How Many Solar Panels Does Your Home Need?

February 7, 2019

When home and business owners are considering making the switch to solar energy, one of the first things many of them wonder is how many solar panels will their property actually need. Consulting with professional solar panel companies in Florida like Urban Solar can help property owners answer that question. Urban Solar is a solar power company located in Boca Raton that has been providing South Florida residents with renewable energy sources for over 40 years. The solar experts at Urban Solar will come to your property and perform a free evaluation in order to calculate how many kilowatt-hours of solar power you will need, as well as, find the correct system size and number of solar panels to power your property.

Knowing your solar energy goals will also help to determine the right amount of solar panels to be placed on top of your roof. The majority of property owners want to produce enough energy to save money on their monthly utility bill and eventually eliminate their bill, all together. Many people are also environmentally conscious and want to minimize their carbon footprint and environmental impact. In order to know how many solar panels your property requires, you will first need to consider a few things:

  • The climate and peak sunlight in your area.
  • How much energy your property currently uses.
  • The wattage and relative efficiency of the photovoltaic (PV) panels that you are considering.
  • Your roof’s usable surface area.
  • If net metering is available.

How Many Hours Of Sunlight Does Your Property Get

Depending on where you live, the peak sunlight hours will have a direct impact on the energy that you can expect your home solar system to produce. In South Florida, residents can expect a greater number of peak sunlight hours, which can result in fewer solar panels installed on their properties. Calculations can be made in order to figure out the amount of energy your panels need to produce every hour.

How Much Electricity Does Your Property Use

The first step to installing solar panels is figuring out how much electricity you currently use. To determine your property’s average energy requirements, simply look at past utility bills. On your past electricity bills, look for kilowatt-hours (or kWh), which is usually represented in a 30 day time period. If your bill doesn’t show the kilowatt-hours used, then look for the beginning and ending meter readings and subtract last month’s reading from the most recent one. From there, your household’s hourly and daily energy requirements, especially during the peak sunlight hours for your area, can be calculated.

How Much Solar Power Will Your Property Need

Your property’s average daily energy usage is what will ultimately determine your solar needs because it will show the number of kilowatt-hours that your solar power system needs to produce in order to cover your energy needs. A trusted solar energy company like Urban Solar will be able to calculate how many solar panels are needed by multiplying your property’s hourly energy requirement by the peak sunlight hours it receives and dividing that number by your desired panel’s wattage.

Solar Panel Output Efficiency

Not all solar panels are created the same. Solar panels come in different sizes, with varying cell technologies and efficiency levels. The stronger the structure of a solar panel cell is, the more resistant it is to cracking or corrosion. Solar panel efficiency involves how well the panel is able to convert sunlight into energy. The more efficient a panel is, the more wattage it can produce and the fewer you will need on your roof. Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are most commonly installed on residential properties and come in wattages ranging from 150 watts to 370 watts.

It is also important to remember that solar panels do not operate at maximum efficiency at all times. Factors like weather conditions and nighttime hours can temporarily reduce a property’s solar power system. Solar power battery storage systems provide a solution to this by storing solar energy for later use like during a storm or at night.

Roof Size

Factors like how much sunlight a roof gets and its usable surface area for solar panel installation will affect the amount of solar energy needed for a property. Another factor to consider is if you have a small or unusually sized roof. If this is the case, then the solar panel size and the number of solar panels installed will affect your target energy output.

Net Metering

Net metering involves your utility company crediting you for producing excess solar energy when the sun is shining and then lets you draw from those credits when you’re using a conventional power grid at night if you aren’t using a solar battery storage system. With net metering, the property owner is only billed for the “net” energy used each month, which is the difference between the solar energy produced and the energy consumed by the property over the monthly billing period. This method can save home and business owners hundreds of dollars on their electricity bill every year and should be a consideration when deciding to use solar energy.

Knowledgeable Solar Companies In Florida

Trusted solar energy companies in Florida like Urban Solar provide Floridians with the resources and knowledge that they need in order to make informed decisions about their renewable energy sources, ultimately allowing them to accomplish their solar energy goals. Our solar energy specialists will come to your property and perform all necessary calculations needed during your free evaluation. We will assess your roof architecture, angle to the sun and other factors to determine how many solar panels your property should have. If you are thinking about making the switch to solar energy, give us a call at 1-888-387-6527 and schedule your free evaluation today.