Your Questions About Solar Panels

William asks…

How much solar panels would I need to power up our whole house?

We are considering buying and installing solar panels on our house… I don't know how much it'll cost us. Anyone knows where I could find a free quote? Thanks

ssadmin answers:

Unfortunately without knowing your energy usage it is impossible to give an estimate on total system costs for a solar electric system. You can find out more about sizing your system by reading this article.


-Dave C.

Mandy asks…

How many solar panels do you need to run a house?

How many solar panels do you need to run an air conditioned house? To be exact, an 3,4000 square foot house? And how much would the total cost be?

ssadmin answers:

My guess is that your real interest is in saving money? If you are thinking long term, solar electricity can save money if you live in a suitable area. It does not have to run the entire house. A modern system will work side-by-side with the normal power you use today, so whether the solar displaces 10% of your electricity or 100%, you can still save money.

The only way to get an accurate estimate of the financials is to ask a solar installer for a quote. Prices of systems vary widely depending on how much power you want, and the local price of labor.

Sandra asks…

How many solar panels does it take to run an A/C unit? Also, How many batteries in an array?

I was wondering how many 700 W solar panels it would take to run a household A/C unit. Also curious how many batteries it would take to keep A/C running in inhospitable environments. Would a 3500 W inverter be enough if it were to run 220 AC?

ssadmin answers:

Here we are doing the math of two facts to multiply or divide, to find the third, and you don't give enough to make up the equation!

My 2.5 ton unit needs 220 VAC at 5 KW for the heater coils, and 3.5 KW for the cooling and fans, but, in electricity, we are always having to discriminate between inductive loads (transformers, oven coils, heater coils) and other uses, like lncandescent lighting.

To run my HVAC unit, in my 1,000 square foot home, would demand a10KW unit, and the 5200 watt (5500 watt Surge rated)
would not work. A generator simply stalls out under load, possibly smokes the generator electrics, while a solar unit and batteries can reverse potential under severe load, and explode!
The surge rating for my HVAC unit is 3X higher, (the Switching Load), for either heating or cooling. When figuring out the generator load for an emergency generator, for warranty purposes, they demand we install a generator with a ‘surge' power rating triple the start-up load of our equipment, and that is the way to try to load your Solar panel, also!

Now, go to the hardware store, and get a booklet or pamphlet about emergency power generation, and look at the descriptions of the generator start up power capabilities for the ‘switching loads'!

Sharon asks…

I heared installing solar panels on my new roof to heat my pool would void my warranty is this true?

I just want to make sure I was well informed, thanks for any input. If anyone knows of other options to heat my pool with out solar panels please let me know. I should let you know that I do not have enough space nor want panels on my yard either.

ssadmin answers:

Warranty on roof or pool?
Consult manufacturer or vendor or installer for warranty info

Laura asks…

How many solar panels do I need to run a 1500w ceramic heater?

I want to heat a room that is 20″ by 16 “. I have a 1500w ceramic heater and a 12v battery. How many solar panels would i need to heat the room?
and what size panels

ssadmin answers:

Fred k is right – far too many. And you probably need to buy an inverter too – a 1500w one isn't cheap, also need to buy more batteries. A much more efficient way to use solar to heat you house is to use solar heat collectors (they are more efficient than PV cells). But then you would need some kind of mass to store the heat in until you needed it.

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