The decision to switch to a solar system is one of the most empowering and yet it comes with a lot of planning. During the design and planning stage, the solar installer has to consider your home’s energy needs to create a sustainable system. The last thing you want is a rooftop solar panel system that doesn’t generate enough power.
One of the major concerns for the homeowner is the amount of space required for a viable solar energy system. Unlike commercial properties, many residential properties don’t have large roof spaces. As a homeowner, you might be worried about your roof’s capacity to support the panels required.
Calculating the Roof Space for Solar Installation
Every home has unique energy needs and your solar installer considers this during the design of the system. The most critical considerations when designing the roof panel system are:
- Type/dimensions of the solar panels
- Size of the system/number of solar panels
- Space between solar panels
- Orientation of the solar panels (landscape or portrait orientation)
To determine the number of solar panels you need, an energy audit is necessary. An accredited solar installer has the expertise and equipment required for the energy audit. Once they figure out how much solar electricity you need, the installer calculates the number of solar panels you require to generate enough power.
Other factors that affect the number of solar panels include the availability of sunlight in your area and the efficiency of the solar panels you choose. If you go for high-efficiency solar panels, you require fewer to meet your home’s energy requirements. These high-efficiency solar panels come in handy if you have limited roof space.
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?
After the energy audit, the next step is to determine the number of solar panels that your property needs. Your solar installer uses your home’s hourly wattage requirement and divides this with the solar panels’ wattage. This provides the total number of panels required for your home. Once you get the number of solar panels required, consider the size of the panels you want. The average size of solar panels today is 17.55 square feet.
- For a 4 kW solar system producing 480 – 600 kWh, you’ll need about 13 panels that occupy 220 square feet of the roof.
- A larger 6 kW solar system requires more solar panels (19) and also occupies more roof space (330 sq. feet).
The larger your home’s electricity needs, the more solar panels you require and the bigger the roof space the system occupies.
Factors such as the climate in your area, the physical size of the solar panels, and the efficiency of the panels also determine the size of the solar energy system. Your solar contractor works with you to design a custom solar energy system that suits your needs.
These solar professionals help evaluate the number of sunlight hours you expect in your area. With the findings, they design a system that’s highly efficient. The contractor also helps you maximize space by choosing high-efficiency solar panels. These are smaller in size but with higher output ratings. The higher-efficiency panels generate more electricity per square foot.
The solar panels available on the market vary greatly in efficiency from 150 watts to 370 watts per panel. The panel size, types of cells, and efficiency all work together to create a high-output energy system.
Is Your Roof Ready For Solar System?
There’s more to preparing a roof for solar panels than the space. When designing the roof panel project, your solar installer also looks at the strength of the roof structure. They’ll inspect the roof for any damages to the material and the underlying cover. The solar system installation only goes on after repairs and strengthening of the roof where necessary.
Are you wondering if your roof is wide enough to support your planned roof panels? Talk to Phoenix Solar experts for a free in-home consultation.
Total Solutions is the best option for you, in case you want to install solar panels flawlessly at affordable prices in Arizona. Contact Total Solutions today for a free estimate.