How many solar panels do I need?

Navigating the complicated world of solar power and choosing the best products isn’t the easiest task. It will take some research and maybe a few phone calls to understand the size of the solar power system you need, and therefore the number of solar panels required. Ultimately, this decision should be informed by how you use electricity and what you want to achieve with your new system. Much like proper sizing for anything, you wouldn’t buy a five-door van if you’re a single bachelor or buy a motorbike for your family of six when looking for a vehicle. The same applies to solar panels in Tweed Heads. Cave Electrical and Solar can help you design a solar panel system that will perfectly meet your requirements but there are a few things to consider first…

Calculating how many solar panels you need

After coming to an average figure of how much power you typically use in a day, it’s time to compare that to the amount of power needed and the number of panels that can supply that. For simple grid-connected systems, 1kW of solar panels = 4kWh of electricity produced per day. The typical usage in Australian homes is between 15-20kWh. So, a 6.6kW solar system, in ideal conditions, will generate more than 26kWh on a good day. These are only estimated figures and the actual amount of electricity generated per kW can depend on your location, how much sunlight there is, the characteristics of the system, and the placement of the panels, just to name a few. 5kW solar systems often have up to 20 panels depending on their watt value. The number of solar panels will differ based on your unique location and installation parameters, but this gives you a general idea of what to expect.

Things to consider when calculating how many solar panels you need

1.    Your daily energy usage

Calculating the number of solar panels begins with you and your unique power needs. This means the decision will be informed by your typical daily patterns. The best way to get started here is to review your electricity bills, maybe for the past year, and look for the “average daily energy use” figure on each of them. This is typically shown on the first or second page of any average Australian power bill and will be noted in kilowatt-hours or “kWh.” Calculate an average for all those numbers and that gives you a more accurate indication of your typical energy use over a full 24-hour day. A typical home across the country uses about 15–20kWh per day.

2.    Your energy goals

The size of your solar system will also depend on how much you intend to rely on it. We’ve been noticing a growing trend of off-grid standalone systems in the Northern Rivers area because reliance on the national power grid is expensive and not all that consistent anymore. This is particularly the case for homeowners and commercial property owners who turn to solar system installations in Tweed Heads. The number of solar panels needed, therefore, will depend on how much you’re aiming to save on your future electricity bills. Looking to cover your daytime energy needs or are you looking for a system that makes you completely self-sufficient? Make sure that you have a clear goal in mind about your energy requirements and how much you’d like to have generated by your new solar energy system. Then consult with a professional who understands this goal and implements that information to tailor-make a solar energy system design.

3.    Design that is flexible to future upgrades

The design will be influenced by the size of the system you need, and the number of solar panels required, and this way, there is room for future expansion once you start saving money. Even those with modest power requirements who invest in a smaller system will still see that it helps to lower your electricity costs almost immediately and could set you up for the easy addition of a battery in the future. Choose a certified solar installer that will understand that a smaller system will have to be designed with future expansion or modification in mind. The design must allow for the addition of a larger system, battery storage, or any other solar innovation that might come along in the future. We strongly suggest that you stick with professional electricians that are licensed, insured, and come with solid guarantees. Doing this will ensure that you’ll notice the difference straight away in your power bills. The benefit of using certified solar technicians is that they will be liable for any faults, and you can rely on them to come back and fix the issue. Solar installations aren’t cheap and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t rely on the best of the best to enjoy the full benefit of your new unit. You can also trust our own team of experts to help you navigate electrical work that is sure to improve your daily workplace or household experience.