Find How Much Energy Solar Panels Produce In Your Area
Now that you know how much electricity your home uses in a month, you need to find the amount of sunlight your area receives. This is usually measured in something called peak sun hours, which is essentially the intensity of sunlight in your area.
You can find the average number of daily peak sun hours for your state here. This number is how much sunlight you receive daily, but we need to know how much you receive monthly. To do this, simply multiply your states daily peak sun hours by 30.
The monthly peak sun hours you get tells you how many kWh of electricity 1 kilowatt of solar panels will produce in your area in one day. So, if your state receives 150 monthly peak sunlight hours, 1 kW of solar will produce 150 kWh of electricity per month.
Not sure about the differences between kW and kWh? Read our guide about kW versus kWh and what they mean.
Diy Solar Panel For Car Roof Use
The advantages of DIY is that its cost effective. Its actually very easy to mount a solar panel yourself. It saves you the money that you would have used for the installation.
It also gives you a sense of satisfaction and makes you feel like you have achieved something for yourself instead of waiting for someone to do it for you.
You dont have to drill a single hole on your roof if you dont want to good news for owners of newer cars! You can simply use adhesive to mount the solar panel.
Best Solar Panel Direction Overall
South is the best direction for solar panels to face overall. In nearly all cases, homeowners will achieve the highest electric bill savings and a quickest payback period by facing their solar panels south over any other direction.
Having your panels face south improves the economics of solar in the following ways: it maximizes solar output, it maximizes your ability to take advantage of net metering, and it maximizes your ability to utilize battery storage.
We explore each of these reasons in more detail below.
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Other Ways To Measure Your Roof
If you have a proper safety harness, you could go up on the roof and take a direct measurement with a tape measure. Thatâs risky for personal safety, and walking with a heavy foot on your roof can damage your shingles. So I donât recommend that.
Instead, if you have a rectangular section of roof, you could take the measurement from the ground. This should be more accurate than using a tool based on satellite photos.
Take your measurements from the corners of the roof where they meet the ground: Vector art courtesy macrovector_official/Freepik.com
Once you have X and Y, multiply them to get the area on the ground. So, if your X = 25 feet and Y = 12 feet, your area on the ground would be 300 feetÂ². But thatâs not the area of the roof, because it is sloping. We need to do a little trigonometry.
You need to measure the angle of the roof, and you can do that with a smartphone app like Measure for iOS or Bubble Level for Android. Measure comes pre-installed on iPhones, so you should have it already.
Of course, this isnât as accurate as going up on a ladder to take a measurement, but it sure is a lot easier, and good enough because weâre just doing this exercise to get a rough estimate of our panel count.
To take a measurement, stand underneath the roof section you want to measure, and hold up the edge of your phone so that itâs parallel with the roof. Hereâs what it looks like using Measure: Measuring your roof slope from the ground
What Happens To The Solar Power Produced By My Panels
In Ontario, you can earn credits toward your energy bill or sell extra energy back to the grid via net metering. Your local distribution company will read your meter , then subtract the value of electricity you supply to the grid from the value of what you take. Your bill will show you the net difference, acting like an electricity trade. So if you supply more power than what you use, youll receive a credit that can be carried forward for up to a year.
For example: If your panels produce 1,000kWh of energy and you only utilize 700kWh, you can carry forward the credit from the remaining 300kWh for up to a year. Once you track your energy usage you can mindfully save up, like saving extra spring energy credits for air conditioning in the summer.
On average in Ontario, you pay about 23.5 cents per kWh. Once you make the switch , it works out to about 9-11 cents per kWh.
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How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Panels In Ontario
Once youve calculated the size and space required to install your new solar system, its time to estimate the cost.
Take the size of your system in watts and multiply it by the average cost of installing a solar system in Ontario .
In this case, 4,750 watts x $2.46 per watt = $11,685.
Note that this is a rough estimate and the price could fluctuate depending on the equipment and installers used prices can easily go as high as $3 per watt in Canada.
What Are The Benefits Of Solar Panels
Solar panels are one way individual homeowners can make a big difference in their personal energy use. The can save tons of money in energy costs, qualify for tax credits and boost home values. However, its important to make sure that solar panels are properly installed and that your roof is in good shape to support them.
- Energy cost savings can dramatically reduce your electric bills. Many homes save more than $2000 a year and break even in costs in around 5 years, according to the solar energy marketplace EnergySage.
- Solar panels boost home values by around $15,000 on average, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Solar panels are eligible for federal tax credits: the Solar Investment Tax Credit applies to 30 percent of system costs through 2022 for homeowners who purchase solar panels.
- Solar panels allow individual homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint in a significant way.
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How Much Does Solar Panel Direction Affect Output
In the U.S., orienting solar panels true south will result in maximum output. Face them any other direction, and you can expect to see a fall in solar panel output.
North, south, east or west, which direction do you like the best? When it comes to solar panels, the answer is definitely south. The graphic shows ballpark figures for the output losses experienced by pointing your panels in a direction other than south.
Size Limits And Restrictions
A 5kW system seems to be the sweet spot that network owners are happy with residential properties to install, with most states and territories giving automatic approval to rooftop solar systems 5kW or under for a single-phase property. 3 phase properties can be approved for up to a 30kW system.
Whilst its possible to gain approval for a size larger than these limits it may have implications on whether you can receive the Feed-in Tarif for any excess energy your system generates.
The following list is a guideline of the limits for pre-approved for solar system sizes per state.
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Number Of Peak Sun Hours
The amount of sunlight in your area or peak sun hours needs to be factored in when you decide the number of solar panels you will purchase. This is the amount of intense sunlight your solar panel can receive daily.
In California, peak sun hours range from 5 to 7.5 hours daily. In Florida, the number of peak sun hours is usually 4. When multiplied by 30, this number will tell you the amount of peak sunlight you receive monthly.
This information is needed to know how many kilowatt-hours your panel can produce during peak hours. For example, if you live in Florida and receive 120 peak sunlight hours, a 1kW solar installation will monthly produce 120 kWh of electricity.
Why Does The Electricity Retailer Set Limits
Technically, its not your retailer setting the limits on how many rooftop solar power panels you can install. The limits are actually decided by the owners of the network that distributes the electricity, the poles and wires. This network owner is also known as the distributor. Confusingly, in some cases your energy retailer also owns the network too. Energex in Queensland, for example.
Electricity transmission towers
Limits on your solar generating capacity are set by companies like Energex because the electricity distribution network was originally set up to push power in one direction only and at a predictable rate. When wind and solar power came along there was a disruption in this traditional network model. The consumers became producers, and they wanted to feed their energy into the network.
This two-way model of energy distribution is a peoples revolution in energy. Its great for the environment and great for the hip pocket.
Impact of solar on the grid
But the owners of the networks are concerned that too much electricity flowing into the grid could disrupt the operation of the existing power stations. For example, the grid needs to be kept at a certain voltage. Too much solar input pushes the voltage up and creates problems.
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Which Direction Should My Roof Face For Solar Panels
The best type of roof for solar panels is a south facing roof as they tend to generate the most electricity from solar panels. South facing roof panels see the sun when it is at its most intense for the longest period of time, which is why they generate the most energy.
However, this doesn’t mean that east or west facing roofs can’t also be suitable for solar panels. If your roof faces another direction as you can likely still see plenty of benefit from installing a solar array. East and west facing roofs are also suitable for solar panels and will still see a good deal of energy generation throughout the course of the day. For example, an east facing roof will be exposed to sunlight in the morning whereas a west facing roof will take in more sunlight in the afternoon and evenings.
Based on an installation of 8 panels at 3.5 meters in the LE16 postcode.
As you can see, a south facing roof gives the optimal direction for solar panels, delivering a potential saving of £194.41 in the first year. Meanwhile a north facing roof would still save you money on your energy bills but not as much .
What Type Of Solar Panels Should I Install
The choice of solar panel type can be based on efficiency, cost, and available space. Some types of solar panel are more efficient that others, and this would affect the number of panels you need to install.
For example, you need less space to install monocrystalline panels compared to thin film and polycrystalline solar panels.
There are different types of solar panels that can be installed on your roof, but the most commonly installed panels are monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels.
- Lower efficiency rate compared to monocrystalline
- More sensitive to high temperatures compared to monocrystalline
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South Is Best Direction To Maximize Solar Panel Output
In the Northern Hemisphere, where the United States is located, solar panels will achieve maximum possible electricity production when they are facing south.
Thats because, on average, the sun shines directly over the Equator over the year. If youre north of the Equator, facing south towards it will maximize exposure to sunlight. In fact, in all regions north of the Tropic of Cancer – which includes the entire mainland U.S. – the Sun moves across the southern half of the sky all year round.
In other words, solar panels oriented south in the United States will face the sun all year long.
Pictured: The furthest north the suns path travels is directly over the Tropic of Cancer, roughly 23.5° north of the Equator, during the summer solstice . As all of the mainland U.S. is located north of the Tropic of Cancer, the sun shines to the south for us all year-round.
How much power will panels produce on your roof given its direction?
Do Solar Panels Have To Face South
While it isnt recommended to have solar panels installed on a north facing roof in the UK, you can still have them installed if you wish but they wont perform as well as we saw from the table above. So if you dont have a south facing roof, dont let that put you off the idea of renewable solar energy as it is still very much a possibility.
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How A Solar Battery Adds Value
Add increased value to your solar panels by storing the energy they generate. Solar panels with battery storage maximizes the amount of electricity your installation retains for your use. By adding solar battery storage, you can take even greater control of powering your energy needs.
Surplus electricity created by your panels is stored in the battery until you need it. During an outage, when the sun sets, or if you’re using extra power, electricity draws from the battery. Its an easy, elegant solution with many benefits.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost
Switching to solar energy requires an up-front investment in equipment and comes with initial installation costs. But after that initial cost, the only recurring charge is the electricity you use beyond the power your panels generate. Assuming your solar system is the right size for your home and is properly installed and maintained, homeowners typically will see long-term savings on electricity bills and a return on their investment after several years.
The Solar Energy Industries Association estimates the national average cost of a residential solar panel system at $2.94 per watt.* For context, the per-watt price translates to just under $11,000 for a 5-kilowatt system, which is the average size of a standard residential solar system in the United States.
The price of solar panels varies by brand and retailer. Keep in mind, however, that solar panels are only a tiny fraction of the total initial cost of setting up a solar system. Installation and ongoing maintenance make up the remaining solar panel system costs.
The table below gives an overview of solar panel costs by state to help give you a general starting point for panel pricing. For comparison, the Energy Information Administration breaks down electricity prices by state for 2020 and 2021.
*Based on a June 2021 report
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Solar Power : What Ontario Homeowners Need To Know
With the climate crisis on everybodys minds these days, solar power is on the rise. Solar panels are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce your energy bill. Thinking about powering your home with solar panels? Welcome to solar power 101.
Read on to get a better understanding of the costs and benefits of installing solar panels on your home.
How Can I Get My Roof Ready For Solar Panels
A solid roof means a solid foundation for your solar panels, so its always the most important place to start. Getting a reliable contractor to inspect and repair or replace your roof ensures that your solar investment will pay off.
At DryHome, weve helped numerous families get ready for solar by:
- Making sure that roofs are structurally sound to support panels
- Repairing any damage or missing shingles
- Replacing aging roofs so that they can support solar panels
And while roof replacement or repair can seem like a big expense on top of the cost of solar panels, its always a worthwhile investment. A new roof provides improved insulation to reduce energy costs even more while offering a firm, long-lasting foundation for your solar future.
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Where Do I Buy Panels
There are plenty of solar panel choices in Ontario: Canadian Solar, Blue Pacific Solar, TD Solar Shop. Note that while some companies only have an online presence, there are smaller shops across Toronto and the GTA that sell panels too.
For Toronto residents, the Home Energy Loan Program can help fund a variety of renewable energy projects, including solar systems. The loan is attached through your property and paid back through your property tax bill, meaning if you move, the loan will be transferred to the new homeowners.
South Is Best With Battery Systems
South-facing panels are best if you plan to install a battery storage system such as the Tesla Powerwall or sonnen Eco.
That’s because if you have a battery system, your goal is to produce as much power as possible over the day. Facing your panels south should allow you to meet your daytime needs and, crucially, generate lots of surplus power to charge up your battery. You can then use your battery to meet your power needs at peak times, overnight and during grid outages.
The combination of south-facing solar panels with a battery solution allows you to maximize your energy self-consumption. This means reduced reliance on the grid, or even the ability to go off the grid entirely.
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