Can Solar Panels Power A Whole House? - Green Building Elements 2022

2022-06-15 12:49:35 By : Ms. Katrina Chen

Solar panels are a huge investment and can allow any home or building to step into the 21st Century in style. On top of the energy benefits, they can save you thousands of dollars a year in costs off your bills.

However, they’re not cheap and you’ll want reassurances that they’re going to do the job that you’re expecting them to do. Depending on the size and the number of solar panels at your disposal, you can expect them to fulfill different workloads.

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Some may only be suitable to power small areas, whereas, some people will need whole buildings and structures powered. We’ve researched whether solar panels can power whole houses, so you can decide whether you want to invest in solar energy.

Suppose that the sun shines perfectly bright for 24 hours in one day. This would allow your solar panels to absorb as much solar energy as they can and would produce as much power as they can.

On average across the US, solar has a capacity factor of around 24.5%. This means that there is a cap on how much energy can be produced in a certain period. 

1 megawatt of solar panels will generate over 2,100 megawatt-hours of solar energy per year. This means that the more solar panels you have in your arsenal, the more power you’ll be able to produce, leading to the eventual powering of huge areas of property or land.

However, the more solar panels you have, the more expensive they are and the more money it costs you for your investment. 

The most common location for people to place their solar panels is on the roof of the building. Typically, this is the part of the property that is exposed to the most sunlight, which results in providing the biggest opportunity for your solar panels to absorb the most sunlight.

The most productive direction to face your new energy devices is to the south. Because of the rotation of the Earth around the sun, the most amount of sunlight is typically found facing south.

A lot of people will choose a good aesthetic look of the solar panels over their productiveness, however, for the biggest results, it’s recommended that you utilize the elements that are required to keep your home light and bright!

The simple answer is yes, however, it’ll cost more for the number of solar panels you’ll need. The bigger the house, the more solar energy will be needed to keep your home running.

You can either opt to choose larger solar panels that hold more power capacity or you can attach a larger number of smaller solar panels to cover more ground. However, a lot of people aren’t huge fans of the designs that solar panels carry.

Depending on how your roof is designed, you’ll find that a larger amount of smaller panels are easily disguised on the back of your roof. 

With regards to how much power you’ll need, also comes down to the amount of sun your roof is exposed to in a day.

If you get more sun then your solar panels will have a higher output of energy, however, if you live in a typically darker area then your solar panels won’t be able to produce as much energy as they’re designed for.

Read More: Do Solar Panels Work In The Winter?

It’s recommended that the average American home will need anywhere between 20 and 25 solar panels to be able to power everything.

Because panels don’t work without sunlight, it’s useful to have backup generators and other alternate methods of power, if the solar panels are unable to function at maximum capacity. Bigger solar panels tend to have a larger capacity because of their larger surface area.

The more solar panel, the more sunlight is absorbed by the device. 

A lot of it comes down to space and electricity amounts used by those living in the house. If you live in a large house but don’t use much energy, then it’s likely you won’t need as many solar panels as someone who uses much more.

With regards to space, you need to have enough room to facilitate the panels or you’ll struggle to get as many as 20 or 25 of the devices fitted.

Read More: Do Solar Panels Work at Night?

The average size of a house in the US fluctuates as the years go on, in a mainly positive correlation. Overall, the average size has increased since 2000, peaking in 2015. At their highest, the statistics for average house size in America stood at 2, 367 square feet.

This was in 2015, however, by 2019 the average house size had fallen to 2,301 square feet.

Depending on the size and the power capacity of the solar panels, solar panels can cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.

Because of this, it’s vital to know what you need and how many you need. Per 2,000 square feet, the average cost to install solar panels can range from anywhere between $15,000 and $40,000 altogether.

Depending on who you choose to help install your panels makes a huge price difference, along with the quality and quantity of the product.

There’s no right or wrong answer here, it all comes down to where you want the panels to be displayed and where on your property gets the maximum amount of light exposure. The standard design that people go for is the rooftop solar panels.

Because the roof of a house has no shade, it seems common sense to place solar panels on the top of the building.

As previously mentioned, facing solar panels towards the southern direction tends to present your energy converters to the highest amount of sunlight and solar rays.

Professionally known as photovoltaic cells, this common form of solar panel can be utilized in many situations.

Another type of solar panel that can be used is the ground-mounted solar panel. These are great for properties that have small roof space, unsuitable for solar panels.

They’re also useful for people will large plots of land, like fields, that can be used to position solar panels that power farms and other facilities. Similarly, people may also opt to choose pole-mounted solar panels.

For those with not a lot of floor space, these can be ideal for getting power to your property without using up space you may need to save for other essential features.

For example, if you have crops or plants that need floor space, the last thing you need are panels taking up potential room for more produce.

Connecting a solar panel to a pole is a great way to connect power from the sun by suspending the device above the ground. This way you’re able to use the space that you didn’t think you had to your advantage.

Flexible solar panels are a great help if your roof doesn’t have a flat surface. The majority of our houses nowadays have a slanted roof so that rain doesn’t get pooled up on top of our homes. However, will tiling and other materials used for our roofs, it’s not always an even surface.

Flexible solar panels are designed to make your life easier by fitting to whatever surface you’re planning on using. This way you’re not limited to whatever’s easiest and you can use several different locations.

Solar panels are some of the most state-of-the-art technological advances of the 21st Century. When it comes to appliances, solar panels have been designed so they can provide energy to just about anything.

Smaller solar panels are perfect for powering things around your home like refrigerators, computers, and microwaves. Because the need for power is a lot smaller than larger appliances, it’s likely to be a lot cheaper than larger variants of solar panels.

When it comes to running larger appliances, however, larger solar panels with more energy capacity are needed. These can be more expensive than their smaller counterparts and offer a larger energy output to keep things going for longer.

These types of solar panels are perfect for powering generators. If you’re looking to power an RV or a car then you’ll need a smaller, more transportable solar panel to suit your needs. Flexible solar panels are often used in these situations because of their lightweight stature and versatility.

Read More: Best Home Solar Kits That You Can Buy Right Now

Whilst solar panels work incredibly hard during the day, like people, they rest at night. However, if you pair your solar panels with net metering or a solar battery then you’ll be able to use sustainable energy 24/7.

It’s estimated that you’d need between 20-25 solar panels to power the average American home with 100% coverage. Several factors affect the solar panel’s efficiency such as geographical location, the panel’s rated power, and how much energy you use as a household.

Although solar energy is efficient and reliable, it does have a few downsides. One disadvantage to using solar power is the lack of electrical storage. A lot of generators can store electricity nowadays, so that you can use the power if, and when, you need it.

Another disadvantage to using solar power is how dependent these appliances are on weather conditions. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that gets a lot of sunlight and not much else, the solar panels are perfect for you.

First and foremost, the two main things that you need to consider are quality and quantity. These will affect the price and you don’t want to overcompensate one at the expense of the other.

However, solar panels are more than capable of powering an individual’s home, with energy from the sun having incredible capabilities.

With regards to the amount of power, scientists are developing solar panels with higher capacities every day. With this in mind, we can only imagine the high ceiling that solar energy possesses. 

One thing to consider straight away is where your solar panels are going to go and what you’re going to use them for. Some people will use these devices for just a few appliances, whereas others will use solar energy for as much as they can.

Solar energy is the perfect way to reduce your carbon footprint and improve efficiency at the same time. Whether you’re using solar energy converters to power your home, your workplace, or your vehicle, then there’s a model out there that can suit your needs.

Jenny Kim is the Solar Director at Green Building Elements where she is responsible with helping make solar power more accessible and affordable to anyone that wants to take advantage of the many benefits of solar energy. Jenny holds a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech where she paid her way through college as a top-performing inside sales representative for SolarCity. You can connect with Jenny on LinkedIn.

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