How many solar panels do I need on my house?
Solar has become the most popular renewable energy source, with more homes than ever opting to generate their own solar electricity. For many considering solar panels, there are several questions that need answering before making the investment such as how many panels do I need?
Can you power a house entirely on Solar Panels?
It is not possible to give a definite answer to this question as it depends on several factors such as energy usage, number of panels and sunlight.
An average solar panel can generate between 250-400 watts of electricity. The average Solar Panel System in the United Kingdom contains 8-12 panels. Depending on the location and how the panels are set up, a solar system like this can produce anywhere from 2,450-3,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year.
The average home uses around 2,900 kWh of electricity each year. However, this figure varies by each household according to the number of people living there and the number of devices they use. It also depends on whether the house is insulated and if it runs only on electricity or on a combination of gas and electricity.
Naturally, the majority of solar energy is generated at midday, when the sun’s light is at its brightest and most powerful.
In contrast, the average household’s activity and electricity use peaks early in the day during breakfast and then later in the evening during dinner.
These spikes in demand require a comparable level of energy supply, which means that solar-powered households would have to rely on energy stored in batteries during those hours.
How many solar panels will power my house?
The exact answer on the number of panels needed for any home will vary for every household. It’s important to consider a number of factors, including:
- The amount of electricity you use in the home
- The size of your house
- The number of people living there
- The insulation you have
- The orientation of your roof
Based on averages, you will find that:
- A one-bedroom house needs six solar panels (2.1kW)
- A three-bedroom house requires 10 solar panels (3.5kW)
- A five-bedroom house needs 14 solar panels (4.9kW)
Is any roof suitable for solar panels?
Solar Panels work on any facing roof however, Solar Panels will perform better and produce more electricity if they are South facing. Solar panels on a non-South facing roof will still perform at around 86% compared to South facing.