How Much Solar Power Do I Need?
Nowadays, the use of electricity is now a necessity.
To power up your mobile phones, computers, or other devices, its battery needs electricity to charge.
Almost all establishments, businesses, facilities, and even public utilities cannot operate effectively without the use of this vital commodity.
However, just like food, electricity does not come for free.
As the population globally increases, the demand for electricity also increases to supply the needs of consumers worldwide.
The problem is, as we generate more electricity from power plants for daily use, we deplete our natural resources such as coal and fossil fuels, resulting in negative impacts on the environment.
This is where solar energy presents itself as a viable solution to lessen the depletion of our natural resources and to mitigate environmental damage brought about by energy generation.
I’m sure you have heard about solar energy before, and maybe that is why you visited this webpage in the first place, hoping to find something more interesting about solar energy or know how much solar power you need, whether for your home, business, or property.
Well, you have come to the right place at the right time, the highlight of this article is to provide you a thorough understanding of solar power, and how much solar power you need.
Before we discuss these things, let us first inspect solar energy, where does it come from, how to use this energy, and give some concrete reasons on why to consider switching to solar energy and state the advantages of doing so.
Solar power comes from the sun, which generates solar energy, a renewable source of energy.
Sunlight, which is composed of light particles called photons that travel in a wave-like manner from the sun to the earth with an approximate speed of 300,000 kilometers per second and emits heat and radiant energy as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
This energy is converted to electricity through the semiconducting lattices present in the solar cell, which generates a Direct electric current (DC), which is converted to an alternating current (AC) through an installed system inverter towards different appliances for use.
Why Should I Switch to Solar Energy?
Now, why should you switch to Solar Energy?
What’s so good about this source of energy, and how does it differ from other sources of energy?
To give you a short answer, using renewable energy, particularly solar energy, has more benefits in the long run, in contrast with non-renewable sources of energy, environmentally and economically.
If you’re the type of person who cares for the environment and one who wants to use electricity for a much cheaper price, then I strongly advise you to read on, and learn more about solar energy, how to use it, how much do you need, and the things you need to consider in planning your solar power system.
However, if you’re still hesitating to go for Solar energy, hopefully, this article will make you reconsider why using solar energy is a great idea to supply your energy needs from simple devices and technologies you use to larger utilities such as your home, business or properties.
Solar Energy Does Not Contribute To Greenhouse Emissions
The energy sector has always been the primary culprit for the global emissions of greenhouse gasses.
The emission of these greenhouse gasses continues to increase drastically over time, contributing to climate change, depletion of the ozone layer, and global warming.
Data from the World Resources Institute have shown China, European Union, and the USA as the top contributors for the emission of these greenhouse gasses, specifically carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
These are the nations with the most significant number of operating non-renewable energy power plants, such as fossil fuel power plants, Hydrocarbon power plants, and coal power plants.
The mentioned power plants above harness heat energy by burning fossils, hydrocarbons, or coal as fuels to boil water and produce the steam that will drive a steam turbine.
These processes result in the emission of harmful greenhouse gasses such as Carbon Monoxide, Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide, Carbon Dioxide, particulate matter, mercury, and other heavy metals.
In contrast with solar energy, the utilization of this renewable energy source does not include harmful processes for the environment and does not emit toxic substances or gasses, which contribute to greenhouse and pollution.
It Preserves Life & Environment
We live on a polluted planet.
Whether you agree with me, the pollution in our environment keeps getting worse.
We cannot deny the fact that we’re all responsible for the pollution, climate change, global warming, and other environmental issues that we have today.
But it’s not yet too late, and we can still make our little contributions to make our environment cleaner, greener, and more sustainable for the generations to come.
Switching to Solar energy could be your little contribution, for our environment, for all life in it, and for all life to come.
It’s considered as a potential solution to the growing greenhouse emission, which leads to global warming, and by switching to Solar energy, you contribute in mitigating the harmful effects of greenhouse gasses towards the environment, and you’re also reducing your carbon footprint, which is good for the environment, wildlife and human health.
If you’re looking for a way to save money, to gain profit and utilize an eco-friendly energy source, considering solar power for your home is a great decision, not only for yourself but for the environment and the present and future generations.
It’s More Economical & Affordable In The Long Run
Have you ever asked yourself, what else will you gain if you go for Solar energy?
Maybe you have seen several articles from the past before, or a friend of yours told you about Solar energy, or you’ve just learned about it from your science class, whatever background you have about Solar energy, I am sure you have heard that solar energy is relatively cheaper than using electricity from other energy sources.
It’s true, especially if you plan to use solar energy for a long time.
Buying the first components for your solar power system might be expensive, but the returns that you will gain from this energy source will eventually outweigh its initial cost.
Investing in solar power can save the owner a huge amount of money in the long run since the maintenance cost of the solar energy system is much cheaper than purchasing electricity from electric distribution companies.
Using solar power also saves the owner additional costs charged by the electric distribution companies to compensate for electronic wastes and power losses during generation, transmission, and distribution.
Besides, the use of solar power ensures an owner a fixed cost since it’s mainly independent of other factors such as electricity price fluctuations or problems arising from the electricity grid.
You can also obtain profit from installing solar power.
Excess energy produced from your solar panels is injected back to your electricity utility’s grid, resulting in net metering.
You gain credit for net metering, note however that this credit is at a rate lower than the current price your electricity provider charges.
The Demand For Solar Energy Is Increasing
The need for solar energy increases as new technologies demands higher production of clean and reliable electricity for consumption.
As the effects of greenhouse gasses worsen and as our planet becomes more polluted, the demand for a sustainable, eco-friendly, economical and renewable source of energy such as solar energy, increases globally.
But who cares if the demand for solar energy increases?
Well, you should.
Think about it:
You can use this fact to gain extra profit from utilizing solar energy.
As the demand for renewable energy increases, there are more potential sectors, facilities, and businesses who would want to avail solar power for electricity, in which you can sell to.
Assessing Your Solar Power Needs
Now that you have read about solar energy, you now have a background on how this energy is utilized and what ways will it benefit not only you but the environment.
This brings us now to the central question of our article, “How much Solar Power do I need?”
I know this is not what you signed up for, but I hope you’re prepared to do some necessary calculations, so prepare your calculator, a pen and something to write on, because, in this section, we will discuss how to compute the amount of solar power you need, for your home, business or property.
But before we dive deeper into computation, I would like to warn you that the amount of solar power you need depends not only on your daily power consumption, which we will compute today (or at least if you choose to stay with me till the end).
Other factors, such as the amount of energy you wish to store, and energy allocation, are also essential factors that you need to consider.
1. Take A Look At Your Power Consumption
This is the first and the most critical factor that you should consider to estimate how much solar power you need.
Your daily power consumption is the primary basis for estimating how much solar energy you must harness from your solar panels.
There are two ways to do this, the easy way and the…
I do not want to say hard, so let us stick with the rewarding one.
Well, the easiest way to know your daily power consumption is to search for it in your monthly electric bill.
Just look for the quantity with the unit Kilowatt hour (KWh), and this tells you the amount of power that you consume daily and monthly.
However, if you wish to take a closer evaluation of each of your appliances, you can also calculate for your power consumption manually.
This is what I consider as the “rewarding” way.
Sure, it might not be as straightforward as the first method, but there is a benefit in doing this method.
Calculating your daily consumption manually allows you to gain an idea of which of your appliances consume the most power, which of them are frequently used, and be able to plan for your solar energy allocation accordingly.
Now let’s get started.
To compute manually for your daily consumption, have a list of all your operating appliances with their power consumption rating, from your small devices such as light bulbs to larger devices such as refrigerators, oven, and television.
It’s vital to take note of their power consumption in Watt-hour (Wh) and how many of these individual appliances you possess and use, including the estimated average number of hours you use these appliances.
You can find the power consumption rate of your appliances on its label, found either from the package of the device or somewhere in the back or bottom of the appliances.
After verifying the power consumption rate of the appliance, count how many units of the said appliance you have, and estimate the number of hours you use them.
For the number of hours, make sure to convert quantities expressed in the unit of minutes to hours. For instance, using your treadmill for 30 minutes a day gives you a value of 0.5 hours of usage.
Now that you have listed every appliance you have, with the number of hours you use them and the number of units you have per appliance, multiply the power consumption in Watt-hour (Wh) of a specific appliance to the number of units you have for that type of appliance, together with the number of hours you use these appliances.
For instance, using 15 working light bulbs for 5 hours a day, with a power consumption of 100 Watt-hour, gives you a total of 7,500 Watt-hour or 7.5 Kilowatt-hour.
After computing for the power consumption of each of your appliances, get the total of these quantities, and the resulting sum is your daily power consumption.
The result of your computation determines how much solar power you need daily from your solar panels, assuming that you’re planning to supply all your energy needs using solar energy.
It’s not as hard as it sounds; you just have to be systematic and careful about your computation.
Alternatively, to verify if the obtained result is close enough to reality, or you just do not want to compute, you can also look for online calculators to know your Electric bill and power consumption.
2. Energy Allocation
Upon understanding your estimated daily power consumption, you can now start planning your energy allocation.
Before you plan or design your solar power system, it’s essential to decide your energy allocation plan.
Your energy allocation pertains to the percentage of your power consumption that you plan to consume using your solar power system.
Having a 100% energy allocation means that you plan to supply all your energy needs using your solar power system, while a 50% energy allocation implies that half of your power consumption will be provided using your solar power system, half would come from your electricity utility provider.
This is important to decide on since you can budget your expenses accordingly and be able to plan how many solar panels you should buy without spending too much.
Your energy allocation plan will now determine how much solar power you need from your solar panels, having a 50% energy allocation plan means that you need solar power equivalent to half of your estimated daily consumption.
- Solar energy is a reliable and clean source of energy.
- It utilizes energy from the sun to convert it into usable electricity, through solar panels, to power appliances for your home, business, or establishment.
- The use of solar energy has several benefits, not only for the environment but also for the owner’s profit.
- You can estimate your solar power needs by evaluating the percentage of your daily power consumption that you plan to supply using solar energy, multiplied by a factor equivalent to the number of days you plan to sustain this rate.
- Upon knowing the amount of Solar power, you need based on your typical consumption, you can now plan and design your own Solar Power System.