What size of a solar power system do I need?

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by scott, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. scott

    scott Administrator Staff Member

    One benefit of Solar Photovoltaics (PV) is that it can be sized based on whatever factors are important to you. Some solar sales people may suggest that you should only consider the maximum size possible. This could be your best bet, but may not be true in every situation, especially if you are a business or public sector entity.

    One option is the max physical size. you can use our Solar Design & Azimuth Tool to work out how many modules will fit on a roof or some other area. You can compare the predicted output from what will fit on your roof with your annual electrical use. Often, the desired design of the system is limited by physical space. You may want a 6kW system to offset 100% of your electrical use, but only be able to fit 4kW.

    If you are looking at solar for financial reasons or simply just looking for the best Return on Investment (ROI), you may not want to immediately go with the maximum system size. By annualizing you electrical use, billing rates, financial goals, entity structure, etc, there is likely a smaller system size that would be preferable. For example, a Demand Rate billed commercial building may realize greater financial benefits with a system sized to produce 20% of their overall kWh use.

    With a little detail about your situation and goals we should be able to give you an idea of your best path to choose. You can make a post in our GOING SOLAR section of the forums where other users in your area can respond, or send us an email from our CONTACT US page.
  2. Landon

    Landon Member

    My understanding is that the best thing to do is to reduce your dependence on electricity as much as possible, then you won't require as large as a system. As I'm up north, I know that is the way to go for us, because I don't think it's possible to go completely solar during the winter here.
  3. scott

    scott Administrator Staff Member

    I can't agree with you more! We install solar for plenty of people in town who use unbelievable amounts of power each month. It seems some times as if they say, "hey, our bill is huge, can we throw solar at the problem and reduce our bill?"

    The fact is, the cheapest Kilowatt is the one not used! By reducing your usage and completing some energy efficiency upgrades before going solar, you can generally go with a smaller system costing less overall.
  4. JesusMop

    JesusMop Member


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