When people start thinking about going solar, the first thing that pops up in their mind is: how many solar panels do I need for my home? Various factors need to be considered to get an estimation of how much you will need. This blog will go over everything you need to know to be able to determine how many solar panels you need for your home.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for my House?

The typical homeowner will likely need 27 – 35 solar panels to cover for all of the energy usage needed for the entire home. Of course, the amount you need will vary depending on factors such as:

  • The size of your home
  • Your home’s level of energy usage
  • Your location
  • Your weather

How to Calculate Your Own Solar Panel Estimation

To be able to make an estimation on the number of solar panels you would need, you’ll first need to find out how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you use per year. Most utilities provide this information in your monthly bill. To give you some perspective, one kWh is 1,000 watts of power being used in one hour. So, if you have 20 lights in your home that consume 50 watts each, then having every light of the room on for one hour is the same as 1 kWh of electricity. According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, the average American household consumes around 900 kWh per month/ That’s about 11,000 kWh per year.

young woman calculating number of solar panels needed for her home

How Many kWh Can My Solar Energy Panels Produce?

The amount of kWh your solar system can produce depends on the amount of sunlight your roof gets. The amount of sunlight you get depends on where you live and what time of year it is. California is one of the top places on earth with the biggest number of sunny days per year. This is especially true for residents of southern California. Living in a sunny state like California would be a waste if you didn’t go solar. People who live in areas that get less sun are still able to go solar. However, they’ll simply need a bigger system installed. For example, if a home in California and a home in Vermont consume the same amount of kWh per year, the home in Vermont will still need a bigger solar system due to that home getting less sunny days compared to California. The California household might need a 7.0 kW system to cover 100% of their energy needs, while the household in Vermont might need an 8.8 kW system to cover their energy needs. Although the solar panel system is smaller in California, it is able to produce the same amount of energy as that of the home in Vermont because of the bigger number of sunny days it gets.

How to Calculate the Number of Solar Panels My Home Needs

Step 1:  Find your monthly kilowatt-hour usage. This can be found in your latest power bill.

Step 2: Find out the daily sunlight average in your state.

Step 3: Plug the figures into the following formula. Divide your average monthly kilowatt/hour by the average amount of peak sunlight in your state.

Step 4: Covert your kW from the equation to total watts. All you have to do is multiply your kilowatt number by 1000.

Step 5: Finally, you divide the number of watts of the system by the number of watts one solar panel generates.

For homeowners that are in the early stages of going solar, it’s a great idea to have a rough estimation of the number of solar panels you will need for your home. It’s important to take into account many factors such as the size, location, and level of energy use of your home. We hope this blog helped you get an idea of how many solar panels you need for your house. If you’re ready to go solar, give Sunlight Solar a call at (858) 564-8032 or contact us by visiting our website.