How Many Solar Panels To Power A House?: Updated Calculator

The sun has been in existence for billions of years, and you can never fantasize about a world without the sun. Our solar system is particularly important as it nourishes and sustains all kinds of living beings on earth. Humans have since used the sun to give directions, keep track of time, and provide humanity with energy for many years. 

The sun is also used to provide solar energy to many homes. According to ancient research, Egyptians were the first civilization to use solar energy to power their homes. It is still unclear how ancient people could store the sun’s energy and power their homes at night. 

For some time, nonrenewable energy sources have contributed to carbon emissions and have been depleting very rapidly. Many homes and organizations are now encouraged to use renewable energy sources to run their day-to-day activities.

The number one source of renewable energy that has been thought to be helpful is the sun, and many homes are using solar energy to run their daily lives, and there is one excellent reason why they use solar power.

ThePhoenixsun Video Series
ThePhoenixsun Video Series

Benefits and Boom of Solar Energy

Benefits and Boom of Solar Energy
Benefits and Boom of Solar Energy

In the last five years, the United States has been one of the world’s countries that use solar energy the most. The United States is the second country in 2020 to be well equipped with solar power. In the first quarter of 2020, the United States installed 2.1 gigawatts of solar PV powering 13.1 million homes and generating 69.1 gigawatts of solar energy in that quarter alone.

It is estimated that by 2024 15 gigawatts of solar PV will have been installed, which means that solar PV capacity will have doubled. According to findings from greenhouse gas equivalencies, if one home in America used solar energy to run their daily livelihoods, 12,500 pounds of carbon dioxide would not be emitted into the atmosphere. 

That means not burning 8000 quantities of coal, not charging 937,683 cell phones, driving 18,000 miles less, and growing 122 seedlings for the next ten years. Many Americans say that using solar energy has saved them a lot when it comes to electricity bills. 

Almost 60% of Americans agree that their electricity bills have hugely reduced since they started using solar energy. And they believe that solar energy will save the coming generations and make the world a better place.

Since people started installing solar PV panels in their homes and offices, more jobs have been created. It is one of the fastest-growing job industries employing over 242,000 solar workers each year.

How to Calculate The number of Solar panels Needed to Power A House?

Solar panels Needed to Power A House
Solar panels Needed to Power A House.

To get the same power required to power a home, you will need to consider several things like the amount of energy the house will consume, the number of people in that house, the house’s direction, and the house’s size to be calculated. The state you reside in will also play a factor in knowing the number of solar panels to install. 

Houses in cities where more sunlight is received will need a smaller number of solar panels, and houses in cities that review less sunlight will need more solar panels. Let us have an example of South Carolina or Alaska that receives less sunlight and will need to install many solar panels compared to California, a Sunny state. 

You should know the amount of sunlight your area receives to calculate the number of solar panels that need to run your house 100 percent. Recent studies have shown that 10,164 kWh of energy is used in a single household in America per year.

Let us divide that by 12 months to get the monthly consumption. That gives you 847 kWh per month. Let us now divide 847 by 30 days and see how much is spent per day. You will get 28 kWh daily consumption.

Now let us divide that by the sunlight peak hours received in each city. Let’s give an example of California, which receives 9 hours of sunlight per day. Let us now divide the daily consumption by the number of hours in one day. That gives you 3kWh. All solar panels come in watts, so we need to multiply 3kWh by 1000 to get the watts. 

That gives you 3000 watts. If we assume that we are using the 72 cells 350-watt solar panel, we will need to divide 3000 watts by 350, which gives us 8.5, which is roughly 9. That will mean that you need nine solar panels to power your house in a day that your area receives perfect sunny conditions.

Example two:

Let us use a state like Michigan, which receives only 4 hours of sunlight per day. You have your two kids and a wife staying in a 1000 square meter house, and the amount of sunlight you get per day is only four hours. Your energy consumption is 1300 kWh per month and 15,600 kWh per year. 

You have a 60 cell 275-watt solar panel that you want to install in your house. You will start by 1300kwh divided by 30 days, giving you 43kWh per day. 43kWh divided by four hours, and that gives you 11kWh. Multiply 11kWh by 1000; you will get 11,000 watts. You should then divide 11,000 watts by 275-watt solar panel; you will get 40. 

That means you will need to install 40 solar panels to have everything operating at 100 percent. That number may sometimes fluctuate depending on the sunlight hours.

You will, in some months, use energy depending on the insulation and consumption. Sometimes you will not need to use 100 percent of the energy depending on the number of appliances, which means you will only use 50 percent. 

In such a scenario, we will have to calculate the number of appliances you have, take their average per day, and the number of hours you use a particular appliance before making the calculations.

Let us assume the Michigan family only wants to power their 22.5 cu double door fridge. Such a fridge will consume 478kWh of energy per year; it will use around 40 kWh per month and 1.3 kWh per day.

Divide 1.3 by four sunlight hours, and that gives you 0.325kWh. Multiply that by 1000, and that gives you 325watts. Three hundred twenty-five watts divided by 275 watts leave you with 1.18. That means that the Michigan family will need two 275-watt solar panels to power their fridge.

Energy Efficient Appliances

If you ever want to reduce energy consumption in your house, you must purchase appliances with energy star ratings. That might sound expensive, but you will reap the benefits in the long run. When you want to replace your old appliances with new ones, you will need to do your research first, check for products that are energy efficient. 

Equipping your house with energy-efficient appliances will save you a lot when it comes to utility bills. Start by replacing your bulbs with energy-saving LED lights. They will reduce your lighting consumption by 30 to 80 percent. A 30-watt bulb or tube will only need 3 to 4 LED lights to work efficiently. 

Your fridge runs all day and every day, and that means you will need to get a fridge that consumes 35 percent less energy. Energy-efficient washing machines and hairdryers will save you a lot when it comes to electricity bills.

They only consume 40 to 50 percent less energy, which means 55 percent fewer water bills. Dishwashers with energy certifications will give you 12 percent less on your utility bills. That only means that the more energy you use, the more solar panels you will install.

How Solar Energy Works

Trying to understand how solar panels work is quite impressive. So how do solar panels work? Solar power inverters are the answer. The solar panel captures sunlight and converts it into Direct Current (DC).

You cannot use that direct current in your house, so the inverter is needed to convert direct current and Alternating Current (AC), which is used to run appliances in your house. You should, however, look for brands and types of inverters before buying one for your installation.

Off-Grid VS on Grid

Most houses use solar systems that connect to the electrical grid. The extra electricity produced is credited to electrical grids, which results in metering. Solar grids are usually connected to the house’s primary electrical grid. That will help homeowners get bill credits every time the solar panel overproduces. 

If, for any reason, you use a lot of energy in one day or one month, the bill credits will always be there to rescue you. The bill credits will cover the additional cost of your electricity grid usage. The grid will provide safety, predictability, and security. If you are working Off-grid, you will need to find some space to store the extra electricity for backup purposes. 

You will need a battery bank for that purpose. Homes located in the suburbs or the wilderness will require ample space and storage for backups and solar panels.

Analyzing Solar Power Needs

Solar panels are an excellent way to save your on-electricity bills, but you will need to install them properly to have no future problems. They are installed improperly; you will end up having a disaster in your house for years. Before installing a solar panel, you will need to calculate the amount of energy you consume each day. 

There are many solar panel calculators available for you to use, and that will help you know the number of solar panels to install in your house. The solar panel calculator will require you to feed in some necessary details, and you will immediately know how many solar panels you will need in your home. 

After getting that information, you will need to get a reliable installer who knows what they are doing. You do not want to spend money on the wrong person and regret it later.

You should not depend on salespeople to determine the kind of solar panel you need for your home. Salespeople are just there to make fast sales, and you will not get all the relevant information needed for a perfect solar panel. 

It would help if you got information from solar panel experts or consulting firms. You will get accurate and reliable information regarding the type of solar panels you need for your house. You can also do your research, check reviews online, and inquire from installers who have been installing panels for some time. 

They will give you a rough idea of what to buy and what not to buy. Always check on warranties and safe financial options. Once you get your perfect solar panel, it might take you a few days to install and have the electrical grids appropriately connected to ensure your solar panels will operate effectively without any faults.

Cost and Efficiency

It is not always true that all the sunlight that hits your solar panel converts into energy. According to research, it has been found that approximately 23 percent of efficiency comes from a solar panel. On average, solar panels’ efficiency is 15 to 20 percent. That means that only 20 percent of the energy that hits your panel is converted to usable energy. 

You will spend between $5000 to $35,000 for installation, solar panels, taxes, incentives, and rebates. Approximately many homeowners spend $20,000 to install a 5-kilowatt solar panel, and they will pay it off in around 12 years. But once you have settled all your payments, you will have many more years of free energy. 

Many homeowners always have difficult questions about installing a solar panel. For example, what if you plan to change your location or even buy a new home? What happens to the solar system you installed?

If you plan on selling your home and it’s fully installed with the solar system, experts say that you will sell it at a higher price than the average market price. 

So, it would help if you never worry about selling your house; it is a long-term way of investing when you have a solar system installed.

How Much Energy is Produced by a Solar Panel?

Before we even start on how much electricity a panel produces, we must know which types are available. Two types of solar panels are available in the market today. Polycrystalline and monocrystalline. 

They both work and operate differently. The monocrystalline solar panels are the best when it comes to efficiency. They operate well in shady conditions, work well in high heat, and consume sufficient space.

However, they are costly, but you will have many years of free solar energy once you get one. They are darker in color and are made of silicon cell slices. They have a long lifespan compared to other solar panels.

On the other hand, polycrystalline solar panels are cheap, and they do not have a long lifespan compared to monocrystalline panels. They use multiple melting cells and are lighter in color. They do not work well under high temperatures and are low inefficiency.

Final Thoughts on How Many Solar Panels To Power A House

Solar panels are the best investment you can ever have for your house. Depending on your budget, location, and weather conditions, you can always get the best solar panel best advice from your installer or consultant.

You will need to do a little research before deciding which solar panel is best for you. Try and consult with the experts, and they will advise you on how to spend wisely on solar panels.