Sizing a solar power system can be as simple as determining the available space for panels. However, it also depends on the homeowner's goals and desired functions, features or outcomes.
There are several factors to consider when sizing a solar power system, including the type of system features, layout of the property and building design, the existing utility service rates, and energy needs.
When it comes to the type of system, homeowners may choose solar for a variety of reasons. For example, off-grid homes require maximum solar power, while power bill reduction works best with smaller systems that only cover average daytime usage. Net-zero systems, on the other hand, are typically large systems that generate as much electricity as they consume per year.
To determine the maximum capacity for a roof-mounted system, we start by measuring the width of the roof and determining how many panels will fit. We also take into account any obstacles, such as pipes or chimneys, that may limit space and affect the layout of the solar array. Ground-mounts are an alternative option when the roof is not suitable, but they are limited by available space and must be located in a wide-open area free of shading.
It is also helpful to size the system based on the needs of the property, in order to fit the application, features or desired goals. This can be determined by reviewing power bills or requesting a month-by-month usage and billing summary from the utility. For new construction or new homeowners, energy requirements can be estimated based on the size of the home, number of occupants, and expected loads.
Overall, sizing a solar power system is a balance between maximizing capacity and matching energy needs. We will work with you to determine the best approach for your specific situation and goals.