It’s not as difficult as you think to figure out how many solar panels it will take to power your home—in fact, you can find out with just a few simple math problems! Knowing this number will help you start the conversation with solar contractors in your area, and you won’t have to worry about any unexpected surprises. So grab a pencil, paper, and a calculator, and have the measurements of your home readily available. Let’s get started!
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How Many Solar Panels Will Fit on My Roof?
Keep in mind that for this example, we’ll be using averages and estimates. Working with a licensed solar contractor in your area will give you an accurate number for your home. For most residential solar installations, the average solar panel measures 3 feet x 5 feet, or 15 square feet.
The home in our example is a lovely one-story home with a 3,000 square foot roof. Take the square footage of your roof—or the area you’re planning on using, if not your roof—and divide that number by 15.
That number—200—is the number of solar panels that will fit on your roof. Of course, your contractor will give you a definite number, but it most likely won’t be far from the number you found on your own. Also, if you have skylights or a chimney, that number could change. But for now, we know that we can fit about 200 solar panels on this particular roof.
How Much Energy Will Those Solar Panels Produce?
The second part of the question is to find out how much energy those panels will produce for your home. In order to do that, you will need to convert watts into kilowatts (kW). Converting watts into kilowatts (kW) is as simple as dividing the watts your particular solar panels produce by 1,000.
On average, solar panels produce approximately 200 watts of energy To convert 200 watts into kilowatts, we divide 200 by 1,000 or:
200/1000= .2 kW
Now, let’s multiply the number of kW by the number of panels that would fit on your roof and you’ll come out with the amount of energy your solar panels will produce for your home.
.2 x 200= 40 kWh
How Many Solar Panels Will I Need to Power My Home?
The number of solar panels you will need to power your home depends entirely on you and your energy usage. Larger homes generally require more solar panels, and the same is true if there is ample shading over your home. Look at your electricity bill the next time it comes in the mail. It will specify your energy usage in kilowatt hours (kWh) and will also show how much energy you’ve used in recent months. That will give you a good idea of how many solar panels you will need to provide enough energy to comfortably power your home.