Residential Solar Power Systems – Is Bigger Always Better?

May 20, 2016

There’s a lot of value in adding solar power to a residential building. The lowered energy costs, the independence from metered electricity, and the decreased burden on municipal power suppliers are all great reasons to add solar to a home. Recently, we thought to ask the question, “Is a bigger solar array always the best idea for residential buildings?”

Before we begin to answer this question, it’s worth having a look at a few of the variables involved in a typical residential solar power installation project. What are some of the key project parameters – both in physical size and in cost – that make the overall system a sound financial investment? First and foremost, a thorough evaluation of the homeowner’s current electricity usage and existing electrical wiring would need to be conducted. This would determine if increasing panel sizes would even make sense at all.

Second, we need to look at the roof. How much available space is there on the roof, and which roof faces are the most ideal candidates for mounting the new system? If it turns out that the only viable roof surfaces won’t fit more than one or two PV modules, then going bigger isn’t even going to be a possibility. The exception to this rule is if there is real estate available nearby for a potential ground-based installation.

Sometimes a homeowner has the perfect combination of good roof surfaces and a higher-than-average electricity consumption, month after month. It’s these types of projects that can benefit the most from larger panels with higher capacity solar systems. For this group of customers, a bigger solar panel array is typically a good idea.

Whether or not a bigger solar panel is better for your home is not merely a matter of speculation. It’s worth conducting a professional assessment of your particular situation in order to arrive at the best sized solar panels for you.