This article was updated on August 24, 2023
The sun is the ultimate source of energy. The very foundation of why the renewable energy market was developed is according to this principle.
Today, the market for renewable energy is huge, and the majority of these green technologies are operating by reaping solar energy, either indirectly or directly.
Right now millions of homes are installed with solar panels; this means that we are on the right track of adding millions more of solar-powered systems in the years to come. This is because solar is becoming the popular option as a power source for the homes of the future.
There are many factors to consider in putting up your home’s own solar-powered system. It can be overwhelming but thanks to companies like Our Solar Energy, they can ease your worries by walking you through the process.
One of this most important step before you decide on financing a modest solar-powered system will be the solar panel size. Before we proceed, let us first understand how this solar-powered system works.
The Technology behind Solar Panel
In residential areas, the operating principle behind the solar-powered system is the photovoltaic effect, the basic unit of light: the photon strikes a surface of a specially made material that causes the release of an electron.
The photovoltaic effect can only take place in a small number of materials known as semiconductors. These semiconductors can be a silicon monocrystalline, polycrystalline combined with an amorphous material or cadmium Telluride. It undergoes a specific chemical reaction, which facilitates the release of electrons when exposed to sunlight. These semiconductors are made into delicate layers that comprise the core component of the solar cells. The solar cells are the basic part of the solar photovoltaic system, which produces the direct current.
Video: How do solar panels work?
A typical Solar Panel of 200-250 Watt normally has dimensions 65 inches x 4o inches x 1.80 inches and weight of around 20-25 kg. These solar Panels are made up of monocrystelline or polycrystelline material. Sizes may increase if they are made up of Thin Film which are also inefficient compared to other two.
These solar cells made up a larger structure called the solar panel. They come in all shapes and sizes, but the most common solar panel size is between 150W to 345w per panel.
The general rule is; the smaller the solar panel size, the higher the wattage. Through the solar panels, the desired amount of voltages are generated. In grid-connected systems, which the majority of the current market today are using, it needs an inverter to convert the DC produced by the cells to AC, which is used in the grid.
Determine the Wattage
It is very important to determine the amount of wattage the household needs to decide on the solar panel size. If you underestimate the size, you will have an inadequate amount of electricity from solar energy to power your home. It will be not only a problem but also a disappointment.
Meanwhile, overestimating your wattage requirement may lead you to spend more money when you do not have to. As an approximate, each solar panel (the common size) can yield about 150 watts, if we are talking about ‘off-grid’ solar PV system.
The first step you need to do in determining the wattage for your home is to list down all your electrical appliances that will be using solar energy. You need to know exactly the wattage of each of these items. If you have no clue on where to find this, check out this calculator. This information is available there. After writing down all the wattages, add them. The sum is your total required watt-hours daily.
How to Calculate the Panel Size?
Once you have the daily watts per hour you need, the next step to do is calculating the solar panel size you require to provide this requirement. The formula is very simple.
You only need to divide the daily watt-hours by how many hours you would expect to have sunlight on an ordinary normal day.
For example, if you have 10000 daily watt-hours and you will have sunshine for an average of five hours, then you will require the very least, 2000 watts of electricity generated by your solar panels.
(10000 watt-hours / day) ÷ (5 hours) = 2000 watts.
Calculating the Area, You Need for Your Solar Panels
The solar panel has many sizes, but the most common is within the range of 150w-345w in every panel.
When you have smaller panels, they have a higher wattage but are more expensive. A 250w panel is about 1.7m X1.00m.
If you want to continue with the example computed above that will be 2Kw system divided by 250w, then you will need eight panels. If you take the area for these eight panels, you will have 13.60m X 8.00m. This is the area you need to put up your own solar-powered system.
Not Enough Space?
If after computing the space you need for the solar panels you find out you do not have enough, do not abandon the idea. You can still find a solution by finding the appropriate balance between power and space.
You can go through your list of items and try to cut down on the electrical items. After you have shortened your list, calculate again to determine the daily watt-hours that you require.
Some households are looking to install a solar-powered system to have a source of electricity during power outages, if this is your reason, you do not need much.
If you want to have this alternative source of electricity installed to cut down your bills, you have to use only the essentials. If you find the balance between power and space, you will realize that using solar energy is the best decision you have made.
It is not always possible to use solar power for the electricity of your whole house if you do not have enough roof space or space outdoor available and you consume a lot of energy. However, the fact remains is that using the energy from solar panels will save you a huge amount of money when the electricity rates are getting higher.
If you are interested in solar –powered systems, Our Solar Energy can bring the power of the sun to you. They offer a free estimate from many solar energy suppliers and give you an idea of the solar panel size that you need.