Ok, so you’ve decided to go solar. Congratulations! The environment (and your wallet) will thank you. But the very next step in the solar installation process is a bit more practical and involves a little more maths: deciding just how many solar panels you need for your home.
Confused as to how many kilowatts of solar you’ll need to offset your household’s electricity usage? Unsure how to calculate ballpark figures, let alone exact numbers and costs?
There’s a lot of variables to juggle and the information out there can be conflicting and con-fusing, but don’t stress – Red Giant Solar has your back, and we’ll run you through the key steps in determining how much solar you need for your specific household and budget.
Step 1 – calculate your daily energy consumption
The very first step in figuring out how much solar power you need is to calculate your household’s average daily energy consumption. You can do this fairly easily. If you have a smart meter installed, you should be able to find your daily usage on your most recent pow-er bill or online.
If you’ve got an old-fashioned meter, then fear not – simply take your household’s quarterly power usage and divide it by the number of days in that quarter. For example, if your ener-gy usage during the first quarter of the year was 1,800kWh:
31 days + 28 days + 31 days = 1,800kWh
1 day = 1800/90
Step 2 – work out how your usage fluctuates
The second thing that you should consider is how you use your energy. Is your usage gener-ally low during the day while everyone is at school or work? If so, then your sunniest hours won’t be fully utilised unless you choose to store your solar power in a battery. Choose an option that works for you and your unique energy consumption patterns.
Step 3 – understand solar PV ‘peak output’
It’s important to grasp exactly how your future solar system will work. A 1kW solar system will only generate 1kW of energy at ‘peak output’ – that is, in the middle of the day when the sun is shining at its strongest.
Your solar energy system will therefore need to be designed so that it has enough panels and a strong enough inverter to generate enough energy to meet your fluctuating electricity requirements in spite of the fluctuating intensity of the sun throughout the day.
Step 4 – determine your savings expectations
Solar customers often expect very different things from their new solar systems. Some are enthusiastic about installing however many panels it takes to completely cover their energy costs, while others are happy to just to make a sizable dent in their electricity bills. No mat-ter where you stand, it’s important to keep your savings expectations in mind when budget-ing.
Step 5 – confirm your budget and make a selection
After weighing up all of the above, it’s time to decide on a final figure and settle on a solar system that 1) fits your budget, 2) fulfils your savings expectations, and 3) is adjusted to suit your unique energy consumption patterns.
Make sure to consult with your solar retailer for expert advice, by calling us now on 1300 920 891.