How can you calculate how many solar panels you need?

If you’re interested in the idea of ​​using free, eco-friendly energy to power your household, and want to have a solar panel installed, one of the most basic requirements to consider is how many solar panels you’ll need. has. need.

There are many factors that determine exactly how many you should use and how many you can actually buy. Some of these are the results of your energy consumption target calculations (how much energy your home appliances and appliances need to function properly), the budget you have available and the type of solar panel you use.

Depending on whether you are considering purchasing a high-tech solar panel or building your own panels from cheaper materials, prices can vary. Therefore, the number of solar panels that you can put together in an array may vary and the quality may also need to be assessed.

Calculate energy consumption

If you want to determine exactly how many solar panels you need, it is essential to measure the amount of energy a solar panel can provide and compare it to the value you need. Considering that a typical household uses about 8,000 – 9000 kWh annually, and the fact that a good quality $300 solar panel can only supply about 100 – 200 watts of energy, the number of panels you need to power your entire house can be reduced. are expected to be quite substantial.

Of course, depending on your needs, you don’t always have to consume that much energy on a regular basis. Especially if you are an environmental lover and you know how to choose devices that offer better functionality and consume less energy, you may be able to cut that number in half, or even less.

Also, if you want to build your own solar panel, you will find that production costs can be effectively reduced to less than $200 for a standard 36 cell solar panel. Depending on the quality of your homemade solar panels, you only need about 30 or 40 panels to provide your entire house with sufficient power.

This number may still be too large, but can be reduced if you want to use an additional form of energy, such as wind energy. This can give you more energy on cloudy and rainy days, when solar panels don’t work as well, and cut the need for panels by half or even less.

Be careful, as different types of solar cells will provide varying amounts of energy. However, you can easily calculate the energy output: after you build your DIY solar panel, measure the current and voltage it produces and multiply them to get the watt value. As a result, a small 6 amp solar panel producing 12 volts, for example, will deliver approximately 72 watts.

Now such a weak solar panel may not provide you too much energy, but the good news is that there are many cheap panels on the market that can provide twice or more power, and you don’t have to pay more than 300 to 400 dollars for one. A solar panel made from 10 to 20 of these panels would therefore be a viable option when it comes to powering a large number of energy efficient appliances or gadgets.

Different types of solar panels

The speed and efficiency with which solar cells can convert solar energy into electricity also plays a role in determining the number of solar panels you need.

For example, with panels with monocrystalline solar cells, the amount of sunlight needed to generate a certain amount of energy is much smaller than with thin-film or polycrystalline cells.

In 2010, a company producing high-quality monocrystalline solar panels was able to break the world record for solar energy efficiency by producing solar cells that could convert more than 24% of the sun’s rays into usable electrical power.

In fact, some researchers believe that in a few years it may be possible to make monocrystalline solar cells that can exceed 30% or even 40%, significantly increasing the efficiency of these types of solar cells, and that of solar energy in in general.

A good example of the energy efficiency that these solar panels can provide is that a solar panel with a total of 36 monocrystalline cells can generally produce about 100 to 130 watts. This practically means that if you want to get 1 kW (1000 watts), you need about 10 of these panels. Depending on the quality and brand of the panel, the price for this plan can range from $3000 to $5000.

In contrast to these results, today technologies using polycrystalline cells can barely come close to the 20% limit, while thin film based technologies barely offer an efficiency of about 15 to 17%.

These figures may conclude the technological superiority of monocrystalline PV cells, but they do not prove that the best decision is to buy such panels. It is true that you do not need that many panels to achieve a general power of about 1 to 3 kW in this case, but the problem is that the more monocrystalline solar panels you buy, the greater the price difference becomes.

You can also opt for less energy efficiency and a better price option to save money. In this regard, polycrystalline cells are much better, as they are not as weak as thin film based technologies, and are slightly less expensive than monocrystalline solar cells.

Budget problems

Now everyone usually thinks about budget issues when it comes to buying or manufacturing a solar panel. Solar panels themselves are of course cheaper, but the quality differences can be large, not to mention that you have to put in a lot of work if you want your new panels to perform well.

If, on the other hand, you decide to buy a solar panel, you already have all the necessary figures about how many watts it produces and how stable it is. By using some simple math, you can calculate exactly how many of these devices you need to meet your energy goal.

The main problem with this is that there are many brands that focus on offering different types of solar panels based on a large number of different technologies. As a result, it can be difficult to choose between them and you have to browse numerous websites to find out what previous buyers think of a particular product.

Most people would believe that about $3000 to $8000 would be enough for a viable solar panel; however, the number can double, depending on your needs and the technology you want to use. Fortunately, most manufacturers are already starting to develop better technologies that allow people to buy more efficient solar panels at a significantly lower price.

However, you should consider all options and avoid clinging to some brands simply because they have a “catchiere” marketing agenda. In the end, the numbers show you everything you need to know and you can decide for yourself what types of panels to buy and how many you need.


You will often find that the company you do business with may provide you with a viable plan when it comes to dealing with energy consumption and solar panels. Based on your budget and the ability of the solar array you need, they can often give you an accurate estimate of how much energy you can get from your purchase.

Be careful though, as different brands sometimes come up with new technologies that are cheaper, more effective, and would make other companies’ designs seem obsolete. Then you may realize that new opportunities can arise with every step.

So, if you are thoroughly informed about the factors that determine the quality of the technology used to manufacture panels, you will find that you are in a much better position to determine how many of them you need without having to. need to worry about unknown factors.