PV – 4 Steps to Calculating the Variety of Photo voltaic Panels Wanted for Your Dwelling
However, you need to do a little math before you can take advantage of the many benefits solar panels have in your home. With the following four steps you can calculate the number of required solar modules.
1. See how much electricity you are using now
The first thing you need to do is calculate how much energy you are currently using. Your home will likely use more electricity in some months than in others. If you make an annual estimate, you will have a clear idea of your home’s long-term energy consumption. You might also consider having a trained electrician electrical school Help with this step.
To get these numbers, you need to have your electricity bill on hand. If you cannot find or receive monthly paper bills, this information should be available online on your electricity company’s website. However, you may need to create an account with your electricity company to get this information.
When you have access to your monthly bill, look for a section that lists your monthly kWh (kilowatt hours) usage. These numbers are often at the bottom of your utility bill. Add your monthly kilowatt hours and you have your annual energy consumption. To calculate your average daily energy use, take your annual total and divide it by 365 (days per year). Now that you’ve learned how much electricity your household uses, it’s a good idea to put these numbers aside.
2. Check the orientation and slope of your roof
Now is the time to find out about the orientation and slope of your roof. Getting this data is important as it can help determine how much sun your roof is getting on a daily basis.
In general, you get most of the energy from solar panels installed on south-facing roofs. In some cases solar panels deliver up to 20% more electricity to the south than those in other directions. However, this type of installation is not always an option. Do not worry; You can still get a lot of energy on solar panels that are not facing south.
You also want to calculate the roof slope. Instead of risking injury by stepping on your house, there is an easier way to calculate the roof pitch. Before you begin measuring, you’ll need a tape measure, piece of chalk, and a level (18 to 24 inches works best). Next, do the following:
Climb to the side of your house.
Using a tape measure or ruler, measure 12 inches horizontally from where your roof meets your property. Highlight this measurement.
Start from where you made the mark in step 2 and measure your roof vertically. This gives you the rise of your roof.
Here’s how to put all of these steps together. If your roof had a base measurement of 12 inches and your second measured mark was 7 inches high, you would have a roof pitch of 7:12.
If you can’t or don’t want to climb a ladder, it may be best for a professional to take these measurements. There are also some popular roof pitch calculator apps that might be helpful, including Pitch Gauge or Roof Pitch Factor.
3. Find out how much sunlight you are getting
Another important factor in figuring out how many solar panels you will need is how much sunlight your home is getting. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about getting back on your roof or solving complicated equations.
Instead of doing your own calculations, there is an easier way to determine how much sunlight your roof is receiving. Google recently launched a tool called Project Sunroof. With this tool you enter your address and see in a few moments how much sun your roof receives per year.
Project Sunroof uses data from Google Maps to create a visual representation of where the sun’s rays hit your roof. This tool will also tell you how much money you can save from solar panels.
4. Select a solar panel efficiency rating that works for you
Now is the time to think about what types of solar panels you will need. You can make this determination by taking a closer look at the efficiency levels of the solar panels. These ratings describe how efficiently solar panels convert energy into usable electricity. The average solar module for private households usually has efficiencies between 14 and 20%.
If your home doesn’t use a lot of electricity and you want something as inexpensive as possible, 14% efficiency solar panels might be perfect for your home. With this in mind, it is best to have a solar panel installer help you determine the optimal efficiency.
Calculating the number of solar panels needed takes some time and effort. However, if you want to save money and help the environment at the same time, purchasing solar panels is an extremely smart investment.
Information provided by Electrical Schools.org