When deciding to make the switch to solar energy, the first thing you tend to do is start shopping for is solar panels online.
Before long, you find yourself asking: ‘How many solar panels are needed to run my home?”
It’s a fair question. But in order to answer it you need to ask a few other questions first.
Ultimately, you’re trying to figure out how much solar energy your household will use on an average day and how many solar panels will comfortably cater for this.
Is your goal to reduce your standard electricity costs or completely offset them altogether?
Perhaps you’re eager to take it a step further and actually earn a credit from your power company, by producing more solar energy than your household uses and feed it into the grid.
Your motivations play a big role in how many solar panels you need.
Given that sunshine is synonymous with Australia, chances are your roof is getting a fair amount of sunlight on any given day.
But there are still some geographical considerations. Solar panels on a Perth roof are likely to soak up more energy than solar panels on a Tasmanian roof, for example.
More sunshine equals less panels. Whereas places with less sunshine will require more panels to achieve the same result.
It’s also important to consider the fact that the average household’s energy consumption goes up in winter, while sun exposure goes down. Be sure to factor this into your calculations.
A good solar battery can also help with this. Quality inverters, optimisers and strategically-placed racking make a real difference.
Another question that impacts how many solar panels, is which kind of solar panels.
Just like furniture, electronics and cars, there are plenty of brands manufacturing good solar panels. And there are plenty that are manufacturing bad ones.
Considering that solar panel systems are a long-term investment that hinge on durability and consistency, it’s best to go for quality over quantity.
Don’t settle for less when it comes to solar panels. Go for manufacturers that sit in the top tier of quality.
This is where you can get smart with your solar panel installation setup.
For instance, is everyone in your household typically home in the late afternoon, cooking dinner, washing laundry, working on assignments online or watching TV after work with the air-conditioning on?
If so, the ideal positioning of your solar panels would be to the west, so that they’re absorbing sunlight right when the house is at its busiest.
Another technique is to conduct standard house errands like washing dishes, putting on loads of laundry, running the pool cleaner and so on during the day when your solar panels are harnessing the energy of the sun.
By doing this, you might find that you can power your home with less solar panels than you initially thought you needed.
When you’re looking at specific models of solar panels from reputable brands, you can compare your daily kilowatt (kW) usage against each model’s total output to determine how many of that particular panel you would need to install.
Each kW of solar you install will produce around 4-4.5 kWh per day. Simply divide your daily consumption by this amount to see how many panels you need.
To avoid electricity bills altogether make sure your consumption is less than your production and storage.
“Most homeowners worry about rising electricity bills so we create custom solar plans to ensure you never face outrageous bills ever again.”
Subscribe to our free weekly Monday newsletter. Join 11,000+ homeowners around Australia for quick solar news, latest breakthroughs and exclusive offers.