The number of solar panels that you require for your home is dependent on various factors. Key among them is your power goals. Are you looking to reduce your carbon footprint or get the best return from your investment? Most people combine these two power goals. Here are other important factors.
How Much Power Do You Require?
You can quickly determine how much power you are likely to use in a month by looking at your aurinkosähkö power bills. If your bill does not show the kilowatts hours used, you can take the power meter readings at the start and the end of a given period (two weeks to a month) and get the difference. Then, divide the result by the number of days in the period. This will give you a daily average (divide the same by 24 to get the hourly average).
How Many Hours of Sunlight Does Your Location Receive?
The peak sunlight hours determine how many hours of sunlight that your home solar system can get. The more the peak hours, the fewer solar panels that you need to get enough energy for your use. To determine how many watts you require in an hour, multiply your daily average by 1,000. You can then divide the figure by the peak sunlight hours in the area. This gives you a rough estimate for the wattage you require in an hour.
Here is an example. A person that uses 600kWh/ month will use an average of 20kWh/day (600/30). This translates to (20 x1000) 20,000 watts. If the area receives five peak sunlight hours, the average hourly power production should be at least 4000W (20,000/5).
What is the Solar Panel Output Efficiency?
The quality of your solar panel makes the difference when it comes to the amount of sunlight converted into solar energy. Most Photovoltaic solar panels have an output of up to 400 watts per cell. Solar panel efficiency is the amount of sunlight that gets converted to solar energy. Efficiency can range between 15% and 42% (in laboratory tests).
There are three types of solar panels with differing efficiency, as stated below.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
These cells are made of the purest silicon that that is grown to a rod. This rod is the cut to wafers to create solar panels. These cells have the highest efficiency levels in the laboratory and standard conditions. In standard conditions, the efficiency ranges between 23% and 28%. They are rounded and dark.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
These cells are called multi-crystalline cells. Instead of growing them like a single cell in the type above, they are grown into blocks of crystals and then cut into wafers. Most such panels have an efficiency of 15% to 25%. They are usually square with a bluish colour.
Thin Film Panels
These panels are made by covering metal, glass, or plastic with a photovoltaic material. They are usually cheap, light and flexible. However, they downgrade faster than the rest. Their power efficiency is about 15% to 20%.
You will need a few high-efficiency solar panels to get a high power output. This is vital in cases where you have a limited usable roof (depending on the direction of the sunshine) However, be prepared to pay more for such solar panels.
Picking from the section on how many sunlight hours you get from your home, you can now estimate the number of panels you require. For example, if you need 4,000W/ hour (as tabulated in the example above) and have 250W solar panels. You need at least (4,000/250) 16 solar panels. However, if you get a 370W panel, you may need just 11 of them. Always use the lowest number of sunlight hours available across the year to get enough power at all times.
Does the Panel Size Matter?
Yes. It does, the size of the panel determines how many of them can fit in the usable area of your roof. High-efficiency panels are usually smaller with the same output as their larger panels. Therefore, if you have a limited roof size, go for smaller, high-efficiency panels.
Can I Buy and Install Panels Myself?
You can indeed buy and install panels yourself using the information available on the internet. However, it is highly recommended that you get a professional solar contractor to do the installation. The contractor will be able to determine the usable roof, best solar panels and wattage and put them to get for better roof utilisation and safe power generation. The professionals will also help you integrate solar power into your existing circuits, especially when you want to have the main power supply as an option. With proper installation, you should not have any problems running your system for extended periods. When looking for an installer, compare electricity contract quotes from different installers and pick one with the best combination of quality service and best price.
- Generators: Keep Your Home Business Running When the Power Company Can’t
- Ways to Lower Down Energy Bills if You are Running a Small Business
- Tips in Making Sure that Your Home Business Operation Is Uninterrupted
- Top Manufacturing Business Ideas in 2020
- 4 Tips To Make Your Small Business Sustainable