How to Calculate How Many Solar Panels to Power a House

how many solar panels to power a house

Whether you’re thinking about going solar or already have, it’s important to know how many panels you need for your house. You don’t want to buy more panels than what your home needs, but on the other hand, having too many can lead to excess energy that will be sent back into the grid (and wasted).

The good news is that calculating how many solar panels to power a house is easy! Here’s a breakdown of what you should know.

How to Calculate How Many Solar Panels to Power a House

Businessman Calculating Tax Using Calculator

Calculating how many solar panels you need will take some time and effort. You should consider all of your home’s electrical needs and power ratings. You also need to consider the size of solar panels that can fit on the roof of your house or wherever you’re planning on installing them for direct sunlight.

The cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically since they were first used to power American households, so the price is not something that should put you off. If anything, it might encourage you even more since it’s cheaper compared to other utility bills.

Once you have calculated how many solar panels are needed for your home, all that’s left is to find a solar installation company that can supply them at an affordable price.

The Cost of Solar Panels Has Dropped Dramatically

Solar Panel and Money

The cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically in recent years. A decade ago, installing a system that could power your home would have cost you around $30,000. Today, it’s possible to pay as little as $10,000 for the same setup. If you wait another five years, you might be able to get a solar panel system for roughly half that price!

By comparison with other technologies like computers and cell phones, solar panels have fallen in price faster than any other tech product over time.

According to a study looking at historical data on technology prices, there have only been two occurrences when any kind of technology had such a dramatic price drop: the first was during the early 20th century with the invention of electrical energy, and we’re seeing the second occurrence now with solar energy.

Calculating Your Solar Panel Needs

Before you buy solar panels, it’s important to understand how much power you’ll need to produce. To determine this, you need to know your daily energy usage and the wattage of a single solar panel. You can also refer to your annual electricity usage to act as a guide on what is needed.

To find out how many solar panels are needed to convert sunlight into energy, multiply your daily kWh usage by 1,000 and divide that number by the watts per hour produced by one of your panels.

For example, if your home uses 20kWh per day and each panel has a rating of 250 watts/hour, then you’d need 100 panels (20 x 1000 / 250 = 100). This way, it’s easier to calculate your kWh per month if you want to budget accordingly.

The most common way of calculating solar panel needs is in watts. Solar panel wattage is a measure of power, which is the rate at which energy is used or transferred.

In layman’s terms, power is how fast something uses energy. For example, if you have 100 watts of light shining on an object, it will use 100 joules (a unit of energy) per second. That’s 100 watts times 1 second, which equals 100 joules.

Supplying the Solar Power Your Home Needs

solar power plant

To answer the question of how many solar panels to power a house, you need to consider two things: the size of your house and the amount of space available for installing solar panels.

If you already have a yard with plenty of space, then it would be easy to install as many solar panels as necessary to meet all your energy needs. If not, it may be more cost-effective to start small and expand later when finances allow.

It’s also important to consider how much annual electricity usage is required by appliances and devices throughout your home.

For example, if there are several televisions in use during prime-time viewing hours, then there will be an increase in demand for electricity from these devices versus earlier or later during the day when fewer people are watching TV at once.

Finally, and this might surprise some people, the price tag for installing enough solar panels depends heavily on where they’re installed. So, if someone tells you that every home needs X number of watts’ worth of capacity, just remember that there are key factors affecting installation costs.

It can include the ideal location (urban vs rural), power output, hours of sunlight exposure per day/year, etc.

To determine the number of solar panels needed to power a home, you need to know two key pieces of information:

  • Daily kWh usage (kilowatt-hours per day)
  • Watts per hour produced by 1 panel

Let’s say your home uses 10 kWh of electricity every day. The formula for calculating the number of solar panels needed is: Number of solar panels = daily kWh usage x 1,000 / watts per hour produced by 1 panel.

What Type of Panels Do You Need?

There are several different types of solar panels available, but they all fall into one of two broad categories: monocrystalline or polycrystalline.

Monocrystalline panels have a higher efficiency than polycrystalline but are more expensive to purchase and install. Polycrystalline panels are generally less efficient than monocrystalline, but also less expensive and easier to install.

Other types of solar cells include amorphous silicon (a-Si), thin film, cadmium telluride (CdTe), copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), and solar paint.

Benefits of Going Solar

Solar Technician Installing Solar Panel

Save Thousands on Your Energy Bill

Going solar can save you thousands on your energy bill. It’s also a great investment, with the average cost of solar panel installation dropping by more than 50 percent in the last decade. This is according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

The cost of solar panels has decreased significantly in the past decade, making it much more affordable for homeowners and renters to switch over to solar power.

A typical solar panel system costs $15,000-$30,000, but it will pay for itself within 10-20 years. That’s because you’ll be able to use the electricity generated by your panels and sell any excess power back to your utility company at a profit.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Going solar is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment, but it also has other benefits.

Solar energy is clean and renewable, meaning you don’t have to worry about polluting the environment, unlike fossil fuels.

The amount of pollution caused by burning fossil fuels has been linked to global warming. Reducing our dependence on them helps us fight climate change so that future generations can enjoy a healthy planet too!

Solar also has other benefits. For example, many states offer tax credits for installing solar panels on your home or business. You can also save money on energy bills by using your own energy source instead of paying for electricity from the power company.

Get a Tax Credit

If you go solar, your new panels can help you get a big tax credit. That means you can save money on your taxes! We’ll even help you figure out exactly how much the credit is worth and show you how to claim it.

Federal tax credits are available for installing solar panels on your home or business property in many states across America. If you install solar panels on your home, you can get a 30% federal tax credit. That’s up to $2,000 per kilowatt of installed capacity.


Going solar is becoming more and more popular as the cost of watts per panel continues to drop. It’s a great way to save money on your electric bills, and one day it may even be free! The best way to find out how many panels you need for your home is by calculating the watts per hour produced by each panel and multiplying that number by 1,000.

If not, Electric Frugal experts can offer guidance on how to find out how many solar panels to power a house. We have been supplying solar systems for over a decade and understand all aspects of solar panel installation costs. Contact us today to access clean and renewable energy!


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