How many solar panels do you need?

By on October 25, 2017

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and go solar. Congratulations, you won’t regret it. But now that you’re going through the process, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make – including just how many panels you’ll need for your house.

The number of solar panels needed for your home depends on a number of factors – most important of which is figuring out exactly what your goal is with your panels. Do you want to minimize your carbon footprint? Maximize the return on your investment? Save a lot of money? These are all questions you’ll have to think about.

How much power do you need?

The first step in figuring how many panels you’ll have will depend on what your power consumption looks like. How much power the panels absorb depends on the size of your roof, the amount of sunlight, etc. If you decide to work with us, we’ll help you calculate all that out.

How much sunlight does your house get?

The peak sunlight hours near your home has a huge impact on how many panels you’ll need. For example – if you live in a place like Phoenix, you will get a a lot of light for longer periods of time. If you live in Seattle? Not as much. Doesn’t mean the guy living in Seattle can’t have solar – it’s just that they’re going to need more panels.

What effects panel efficiency?

So the curveball in all of this is that solar panels aren’t all created equal. There are wide variations in the quality and efficiency of panels, so it’s going to depend on your own, unique situation. That being said – you can make a few generalizations about panels. For example, the more efficient a panel is, the more wattage they can produce. That’ll mean the more efficient panels you get for your roof, the fewer actual panels you’ll need.

How big are the panels?

Like everything else on this list, the size and number of panels depends on your house’s unique characteristics. Do you have a big roof? Does it have a dramatic pitch? Which direction does the largest surface area face?

For example – if you have a large, usable surface area, you’ll be able to buy larger panels at a lower cost per panel to get to your target output. If it’s smaller, you may have to purchase smaller, but higher efficiency panels. Again – it all depends.

To learn more about how solar panels can work for your home, give us a call and we’ll walk you through it!