How much your solar system will cost depends on various factors and it is not easy to guess. You can follow the three steps below, to estimate how many panels you need. Once you find that, you can calculate your average cost.
Step 1 – How much do you use daily?
First of all, look at your electricity bill for the KWH. Dividing that number by 30 you will find your average daily electricity consumption. For example, if you used 600 KWH last month, that makes 20 KWH daily. If your bills change alot in the course of the year, use the average amount.
Step 2 – How many watts of solar panels do you need?
Divide the number you found for your daily consumption, by the number sunny hours per day, again on a yearly average. And than, multiply it by 1.15. For example, if you get 4 hours of sun daily, dividing 20 by 4, you will find 5 KW (or 5,000 watts, as one KW is 1000 watts). Multiply that by 1.15, and you get 5,750 watts.
The number you found is a very close estimate to how many watts of solar panels will meet your electricity needs. So you need 5,750 watts of solar panels.
Step 3 – Estimate the cost of installing solar panels.
Average cost of your solar power system will amount to around $6 per watt if you install the panels yourself, or $8 -9 if hire someone for the work. In addition, you may need to pay for extra services, such as expert inspection.
You can use the online calculator PV WATTS program .
You may think that this sum is a little bit above your expectations. Even though the costs are decreasing sharply in comparison to previous years, still it can be a big investment to make at once.
But, you can always build affordable solar panels by means of DIY guides. One such guide is Earth4Energy, following which you can build and install your solar panels less than 200 dolars. I’d highly recommend you to visit the webpage and read the testimonials.
Maintanence and repair costs for PV panels are often very low. Most systems have no moving parts and they don’t require much upkeep. One key tip to keep your PV panels longer is to keep their faces clean.