What Size Solar Panel Do I Need For My Home?

While solar panels have become a common addition to many homes in the U.S., a vast number of people still have a myriad of questions about using this type of energy. One we hear all the time is: how big should my solar panels be?

While this is a fairly simple question, the complexity of the answer is likely to surprise you. The number and size of the solar panels you need will depend on a variety of factors which will be discussed in the paragraphs that follow.

If you need a quick way to find out, you can always count on dependable solar panel installers in Carlsbad, CA to give you an estimate based on your individual needs.    

What is the average size of a solar panel?

So, how big are your typical solar panels? Well, this question can be answered in two different ways: in terms of physical size as well as the number of solar cells in grid-tied photovoltaic systems.   

Solar cells

How big your solar panels will be will depend on the PV module you choose: 60 cell or 72 cell. Solar cells are devices which convert the energy of sunlight into electricity. The more cells your PV system has, the more efficient it will be.

Length and width

When it comes to physical size, most companies have standard sized panels for different cell modules. A 60 cell panel used for residential purposes is usually 65 inches in length and 39 inches in width, while a commercial 72 cell solar panel is 77 by 39 inches.

How much energy does a solar panel produce?

The power output of a solar panel is expressed in watts. A typical panel can produce anywhere from 250 to 360 watts, depending on the manufacturer.

However, you should note that the power ratings stated on the manufacturer’s equipment and specifications usually refers to the power rating measured in Standard Test Conditions, i.e. STC. STC is the solar panel wattage measured under laboratory conditions, which means that your panel is unlikely to produce the stated number of wats in natural conditions.

If you seek a more realistic power rating, you should look for the PTC rating of the solar panels you’re interested in. The acronym PTC stands for PV USA Test Conditions and represents the power rating of a solar panel measured in more real-life conditions. A standard solar panel will have a PTC rating between 195 and 247 watts.

How many solar panels do I need for my house?

Now that you know the typical sizes and power ratings of solar panels, you’re probably waiting for us to tell you the exact size of the solar system you need. Unfortunately, answering this question depends on a number of additional factors unique to you and your property:

  • How much electricity do you use on average? To find out exactly how many panels you will need for your home, you need to calculate your average monthly and daily usage in kilowatt hours. Use your energy bills from the past year to determine the number.
  • What are the peak sunlight hours in your area? Once you have your daily kWh usage, divide it by the average hours the sun produces peak sunlight at your location. For instance, the average peak hours in California are 5.82.
  • What’s the efficiency of your desired solar panels? The previous step serves to determine the energy your solar system should be able to produce in one day. Divide this number with your desired panel efficiency to get the number of panels you need (e.g. a typical U.S. family would need anywhere from 28 to 34 250-watt panels).

Once you’re done with the calculations, your next step should be to determine whether the number of panels you need fits into your budget and available space. If everything looks good, contact your trusted installation services and experience the multitude of benefits going solar entails.

Rely on the finest solar panel installers Carlsbad, CA can provide

Whether you want to learn about different types of solar energy or want to find out where solar energy was first used, we’ll be more than happy to give you all the information you seek. However, no matter how much you learn, only solar energy experts can tell you exactly how many panels you should install.

Fortunately, you can count on the seasoned solar panel installation technicians at Action AC to give you an estimate and start installing the solar system best suited to your needs while you explore Legoland California Resort with your family. Reach out to us today!