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What size solar system do I need?

Solar System: Choosing the Right Size

From using less plastic items to upcycling, recycling to renewable energy, the interest in eco-friendly living has skyrocketed among Australians in recent years. If you are keen to jump into the solar bandwagon, your research might have made you question several things like - what solar power system you should get? What is the cost of solar PV system installation? Where should you locate the solar panels? What size solar system do you need? And many more.

To make things simpler for you, we have created a handy guide in this article to help you choose the right solar system size for your home. If you need advice or need to talk to our Gold Coast solar technicians, give us a call on 1300 029 795 .

Factors to consider for Solar PV System installation

If you want to determine the right size of the solar power system to install, you need to take into account:

  • Your budget for the solar power system
  • Your household's current electricity usage

What is your average electricity usage?

You can’t choose the right system unless you analyse your electricity usage.

One way to figure this out is by analysing your electricity bill for the last few quarters. This should tell you how much electricity you have consumed in the last year and from that you can deduce your average daily usage. Your electricity bill might also have a graph on the back of the bill describing your average energy usage. If you have a smart meter, you can see your daily usage on the bill or your online account.

Solar panels

Factors that affect electricity consumption include:

  • Size of the household
  • Housing type
  • Lifestyle
  • Energy use for large appliances like the dishwasher, washing machine, pool, dryer etc.
  • Electricity, gas or both
  • Time you spend in your home

When do you use your electricity?

Another thing to consider is the times (day/night, weekdays/weekends) when you use maximum electricity.

  • Do you use electricity more on weekends than weekends?
  • Is your electricity consumption more during the day or night?
  • Do you use more electricity in summer or winter for the running aircon or heater?

With this simple analysis, you should be able to understand the electricity you consume each day, the peak usage time, and the days.

Typical electricity usage by Australian households

The average Australian household consumes 18kW of electricity per day. If you use 18 kWh of electricity per day and consume half of it during the day then your solar system should be able to generate 9kWh per day. In this case, a 3kW system should be sufficient.

Note : These are rough estimates and our accredited solar installers can work out the right sized solar PV system based on your specific requirements.

Choose a solar system that meets your daytime electricity requirements

A 1kW solar PV system produces 4kWh to 5kWh of energy per day. Solar energy is best if you consume it directly when it is produced. It should be able to generate enough electricity to meet your daytime electricity requirements.

If your electricity consumption is between 20kWh - 30kWh per day, a 5kW solar PV system would be a cost-effective option. This sized solar system would produce enough energy to meet your electricity usage and also not waste too much solar energy by exporting it back to the grid. A 10kW solar installation can be beneficial if you are home most of the time during the day or you are considering storing excess solar energy by using a solar battery.

Choosing a large solar PV system can also help you in the long run provided you have the money plus the roof space. Solar is a significant investment and choosing a large system can help you meet your future needs and help you earn more money with the help of feed-in tariffs.

Solar Battery Storage

Solar PV systems do not automatically come with battery storage systems. If the power generated by your solar system throughout the day is not used in your home it is fed back into the grid system. If you want to go off-grid or want high energy independence (especially in winter), battery storage can help. Plus if you have excess energy, you can store it to use after the sun goes down or during overcast and rainy days instead of selling it back to the grid.

What to consider before you install a Solar PV System?

Roof space - most homes have enough roof space to support some solar panels. Your solar technician will be able to work out the best way to install the panels on the roof.

Orientation - solar panels need to face north to maximise electricity generation. However, it is not always possible to install panels facing the north so a mix of panels facing east and west can generate electricity during the morning and late afternoon.

Talk to our Gold Coast CEC Accredited Solar Installers

If you have any questions or need to organise a solar technician to attend to your home or workplace, give us a call on 1300 029 795 or complete our online solar enquiry form .