these, you may need the help of a professional solar installer. They will be able to provide you with a complete evaluation of your home.

How much solar power will you need?

You need to look past utility bills if you want to know the average energy requirements of your home. You can find out how many solar panels you will need. This is calculated by multiplying the peak sunlight hours in your area with your household’s hourly energy requirement. You should then divide your answer by a panel’s wattage.

Other factors to include are:

  • The size of your roof
  • How much sunlight does your roof get?

How many solar panels does a fridge need?

For an average-size refrigerator that runs on solar power, you would need a daily solar array of about 1500 to 2000 Wh. A solar array with that much energy has 3 to 6 – 100 watt solar panels. If you get more sunlight, you will require fewer panels.
To know the exact number of solar panels your fridge will need, you need:
An estimation of how much energy your fridge uses on a daily basis
The amount of sunlight your solar panels will receive every day. This should include the peak sunlight hours.

Do solar panels work on a flat roof?

It is possible to have solar panels on a flat roof. There is a minimal slope allowance on flat roofs that accommodate solar PV panel systems. A ¼: 12 pitch roof is a  roof with a rise of 0.25 inches over a 12-inch run. A flat roof is also known as:

  • Low pitch roof
  • Low slope application

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