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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for My Home?

by Dr Prem Community Writer
How many solar panels do I need to power my 4 bedroom house?

Solar energy accounts for 2% of America’s energy demands. By the end of Q3 2020, the USA had enough solar panels installed to power 16.4 million homes. The yearly carbon dioxide offset from solar panels in the USA is 100 million metric tons, equivalent to 131 million acres of forest. With all this information, you are probably thinking about installing a solar panel system in your home. However, you probably don’t know where to start, and your first thought is,”how many solars do I need for my house?”

This is a common question among aspiring solar homeowners. However, there is no straightforward answer to this question. Fortunately, Simple Solar Living has all the information you need to install a solar panel energy system in your house. So, please keep reading to learn about solar panels and how many of them you need to power your house.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Power my 4 Bedroom House?

It depends on your household electricity consumption, and the number of bedrooms doesn’t matter. A house with 2 bedrooms can consume more electricity than a house with 6 rooms. As a rule of thumb, the more electricity you consume, the more solar panels you will need to cover your energy demands. Below is a chart that will compare annual electricity usage with the number of solar panels you will need to power your house.

Residents Annual Electricity Bill Solar Panels
One person 850 kWh 4
Two-person 1700 kWh 8
Three-person 2,550 kWh 12
Four-person 3,400 kWh 16

The information above is an estimated energy consumption per year. The number of units consumed annually can be less or more than what’s mentioned above. Moreover, this chart coverage electricity consumption during summer. If you have an inverter AC system in your house, your electricity consumption will be marginally less. Therefore, it’s best to double-check your electricity consumption from your electricity bill before buying a solar panel system.

To get an accurate reading of your electricity consumption, you need to follow the four steps mentioned below.

  1. Calculate your daily electricity usage
  2. Workout the average daily sunlight hours in your area
  3. Understand the daily energy output of a solar panel
  4. Divide the electricity output of a solar panel system by your daily electricity usage.

Calculating the average daily sunlight hours in your area is the most important aspect of knowing how many solar panels you need to power your home. Some areas in the USA receive little to no sunlight. Moreover, the sun isn’t bright enough to charge solar batteries. Such areas need a larger solar panel system than an average house situated in a sunny area.

How Much Sunlight Do I Need to Charge my Solar Panels?

How many solar panels do I need to power my 4 bedroom house?

Your solar panel will need four to five hours of direct sunlight to charge its solar cells fully. Specifically, sunlight between 10 am to 3 pm is very strong because the sun is directly above our planet and the sun’s rays are comparatively strong.

However, you need not worry if your house doesn’t have direct sunlight. Solar panels need photons which they convert into electricity. If your solar panel system doesn’t get enough direct sunlight, your panels will collect photons from indirect sunlight. However, their efficiency might drop.

Calculate Peak Sun Hours

To get the maximum output from your solar panels, you need to measure the peak sun hours. The formula to calculate peak sun hours: 1 peak sun hour = 1000 W/m² of sunlight per hour. You need to check when your roof is hot during summer and winter. The hours of the day when your house is warm are peak sun hours. This is the time your solar panels would effectively charge their solar cells.

According to historical data, Jacksonville, Florida, has 221 sunny days, and a solar panel system would work well for you if you live here. You can find the average sunny days in different states of the USA by searching online. However, for an accurate measure, you should calculate daily sunlight hours for 2 months, which will give you a good place to start.

Can Solar Panels Power My Home During Winter?

A short answer to this question is yes! Solar panels can power your home during winter. Solar cells work more efficiently in cold weather because solar glass doesn’t collect unnecessary heat. A key point to understand is that solar panels don’t convert heat. They convert sunlight into electricity. So as long as your house receives four to five hours of sunlight, your solar panel system should power your house.

If you don’t get enough sunlight, don’t worry. Solar panels will power your house, but they might be a bit inefficient. An interesting fact about solar panels is that their average sunlight consumption varies based on several factors. Solar panels convert photons into electricity. So, they will work efficiently, even if they get less sunlight but better photons.

The Bottom Line

Solar panels are an excellent solution to avoid paying ridiculous amounts of electricity bills. The global energy crisis is going to increase the cost of electricity. There is no better time than now to go green with solar energy. You will be saving money and the planet.

Many homeowners in the USA have switched to solar energy because it increases the value of their house. Plus, savings on electricity bills can help in adding more money to your retirement account. Thanks to the countless benefits of solar panels, the US is reducing its carbon footprint. A solar panel might be a huge investment for you, but its benefit reaps in the longterm through savings on utility bills.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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