How Many Solar Panels Should I Get? Solar Energy 101

Homeowners in Australia are mindful of global warming now more than ever.  Most people prefer solar power, and by June this year, there were more than 3.9 million rooftop solar systems in Australia.

Switching to solar power is an excellent way to save on monthly power bills while protecting the environment from global warming.  However, most homeowners struggle to determine how many solar panels to get. 

Let’s explore how to determine your energy needs and estimate the number of panels your home needs. 

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Understanding Your Power Usage

The number of solar panels necessary for your home depends on your energy usage patterns.  You can determine your average power usage from your monthly bills.

Most bills have a section detailing the power consumption over the last twelve, six, or three months.  The charge may also include your average daily use; if not, divide the average monthly usage by thirty.

Generally, a regular Australian household consumes 15–20kWh daily.  This amount varies per household, based on location, whether you use gas for hot water and cooking, and the number of people in the home.

You’ll benefit more from solar panels if you use the power you produce during the day instead of exporting it to the grid.  If there’s no one home, it’s best to store the energy in rechargeable batteries.

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Some days also require more power than others, like weekends when the house is full.  Seasons also play a part because you’ll use more energy in winter to run heaters and in summer for air conditioning. Once you consider all these aspects, it’s easier to understand your daily and peak consumption. 

Solar Panel Output Options

Solar panels have varying power levels and wattages, so the solar system ratings are in kilowatts (kW) or watts (W).  For instance, a 200W solar panel in optimum conditions produces 200 watt-hours of electricity every hour.

Generally, 1kW requires three or four solar panels, which produce about 4kWh of electricity daily.  For instance, a 6.6kW solar system makes 26.4kWh on an average day with enough sunshine. The exact output varies depending on the direction of your location and roof slope.

Installation Considerations

Before installing your solar system, there are essential factors to consider.  For instance, if you plan to rely entirely on solar energy, it will affect the number of panels your home needs.

Your location also plays a vital role because solar panels require sunlight.  Areas with longer daylight hours, like Perth, need fewer panels to generate the same energy as areas with fewer hours, like Hobart.

Calculating the Size of Your Solar Energy System

Solar systems are available in different sizes measured in kilowatts (kW), such as 5kW and 11kW systems.  Every kilowatt comprises three or four panels that generate about 3kW to 5kW daily.

You’ll use your average daily consumption to determine the right system size.  Let’s say your daily usage is 16 kWh, and 1kW generates 4kW daily.

16.2 kWh per day / 4 kWh = 4.05 (4 kW solar system)

Most solar panels are 300 watts and above, so you can divide the total kW with this output to estimate the total number of panels you’ll need.

 

The goal is to cover the maximum household consumption every day.  If your usage is 16kW on most days but weekends consume 20kW, it’s best to plan for a system that generates 20kW and above. 

Conclusion

Solar energy is enough to support all your energy requirements, allowing you to live off the grid.  Robust solar systems have the proper configurations to ensure the power meets your demands.

You can also use the energy to supplement electricity as you expand your solar system for the future.  Get in touch with a licensed solar installer today and plan your clean, sustainable energy future.

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