Of all the things you have to figure out when planning a solar power system, the number of panels you’ll need is a big one. Yet, all variables are interrelated and you can’t figure out how many panels you need unless you know some other important information first.
What is my daily power consumption?
You need to calculate how much power, in watts, you use on a daily basis. Your electric bill will be necessary for this. A lot of utilities actually break this down for you in your monthly statements. If you’re not so lucky, there are online tools to help you out.
How much sunlight do I get per day?
Another thing you’ll need to know is the average amount of peak sunlight you get per day. This means yearly average. So don’t think summer hours; many areas get great sun in the summer but you might not see it for what feels like a month in the winter. Be sure to calculate the average…and be conservative. There are online calculators to help you get this exact also.
How many panels do I need? (more…)
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