Search
Close this search box.
Group
January 3, 2024

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

How many solar panels do I need

Have you been considering taking the plunge and changing to solar power? If so, you may be wondering how many solar panels you need in order to run your household as normal. Most of the residential properties in the UK are powered through the National Grid, which in turn is powered using electricity obtained through non-environmentally friendly means on the whole.

 

But what if you want to make the change to a sustainable power source that is not only more environmentally friendly, but will also save you money on your energy bills? This blog post will inform you about the most common solar panels available on the market, the benefits that come along with changing to solar power, and how many solar panels you will require based on the size of your home and the amount of people you live with. Let Effective Home guide you today.

 

What Types Of Solar Panels Are Available?

Before you decide how many solar panels you need, you first need to select the type of solar panel you want installed on your property. This can have a direct influence on how many solar panels you require, as each different solar cell used in solar panels has varying efficiency ratings.

The efficiency rating given to each solar panel is of the utmost importance, as the higher the efficiency rating the more energy the panel can create. Typically, most solar panels will have an energy efficiency rating between 15% and 20%. However, depending on the solar cell, this rating can increase up to 42%.

 

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Out of the three most common types of solar panels available on the market, monocrystalline panels have one of the highest efficiency ratings, of around 20%. These solar panels have some of the highest silicon purity levels available, which contribute to the higher efficiency rating.

Additionally, monocrystalline panels require less space, have a higher power output, and are one of the most durable solar panel types on the market. However, to obtain all of these benefits, you will have to swallow the more expensive price tag.

 

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Compared to monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline solar panels are made out of raw silicon, which allows them to have a quicker manufacturing time compared to their monocrystalline counterparts. Due to the reduced manufacturing time, polycrystalline panels are generally cheaper to purchase.

However, polycrystalline panels are more temperature sensitive compared to other panels on the market. This has a negative effect on their efficiency levels, which typically sits around 15%, as well as their lifespan, which is shorter than monocrystalline panels on average.

 

Thin-Film Solar Panels

One of the cheapest forms of solar panels available on the market is those made using thin-film solar cells. Not only are these panels easy to produce, they are also more environmentally friendly as they do not require as many materials to manufacture them.

Thin-film solar panels are made by placing photovoltaic materials, like silicon, cadmium, or copper, onto a substrate. These types of solar panels tend to be more flexible than the previously mentioned variations, and are not as sensitive to higher temperatures.

However, thin-film panels are typically larger than other solar panels, making them unsuitable for smaller households. They also have a shorter predicted lifespan compared to monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels, which has a knock-on effect on the warranty length which is also shorter than usual.

 

What Are The Benefits Of Solar Panels?

If you are debating as to whether installing solar panels on your property is the right choice for you, then you should take into consideration the vast amount of benefits that come with installing solar panels. These benefits include:

 

  • Reduction in your energy bills: By installing solar panels on your property, you will be able to utilise the electricity generated through solar energy. According to the Money Saving Expert, you can save up to £400 a year on your energy bills by switching to solar power.
  • Minimise your carbon footprint: While most homes in the United Kingdom are powered by the National Grid, the majority of the electricity found in the grid is produced through the burning of fossil fuels. Solar power is a sustainable source of green energy that doesn’t contribute to emissions or air pollution. By installing a solar panel system on your property, you will be doing your bit to fight climate change.
  • Easy installation: Most properties in the UK will be compatible with solar panel installation, with the installation process itself only taking up to two days to complete. So having the panels installed won’t take up too much of your time.
  • Long lifespan: Most solar panel systems are expected to last between 25 to 30 years. However, some of the more expensive systems boast predicted lifespans of up to 50 years. Additionally, most reputable solar panel manufacturers will also offer you a 25 year warranty for your solar panel system, to provide you with a greater peace of mind. 
  • Low maintenance costs: Once installed, solar panels do not require a lot of maintenance. Typically, you will only need to get your solar panels professionally cleaned once or twice a year, with inspections of your panels recommended to be completed on an annual basis. Aside from that, you are good to go.

 

What Is The Average Size Of A Solar Panel?

Most solar panels measure around 2 square metres, have an estimated thickness between 3 to 5 cm, and are 2 metres long and 1 metre wide. However, solar panel manufacturers also provide a line of more compact solar panels designed for households with smaller roof spaces. 

While you would think that smaller solar panels would be cheaper than those that are made to the standard size, you would be mistaken. Due to the limited demand for compact solar panels, they tend to be more expensive than their larger counterparts.

 

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

If you are considering purchasing your own solar panel system, you are most likely wondering how many solar panels you will require in order to power your home. There is no short or quick answer to this question, as there are many factors that can impact on the amount of panels you require. These factors include:

 

  • How much electricity do you use?
  • How many people live in your household?
  • How big, or small, is your usable roof space?
  • What is your budget?
  • How much sun exposure does your property’s roof receive?

 

In this section, we will provide you with a variety of baseline numbers relating to the amount of solar panels you may need to power your home. But if you are looking for more specific information, then we suggest getting in contact with us here at Effective Home, as a member of our team can provide you with more information.

 

How Many People Live In Your Household?

One of the most important factors that we need to take into account when designing your ideal solar panel system is the amount of people that live in your households. Simply put, the more people that live in your home, the more power you will require from your solar panels to live your everyday life.

 

In the table below, we have detailed the recommended solar panel system size depending on the amount of people that reside in your property. In addition, we have also included the amount of solar panels each system will require in order to work effectively.

 

How many people live in your household?
Household size Recommended solar panel system size Recommended amount of solar panels required based on 250W solar array panels
1 to 2 people 3kW 12 panels
3 to 4 people 4kW 16 panels
4 people 5kW 20 panels
5 or more people 6kW 24 panels

 

The numbers listed above are just to give you an idea of the solar panel system size you may require, and the typical amount of solar panels that would come along with each given system size. Effective Home will provide you with a more tailored quote and offering after receiving the necessary information when you enquire with us.

How Much Roof Space Do Solar Panels Require?

Now that you have an idea on the amount of solar panels and the size of the solar panel system your household may require in order for the solar energy to meet your power needs, it is time to discuss roof space. After determining the solar panel system size you require from the table above, the table below will inform you how much roof space you will need in order to install the necessary amount of solar panels that you need:

 

How much roof space do solar panels require?
Number of panels Estimated required roof space
12 19.2m²
16 25.6m²
20 32m²
24 38.4m²

 

The estimations outlined in the table above specifically relate to 250W solar panels, and have been included in this article to provide you with a general estimate. If you would like specific information that would relate to your future solar panel system, contact Effective Home today.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need To Power My House?

Instead of basing the amount of solar panels you may need on the size of your household, you can base the amount depending on the size of your house itself. Listed in the table below, we have included information regarding the amount of solar panels you may need depending on how many bedrooms your house caters for. In addition, we have also included the recommended solar panel system size depending on the size of your house:

 

How many solar panels do I need to power my house?
House size Recommended number of solar panels required (250W) Recommended solar panel system size 
1 bedroom house 2 to 4 solar panels Less than 2000 kWh
3 bedroom house 4 to 6 solar panels 2000 to 4000 kWh
4 or 5 bedroom house 7 to 9 solar panels 4000 to 6000 kWh
Over five bedroom house 10 to 15 solar panels 6000 to 8000 kWh

 

The numbers listed in the table above only serve as a guideline. We understand that properties come in all different shapes and sizes, which can significantly impact the amount of solar panels you may be able to install on your roof.

 

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need Summary

Sadly, due to a variety of contributing factors, there is no easy or quick method that will tell you how many solar panels you will need to power your home if you change to solar energy. Factors including: how many people live in your home, the size of your property, how much sun exposure your roof receives, the available roof space on your property, and the amount of electricity your household uses will all contribute to the amount of solar panels you may need. Additionally, the type of solar panels you choose as well as your budget will also impact the final costs.

However, to give you a general idea of how many solar panels you will need based on average statistics, a household of:

 

  • 1 to 2 people: Will require 12 solar panels for energy generation, which will take up 19.2m² of your roof space.
  • 3 to 4 people: Will require 16 solar panels for energy generation, which will take up 25.6m² of your roof space.
  • 4 people: Will require 20 solar panels for energy generation, which will take up 32m² of your roof space.
  • 5 people or more: Will require 24 solar panels for energy generation, which will take up 38.4m² of your roof space.

 

If you are looking for more specific numbers, or further information, then why not get in touch with Effective Home. We will put you in contact with our solar experts who can provide you with specific information regarding your current circumstances.

Let's calculate how much you can save

Justine Effective
Read more articles...