Q:

# How do you install a solar power system for the whole house?

A:

Estimate the amount of solar panels needed to satisfy the electrical power usage of your home by dividing your average daily energy use by the amount of solar resource available to your region and multiplying that number to adjust it for the efficiency of your panel. Gather your utility bills, and by using a computer, it takes about 30 minutes to calculate the amount of solar panels you need.

## Keep Learning

Credit: Matt Cardy Getty Images News Getty Images

1. Determine the electrical needs of your household

Start by assessing your home's average annual energy consumption rate. Gather your utility bills, and compare more than just one year's worth of data for accuracy. Divide that figure by 365 to get an average daily amount in kilowatt hours.

2. Consult the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the amount of solar radiation that your area receives

Visit the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's website, and click on the blue highlighted text next to "Photovaltics Data - 1998 to 2009 Low Resolution (letter size)," to find the average amount of solar insolation available for your area in kilowatt hours per meter squared per day.

3. Calculate your home's energy requirements

Divide your daily kilowatt hour needs by the kilowatt hours available.

Average panels only utilize 15 percent of the sun's rays. Multiply your number by 6.625 if your panel is 15 percent efficient and 4.75 if your panel is 21 percent efficient to determine the total number of square meters needed. Multiply the meters by 3.2808 to get feet.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A: Things like a budget, government financial incentives and the size of the system all factor into the cost of home solar power. Always calculate upfront cos... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: Find the serial number for an 80 percent annualized fuel utilization efficiency Lennox heating system beneath the top-front service panel. Remove the panel... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: To generate free electricity with solar panels, install a solar energy system and sustain it until energy savings compensate for initial and maintenance ex... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: Some of the most common problems with solar panels include loose wiring, oxidation, corrosion, system overheat and terminal burn out. However, all these pr... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
PEOPLE SEARCH FOR