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How Many Solar Panels Are Needed to Power a House?

April 25, 2023
Family Sitting in Living Room Enjoying Solar Powered Home

Interested in knowing more about solar panels, how they work, and what you need to do to have them installed? If you’re located in Southern Florida, Xando Energy is available to answer all of your solar power questions!

Below we answer the question of how many solar panels does the average homeowner need to power their home, and while the answer is geared toward houses built in South Florida, you can use the following to help you determine your panel count, regardless of where you reside.

To ask a solar panel expert your questions directly, please call or email today!

Figuring out the number of solar panels necessary to power a home is contingent upon a variety of factors, such as geographical location, home size, energy usage, shape of the roof, weather, and solar panel efficiency. Your region plays a crucial role because it determines the amount of sunlight available, which consequently influences the solar panel’s energy output.

Below we explore the main factors that determine how many panels are needed to power your home with solar energy.

Solar Panels On Roof in Southern Florida

5 Key Aspects of Calculating Solar Panel Requirements

To calculate the number of solar panels required, solar energy professionals take the following into consideration:

1. Look Up Mean Monthly Energy Usage

To figure out how much energy your household uses each month, gather your electricity bills from the past year. If not available in paper form, you can likely go online and download your previous invoices through your utility provider’s website.

Check each bill for the stated energy amount used, recording the total kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumed during the respective month. Sum up the monthly values and then divide by 12 to establish your average monthly energy consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

2. Compute Daily Energy Usage

Utilize the previously determined average monthly consumption and divide this figure by the estimated 30 days in a month. While this method may not be entirely precise due to differing month lengths, it yields a reasonably accurate estimate of daily energy consumption.

3. Estimate Solar Energy Generation

The amount of solar insolation, which is expressed in kWh/m2/day, determines the region’s ability to produce solar energy. Investigate online sources like solar insolation maps or databases like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the United States or the Photovoltaic Geographical Information System (PVGIS) of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Europe to gain access to this information.

Locate yourself on a map, make a note of the applicable solar insolation number, then multiply your daily energy usage by 1,000 to convert it to watt-hours. (Wh). To determine the required solar panel capacity, divide this number by the solar insolation value.

4. Account for Solar Panel Efficiency

Typical solar panel values range from 15 to 22 percent efficiency. Divide the necessary solar panel capacity, as established in the previous step, by the efficiency factor to account for this variance (expressed as a decimal, such as 0.20 for 20 percent).

For instance, if you need a 5kW system with a 20 percent panel efficiency, the actual capacity required is 5kW / 0.20 = 25kW.

5. Calculate the Number of Solar Panels

The wattage of the new solar panels also needs to be assessed. This information can typically be found in the product specs or provided by the manufacturer.

To determine how many solar panels you will need for your system, take the actual capacity that is required and divide it by the wattage of each panel.

For instance, if a capacity of 25 kW is required, and a solar panel has a capacity of 300 W, the resulting computation would be 25,000 W divided by 300 W, which would be equivalent to around 83 solar panels.

Additional Solar Panel Installation Considerations

Keep in mind that these calculations are approximate and may differ based on your home’s specific circumstances and solar panels. It is advisable to consult a solar installation expert in your area for a precise evaluation.

Furthermore, it’s important to take into account other factors that affect solar, such as available roof area, shading, and local regulations, as they can impact solar panel installation and overall performance.

3 Solar Panel Usage & Requirement FAQs

As you can imagine, we get a lot of questions in regard to solar panel usage and needs. Below we’ve answered several of the most common that we get. If you don’t see your question answered, please pick up the phone and ask us directly!

#1 How can I ensure that the number of solar panels I install will sufficiently meet my household’s energy needs throughout the year, considering seasonal variations in sunlight availability?

At Xando Energy, we are dedicated to ensuring that the solar panel system we install for your home can supply all of your energy requirements. To do this, we thoroughly analyze the energy usage trends in your home while taking seasonal variations in sunshine availability into account.

We also assess your home’s energy efficiency and look for any feasible upgrades that can help you use less energy overall.

Using this information, we design a custom solar panel system that will best satisfy your energy needs, even when sunlight is scarcer.

#2 What are the factors to consider when selecting solar panels, in terms of their efficiency, size, and compatibility with my home’s existing electrical infrastructure?

When selecting solar panels, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure optimal compatibility with your home’s existing electrical infrastructure and maximize the system’s performance.

At Xando Energy, we fully assess the following for each customer we serve:

  • Efficiency: We recommend high-efficiency solar panels to maximize energy generation within the available roof space.

    Higher efficiency panels may cost more upfront but can generate more energy over their lifetime.

  • Size: The size of the solar panels should match the available roof area, taking into account any shading or obstructions that could affect their performance.

    We assess your roof and recommend the appropriate panel size to maximize energy generation.

  • Compatibility: We’ll ensure that the selected solar panels, along with the accompanying inverters and other system components, are compatible with your home’s electrical infrastructure and compliant with local regulations.

#3 Can you provide guidance on local regulations, potential incentives or tax credits, and any necessary permits for installing solar panels on my property?

Navigating local regulations, potential incentives, tax credits, and permitting processes can be complex. At Xando Energy, we’re well-versed in the local regulations and requirements in South Florida.

We’ll provide guidance and support throughout the entire process, from determining eligibility for federal or state tax credits and incentives to securing the necessary permits for installing solar panels on your property.

Our goal is to make the transition to solar energy as seamless as possible for you.

In Closing

You can better understand your energy needs and the requirements for a solar panel installation by following these recommendations. Remember that all figures are just estimates and may vary depending on specific facts.

A solar installation specialist should be consulted for accurate assessments and individualized advice. To speak to a solar professional in South Florida, please reach out to our team today!