Residents in California and Colorado enjoy approximately 300 hours of sunshine every year. What better way to take advantage of that free, natural, and sustainable energy than to tap into it with your solar panels?
That said, if you’ve ever wondered, “Can I run my house on solar power only?” it’s important to assess some key items first. There are several factors that will impact whether you can power your home from the sun’s energy and eliminate your dependence on the grid. To help you answer this question, let’s review the following:
- How much daily electricity you need
- Whether you have a battery system
- The number and efficiency of your panels
- If you live in your home year-round or only part-time
- Climate and seasonal considerations
Of course, before you go ahead with solar panel installation, you’ll want to know that you’ll get a good return on your investment. So, let’s dive deeper into solar panel capabilities and how you could save money on your power bills. You could even make money selling power back to the grid!
Rather speak with trusted solar professionals?
If you’d like to learn more about a solar panel and home battery installation, contact Photon Brothers at (720) 370‑3344 (Colorado) or (805) 351‑3371 (California). We have more than 10 years of experience, a perfect safety record, and we offer a 25-year production guarantee. In addition to arranging your FREE custom estimate, we can answer your questions regarding financing, tax incentives, warranties, and much more.
How Much Daily Electricity You Need
On any typical day in your home, you probably have several lights on, the TV on, kitchen appliances running, and many home devices sitting on standby. If you have a large family, you can add multiple game consoles, phone chargers, laptops, and more.
But do you know how much energy you actually need? By understanding your home’s power demands, you can determine how much energy your solar panels need to produce and how many panels you need.
The easiest way to determine how much power you need is to look at your monthly energy bills. Simply follow the instructions below:
- Locate your latest power bill.
- Look for how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) you used.
- Divide that number by the number of days in that month. This will calculate your daily power consumption in kilowatts.
- Multiply your daily kilowatt-hours by 1,000 to calculate how many watts of power you need.
Solar panels are sold by wattage and most average between 100 – 400 watts. Once you know how much daily wattage your household consumes, you can then begin to assess how many panels can supply your needs.
PRO TIP: Just because a solar panel can technically produce a certain number of watts per hour doesn’t mean that it will. Factors like the solar panel brand, the quality of the panel, and its positioning on your roof will strongly impact the efficiency of your solar system overall. For this reason, we recommend speaking with a trusted solar installer to help you design a customized solar system for your needs and budget.
Whether You Have a Battery System
When the sun goes down and your solar panels no longer have a source to draw energy from, you’ll be switched back to the grid supply. That is unless you have a backup battery system installed. During the day, while your panels are soaking up all that powerful natural energy from the sun, your battery will store any excess. This energy can be drawn during the night, on cloudy days, and if you have a power outage.
Did you know that not using all of the solar energy your panels produce during the day could strain your panels and shorten their lifespan? In addition to giving you an additional power supply, your backup battery can also help improve your panels’ long-term efficiency.
The Number and Efficiency of Your Panels
Like we mentioned above, your panels won’t be producing at 100% efficiency for 100% of the time. Other factors like clouds, time of day, and where the sun sits in the sky will influence how much solar power you can generate. For this reason, it’s crucial to assess the number and efficiency of your panels to truly run your house on solar panels only.
Conventional panels typically produce about 100 watts of power per hour, but while they tend to be cheaper in cost, their efficiency is often lower. This means you’ll need to buy many more panels to make up the difference. Worse, their lifespan is shorter, so you’ll need to replace them sooner.
On the other hand, premium panels tend to provide 300 – 400 watts of power per hour, which means you won’t need as large of a system to cover your daily power needs. Furthermore, improved technology allows them to perform better under heightened conditions like intense sunlight, which is exactly when you want your panels to soak up as much solar energy as possible!
If You Live in Your Home Year-Round of Part-Time
Another factor to consider when choosing solar panels is whether you live in your home year-round or for part of the year. Going off-grid with a huge array of solar panels makes a lot of sense if you live in your home year-round. But what if you only live there part-time? Is it worth it? One thing to consider if you live in your home part-time is that you can sell any surplus energy your panels provide and that you don’t use back to the grid.
Depending on your location and your utility provider, you could qualify for your state’s net metering program. Your solar panel technician will be able to provide you with more details about incentives that apply to your area and specific provider.
Climate and Seasonal Considerations
We get more sun in California and Colorado than in many other U.S. states. This favorable climate makes solar panels an excellent investment for homeowners in these areas. On cloudy and overcast days, your panels will still generate power. Even in the winter, your panels will continue to work perfectly. In fact, solar panels are more efficient in cold weather.
Want to switch to solar power? Contact Photon Brothers!
Call us at (720) 370‑3344 (Colorado) or (805) 351‑3371 (California) to schedule a FREE comprehensive custom estimate. As one of the West Coast’s most trusted solar companies, we’re proud to offer 5‑star quality service and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. In fact, we guarantee your panels will perform at a minimum 90% efficiency after 25 years! Discover how you could use solar panels to power your entire home throughout the year and reap significant energy savings today.