How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

The Most Comprehensive DIY Solar Panel GuideQuestion: I’d like to install solar panels on my house, but I’m unsure of the quantity needed to provide the energy-level I’m after. How many solar panels do I need?

Answer: This isn’t an easy question to answer coming out of the gates. A bit of background information is required first. You need to answer two basic questions: How much sunlight is available where you live? How much electricity do you want to generate?

Your unique situation will determine how many solar panels you need. For example, if you live near the equator in a dry climate and only want to be able to power 10% of your home’s energy, the answer might be significantly less solar panels than if say you live in a rainy/cloudy climate and want to convert 100% of your home’s energy usage from utility to solar.

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Fortunately, answering these two questions is less formidable than you may think. There are many websites available that gives you a measurement of sunlight in your area and helps you determine how much solar energy is potentially available to you. Find one that suits you and you should be able to easily determine the average number of Kilowatt-hours (KWH) of solar energy that fall in a square meter per day. One KWH is a measure of how much energy is required to generate 1000 Watts for one hour.

Finding out how much electricity you need to generate is as simple as looking at your current, grid-based electric bill. Conveniently enough, your electric bill tells you how many KWHs you use per month, so when you analyze the two figures, it’s easy to see how many square meters of solar panel you will need to generate your desired level of solar energy.

It’s also nice to know that installing solar panels is rapidly becoming a popular DIY project, so after you have do your home work, you can install and even build solar panels without hiring a costly professional.

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Then I strongly recommend that you check out the guide from Earth4Energy.

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