Going solar is an exciting journey, and at times it can be a confusing one. Going solar with a knowledgeable, trusted installer like StraightUp Solar will save you many headaches in designing a customized solution for your home. To begin your solar journey, StraightUp Solar will help you determine how many solar panels you need for your home. How do we determine this? There are three primary factors that determine how many solar panels you need:
- What are your electricity needs?
- What are your energy offset goals?
- How much space is available for solar, and what is the space like?
Your Electricity Needs
First, let’s determine how much electricity you need. To do this, StraightUp Solar looks at twelve months of your electric utility bills, and your patterns of electric usage throughout the year. From this information, we can estimate the number of solar panels needed to offset your electric usage.
Your Energy Offset Goals
Second, we discuss your energy offset goals for your solar array. You may have personal goals to offset 100% of your energy with solar, or perhaps 50%. A solar PV system can offset any percentage of your electricity consumption. From your electricity bills, we can determine how much electricity you use (expressed in kilowatt hours or kWh for short) and how many panels you need to produce to offset that level of energy usage.
But what if you don’t want to offset your power completely by solar? Investing in a smaller sized system allows you to have a smaller initial investment, then gives you the ability to add more panels onto your system at a later date. Discussing your plan in advance with a Solar Project Developer is important to get the right fit for you.
Your Available Space
The third factor is how much space you have available for solar, and the quality of that space. If you live in a home where the solar panels must go on the roof, the system size will be limited to how many panels will fit on the roof. For some small homes with large electric needs, there may not be roof space for enough panels to completely offset the electric need. If land is available, installing a ground-mounted system can be a smart choice for those without enough roof space. When space is limited, premium solar panels can help you produce more energy in the same square footage than lower-tier solar panels. When you customize your solar project, you can decide what panels best suit your budget and goals.
Along with the space available, the quality of that space for solar is another important factor. Some space may have shading during certain seasons of the year, even when they appear unshaded in another season. Also, panel orientation affects the production effectiveness. South-facing panels are optimal, as they face the sun directly and can absorb more energy during the day. East and west-facing panels will still produce energy, but not as well as south-facing. StraightUp Solar does not install panels facing north, as this is the least effective orientation. If you have a roof line that runs north-south, so that your solar panels would have to face east-west, you may choose to install premium solar panels for more efficacy.
We Can Help You
When you work with StraightUp Solar, we take these three factors into consideration to determine your system size and how many panels you need. We provide a customized solar array layout on your home, an installation cost estimate, and explain available incentives and rebates.
Reach out for a no-cost, no-obligation solar quote from one of our solar experts. Fill out the form below to get started!