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How Many Solar Panels Does a 50-Square Foot Home Need?

It's challenging to find a definite number of solar panels or kWh that can support your home's energy needs. Some would say you need 15-18 solar panels. Some would recommend having 240-280kWh solar energy generation daily. For a 50-square-feet home, these systems might work well, but there are no guarantees unless you've tested it yourself or saw it work on some other house in the neighborhood.

To determine the solar energy you'll need daily, you can use the following factors for an accurate calculation.

Annual Electricity Usage

This figure is the total electricity usage amount your household consumes yearly and measured in kWh. High-quality annual electricity usage covers all your appliances, lighting, electronics, smartphone charging, and everything else. On average, an American household consumes about 11,000 kWh per year, which can be around 916kWh per month. You can ask your local power company to provide you an annual electricity usage summary for an accurate report.

Solar Panel Wattage

Solar panels vary in quality because it lacks regulation and a centralized standardizing body globally. But, you can find high-quality solar panels by assessing the total wattage of each panel you purchase. Some solar panels can offer up to 250-400 power watts. High-end solar panels can provide you with a consistent 350-400-watt energy generation daily

Ratio of Production

This metric refers to the system's approximate energy output over time in reference to the system's actual size. The approximate output (kWh) is always compared to the system's total wattage (W) and isn't a consistent 1:1 output. On average, variations on sunlight in Golden, CO can generate a total of 15kWh from a 20kW system due to its shorter sunshine, giving it a production ratio of 3:4.

Solar Reviews has an excellent post discussing reliable steps and accurate measurements to assess the total solar panels you'll need for a 50-square-foot home. Read an excerpt of it below.

Factors that determine how many solar panels you need

You may think that the size of your house determines how many solar panels you need, but it doesn’t! To really understand how many solar panels your solar energy system needs, you need to determine the following: 

Your energy usage: The more electricity you use, the more solar panels you need to cover your electricity costs

Sunlight in your area: Homes in areas that receive less sunlight will need more solar panels to eliminate their electricity bills than those in sunnier states. As a rule of thumb, the southwestern United States gets the most sun in the country, while the northeast gets the least

Panel wattage: The wattage of the solar panels you choose, also called the power rating, determines how much energy the panels will produce and most solar panels installed today have a power rating of about 320 watts per panel; fewer panels are needed when you install panels with high wattage ratings 

Below, solar expert Will White breaks down everything you need to know to figure out how many solar panels you need to power your home.

How to calculate the number of solar panels you need

Our solar panel cost and savings calculator is the fastest, easiest, and most accurate way to find out how many solar panels your home needs - and you don’t have to do any math. Plus, we’ll give you the average cost of a solar installation for your specific home and how much it’ll save you on your electric bills.

However, if you want to put pen to paper and work out the calculations for yourself, follow these four easy steps to find how many solar panels you need. 

Step 1: Determine your energy usage 

Check out your most recent power bill to see your monthly electricity consumption. In most cases, the total amount of electricity used will be shown at the bottom of the bill in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Your yearly energy usage will give you the best estimate for how many solar panels you need, as energy usage fluctuates in different seasons (think about how much electricity you use for air conditioning in the summer!). 

Because monthly energy usage varies so much, it can be beneficial to dig up your monthly electric bills for the past year, add the electric usage together, and divide by 12. 

But using just one utility bill to find your energy consumption is still enough for a ballpark estimate. 

Step 2: Find how much energy solar panels produce in your area (Continued)

You can always count on us at Roper Roofing and Solar to provide excellent solar panel installation services in Golden, CO. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.

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