How Many Solar Panels Are Needed For An Efficient Home
Solar energy is an exciting alternative way to power one’s residence. Although the technology itself is not new, the technology and availability has improved continuously to make them within reach of many end consumers. While it is difficult to estimate, as a general rule, there are some guidelines which professional use to help determine the quantity of solar panels.
It is also important to define your goal of solar panel use. Those who wish to replace traditional power sources and those who wish to supplement their normal use can use different numbers of panels.
The number of panels depends on many factors, one of these is square foot. All other factors being held equal, 1 panel could power about 100 square feet. This means a home of 1000 square foot would need 10 panels, and 2000 square foot 20 panels. This again is only rough estimate since many things can affect this number. The size of each panel in the USA is usually about 5 feet my 3 feet. So, the number of panels necessary to properly power a home can consume a lot of space.
Power consumption varies from family to family and house to house. A single individual at work most of the day in a 2000 sq. ft home would need far less than a family of 5 where one parent stays home with a child. The use of TV, the refrigerator, air conditioners etc. all consumer power and different families can have very different kilowatt usage.
Sunlight, since it is the source of energy for solar panels, is essential to efficient panels. The direction the house is facing alone with the slope of the roof are factors in the construction of the home that affect sunlight availability. Also, there are external factors like nearby building and trees that might block sunlight. Different geographic regions in the world also receive different amounts of sunlight. There are maps and tools online to determine how much sunlight your area receives based on historical data. In the northern hemisphere the panels and roof should usually be south facing. Solar energy has walked a long road in recent years and as technology is improving less and less panels will be required.
The news is out: Home Solar technology has peaked in recent years. Photovoltaic panels are one form of solar panels that can be used. These types of panels convert the solar radiation into an electric current which is then used to power the home. These are the more expensive option because it converts one form of energy (solar) to electric energy.
The second form of solar panels are solar thermal panels. This technology uses the direct sunlight to heat a fluid held in a closed system of tubes within the panel. This is directly transferred to water tanks and used as a hot water source for the restroom and kitchen. This type of panels only heats the water in the home, but water heaters are a serious consumer of electricity so significant savings are possible.