If you’re looking into having solar panels installed, you may be wondering how many panels you’ll need. Different properties require different numbers of solar panels, and several factors go into the scale of your solar panel system. From the size of the property to your energy needs, the number of solar panels in your system may vary from your neighbor’s.
In this article, we’ll discuss the factors that go into the number of solar panels required for your Albuquerque home or business. Your Albuquerque solar panel installers will also advise you on the right system for your energy needs.
The Right Number of Solar Panels for You
A good starting point for determining the number of solar panels that you’ll need are utility bills from past months. Specifically, round up your utility bills from the last year, or a minimum of six months. You may be able to get a 12-month rundown of your home’s energy usage from your utility company, which would be ideal.
You need this relatively high volume of information about your utility usage so that you can understand the peaks and valleys of your energy use throughout the year. These irregularities that happen over twelve months (i.e. higher energy use during the hottest summer months and the colder winter months due to heating and cooling needs) are crucial in determining how much energy you’ll require from your Albuquerque solar panel system.
As a measure of energy, a kilowatt hour (kWh) is the measurement that you’ll use to express your yearly energy use. Consider that you have an appliance that’s rated for one kilowatt hour, or 1000W, and it’s in use for 60 minutes. In that hour, the appliance has used one kilowatt hour of energy.
Your home energy usage will be measured in kilowatt hours by your utility company. This measurement is used to calculate your energy bills each month. You can use your utility bills from the past 12 months to determine how many kilowatt hours of energy your home uses in one year.
Once you have your yearly energy usage in kilowatt hours, divide it by the number of days in a year (365). Now, you have the average daily energy use of your home.
The next number that you’ll need to determine how many solar panels you need is sun-hours. This measurement simply expresses how many hours of sun your home receives. This number can be used to find how much sunlight you can expect your solar panels to receive.
The last number that you’ll need to determine the amount of solar energy that your home will require is the element of inefficiency. Solar panels can perform with less-than-optimal efficiency for numerous reasons. Whether it be shade, drops in voltage, or very high or low temperatures, your solar panels may not always produce the maximum amount of energy. This factor is around 0.9, for our current purposes.
Now, use this formula to determine how much solar energy your home will require each day, on average:
Daily Energy Use (kWh) / Sun-Hours in Your Area / Inefficiency (0.9) = Your Home’s Minimum Solar Output
You can now divide this number by the wattage of each individual solar panel to determine how many solar panels your home will require.
Solar Panel Size
Solar panel size is an important consideration in your Albuquerque solar system. If your roof is large and receives sunlight relatively uniformly, it may make sense for you to opt for large panels to achieve the energy output that your home needs. But, for those with smaller roofs that don’t have as much available space, smaller solar panels will offer greater efficiency and more solar energy production. While a higher number of small solar panels will cost more than a lower number of large solar panels, you’ll save money over time by achieving greater efficiency in solar energy production.
At EcoSave Solar, we have a trained team of solar experts ready to evaluate your roof and help determine your solar energy needs. We’ll offer assistance in finding the optimal number of solar panels for your roof. Contact us today to learn more.