How Big Can A Solar Panel Get?

The Most Comprehensive DIY Solar Panel GuideQuestion: I’d like to convert my home to use solar power to save money, but we don’t have a big house. How big can a solar panel get?

Answer: Solar panels vary in size, and can be produced to meet whatever needs your home may have. A typical, off-the-shelf solar panel purchased today is around 1 - 1.5 square meters.

If you live in a sunny area, one square meter of sunlight produces 5 Kilowatt-hours (KWH) of energy per day. A Kilowatt-hour is the amount of energy it requires to produce 1000 Watts steadily for an entire hour. One square meter of solar panel can capture this energy and produce around 1 KWH, as solar systems lose energy due to efficiency limitations in solar cells and electrical wiring.

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The average US household consumes around 30 KWH of energy per day, so you are looking at 30 square meters of roof space, or roughly 20 – 30 panels. The roof-size for an average 3-bedroom home in the US is around 20 – 25 square meters, so in this situation powering the entire home is feasible.

The sunlight generated in your area, your own individual energy needs as well as the size of your home’s roof will vary from household to household. The key is matching those factors and finding a solution that works for you.

Websites are readily available to help you find out the average sunlight in your area, and you need only look as far as your electric bill to find out how many KWH your household consumes each month. An addition, solar panel kits today are sold as DIY projects and can be installed without hiring costly professionals.

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