All About Solar

Solar Panel Calculator

Solar panels have gained people’s approval. And one of the driving forces is climate change, forcing governments and organizations to embrace them. So, it’s no surprise that these influencers have become their biggest supporters and users.

Use this Solar Panel Calculator above to assess your home or business. to Use solar panels, people generate clean and renewable energy. For instance, governments use solar panels to power space stations, buses, and trains, reducing emissions. Also, businesses use them for their daily operations to reduce costs and increase revenue. 

Homeowners aren’t left out of the equation. Among other reasons, they are attracted to solar panels because of the high energy cost. Therefore, for the last few years, those who have the budget have turned to solar panels and roofing systems.

To help you make a good choice, this write-up will cover these topics:

  • Why are solar panels so popular?
  • What is a solar calculator?
  • The benefit of a solar calculator
  • How to calculate your solar panel requirement
  • And some vital frequently asked questions

So, with little ado, let’s get started.

Why Are Solar Panels So Popular?

Solar panels have become famous in the last two decades. The reason comes from its many benefits, which serve varying needs. So, it has attracted governments, businesses, and homeowners. Now, to know if it might be an excellent investment for you, check these benefits:

  • Solar panels reduce utility bills
  • Solar panels are friendly to the environment
  • Solar panels boost property’s curb appeal and value
  • Solar panels provide a good return on investment
  • Solar panels come with long-lasting warranties
  • They help users attract government incentives and rebates
  • They create jobs in the local economy
  • They help prevent constant power outages
  • They help reduce the load and dependence on the power grid
  • They allow users to become energy independent

What Is A Solar Panel Calculator?

A solar panel calculator is an online tool that estimates your total solar potential and costs of your property, considering your location and other vital factors. 

What Is the Benefit of A Solar Panel Calculator?

A solar panel calculator helps you make an informed decision by giving you a fair idea about the potential cost and the number of solar panels your home requires. It saves you the guesswork. 

How to Calculate Your Solar Panel System Needs 

Your solar panel needs would affect the total cost of your project. So, you shouldn’t take this lightly, as it’s essential. To make a sound judgment, follow these six steps:

  1. Start by estimating your solar array output. Importantly, you can use a solar panel calculator to perform this arithmetic quickly. Also, you can use the formula: Solar Array Output = Electricity Consumption / (365 * Solar Hours Per Day), where the electricity consumption is measured in kWh and expressed per annum.   
  1. Estimate your solar power requirement and environmental factor relative to the electricity bill you want to offset. This formula is helpful: Solar Array Size = Solar Array Output * (Bill Offset / Environmental Factor), where bill offset and environmental factors are expressed in percentages.  

Here, the environmental factor signifies the percentage of energy produced by the solar array with no loss to environmental variables—snow, moisture, pollution, etc. 

  1. Define your roof surface area by excluding any part under shade. Also, ignore other portions that you wouldn’t place anything on. This exercise will give you a hint about the maximum solar panel dimension you require.
  1. There are several solar panel options available. Therefore, this is the time to research for the most efficient panel tailored to your local environment. 
  1. To determine if the available solar panels can adequately fit your roofing area, use this formula: Required Panels = Solar Array Size * 1000 / (Solar Hours Per Day * Panel Output In Watts). Though there are other variations, you can use 300 watts as the output.
  1. Finally, calculate the potential area that the solar panel would occupy. You can rely on this formula: Potential Area Occupied = Required Panels * Panel Width * Panel Length, where width and length are measured in meters. Note that your panel system would fit well when the area occupied is smaller than your roof area.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

Though this is an important question, the answer isn’t straightforward. On average, your home needs about 20 to 24 solar panels to cover your electricity needs fully. Yet, location, panel efficiency, preference, panel dimensions, etc., will define the actual number.

To estimate the number you need for your home, consider this formula: Number of Panels = System Size / Single Panel Size, where system and single panel sizes are measured in watts. Note that the number of panels you need would directly affect your total cost. 

Are Solar Panels Worth It?

Just like most things in life, solar panels have their drawbacks. And the major ones are the high upfront fees and the reliance on the sun. However, depending on your circumstance, these wouldn’t be a problem. For instance, if you live in a sunny location, it becomes an advantage. 

In addition, the high upfront cost will pay off in a few years, reducing your electricity bills. Finally, you can use government loans and rebates to fund your solar panel needs. With the benefits over-weighing the setbacks, solar panels are worth it.

How Can I Calculate Solar Panel Output?

Solar panel output is the total energy produced by the panel in wattage. The higher the wattage ratings, the greater the power it would make. To calculate your output, use this formula: Solar Panel Output = Solar Panel Kilowatts * Environmental Factor * Solar Hours Per Day. 

Will I Still Have An Electricity Bill With Solar Panels?

This is an interesting question, and the straightforward answer is yes. While your property is connected to the power grid, your bills will come regardless of the installed solar panel. However, the monthly bill would be significantly lower, leading to zero fees in some situations. 

With the introduction of net metering, they share your unused solar energy with the power grid. So, you earn credit with this policy, allowing you to use the power grid at night without paying extra. However, remember this depends on you using equal or less of what you add to the grid.

How Long Does It Take Solar Panels to Pay for Themselves?

Great question! This shows you are among the several thousands of people seeking answers to this concern. Note that the return on investment for solar panels differs. This is because some variables influence the payback period. These include:

  • Location
  • Electricity cost
  • Tax incentives
  • Payment plan
  • Sun availability
  • And roof structure, among others.

However, putting these together, most homes in the United States can expect a payback period between 6 to 12 years. So, to estimate the payback period, use this formula: Payback = Total Installation Cost—(Solar Incentives + Monthly Bills). Here, note that you will keep deducting the electricity bill until it reaches nil. 

My Final Remarks

The current climate change and higher electricity costs have made concerned people look for options. Interestingly, solar panels have become the alternative, serving for the last 20 years. Solar panels have become popular because of their benefits to people and the planet. 

Though they have some drawbacks, they are the answers to our current challenges. And while the higher upfront cost may discourage you, understand they pay off. Also, if you aren’t a math nerd, worry not. To estimate your needs, you can use our solar panel calculator.

Just provide a few details and wait for the magic to unfold. It’s easy and fast. Then, go green by joining the several Americans who are saving the planet using solar panels.