How To Determine How Many Solar Panels You Need To Benefit
The number is determined by your location, how much energy is consumed, which direction your house is facing, roof size, and the panel efficiency. For example, you will need more panels in Boise, Idaho to get the same output as a house in California, the state with the best sun hours in the country.
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You will need to call your utility company or log into your account online to view the number of kilowatt hours you use per year.
House Facing Direction and Location
Solar energy production is ultimately determined by which direction your roof is facing and where your house is located. The most optimal direction is a south facing roof because it gets the most sun exposure. But, a roof that isn’t facing south does not mean you won’t benefit from solar. Same with where your house is located. Houses in California get the most sun hours, but houses in Idaho, will still greatly benefit from solar even if it’s not as sunny. Your benefit is determined by the cost of electricity and the solar incentives, which varies by state.
Solar Panel Efficiency
No solar panel brand is the same. Depending on the quality of solar panels you buy, the panel wattage can range anywhere between 150 watts to 370 watts per panel. You must think about how each company constructs their solar panels to give you the best deal. The annual energy usage for a refrigerator is about 500kWh per year, meaning that you would need at least 2 solar panels to generate enough to power the appliance annually.