Powering your home with solar energy isn’t as simple as installing just any photovoltaic (PV) panels on your roof. You must install the right number of panels in the proper position to achieve the optimal energy production for your home’s unique needs. The size of your solar system will depend on how eco-friendly you want to be, how much money you’d like to save, or a combination of these factors. The number of solar panels you install should also be based on five other factors:
- Surface area of the roof
- Peak sunlight and climate of your geographical location
- Amount of energy you use
- Availability of net metering
- Relative efficiency of the chosen PV/solar panels
Considering all these aspects will ensure your home is powered by an efficient and effective solar system. Below, we explore two important factors in greater detail to give you an even better handle on what it means to power your home with solar energy.
Amount of Sunlight Your Area Receives
The amount of sunlight your geographical area receives directly affects the amount of solar energy your PV panels can produce. Thus, the more sunlight your area receives and the more peak sunlight hours your area has, the fewer panels you’ll need. Of course, this means that if you live in an area that sees below-average sunlight, you’ll need more panels for optimal energy production. To determine the specific amount of energy (kWh) your panels will need to produce every hour, multiply your hourly power usage (found on your utility bill) by 1,000 (to convert to watts) and divide that number by the number of daily peak sunlight hours your area receives.
Size of the Solar Panels
Although you might think that a solar panel’s efficiency would be determined by its size, this is most often not the case. The size of the panels is most closely related to the size of the roof or area where they will be installed. Obviously, a larger roof can house larger panels. If your roof has a small surface area or is partially shaded, it should have small, high-efficiency PV panels. Powering a house with solar panels in this manner will ensure maximum power generation. Ultimately, this approach will also help you save the most money and allow you to gain the best return on investment.
To make the switch or to learn more about how solar power can be put to work in your home, please contact us.