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How many solar panels are needed to power my house?

13 Mar 2017

Posted in General, Residential by Alba Energy

Installing solar panels on your roof is a smart decision for both saving money on power bills and contributing toward a clean energy future. The amount of savings you’ll see each month is determined by a few factors, one of which is how much power is generated by each solar panel. Below is a brief explanation of generating power or electricity with solar.

Solar Panel Wattage Rating

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Solar panels are rated based on the amount of power they can generate, expressed in watts (W). Modern solar panels being installed today have power ratings that range from 250 to 350 watts.

What this means is that, under ideal circumstances, an average solar panel will produce 250 watts or more for every hour of direct sunlight it receives.
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You can view Alba Energy’s Home Solar Panel Installs in Texas to get a better idea of the solar panel wattages that are commonly used today for residential projects.

Solar Efficiency

Another key factor that plays a role in answering the above question is solar efficiency, or the amount of sunlight that gets converted into electricity. The good news for you is that both wattage and efficiency ratings of solar panels have increased over time, which is great because it means going solar today will produce more power (and savings) versus years ago.
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Credit: Solar Power Rocks

The earliest solar panels that were used back in the 1950’s converted sunlight at around 6% efficiency. Fast forward to today, and solar efficiency ranges from 15 to 20%.

Example of Wattage and Efficiency
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Credit: EnergySage

Solar panels rated at 15% efficiency are compared in the above example. You can see that with higher wattage panels (300W), just 16 300W panels will produce the same amount of power as 20 250W panels.

Other Factors

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There are a few other factors that play a role in determining how much power can be generated by solar panels, like climate, shading, and orientation. You can learn more about requirements for home solar by reading Solar Power FAQs: Is My Home A Good Candidate?

About Alba Energy

Alba Energy is proud to be one of the leading solar installers in Texas, with offices from the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and Austin. Schedule a solar consultation with your local office to learn how you can power your home with solar panels for as little as $80 dollars per month!
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