An increasing number of people are investing in solar energy. This is exciting for the world of renewable energy, as it means more people are contributing to green, environmentally friendly, energy. It’s beneficial to the planet, but also to our bank accounts, as the energy produced is free and the payback period is relatively short. However, it is also important to know how much solar power you need per square foot before you install.
When we talk about solar panels, we usually refer to the power produced in watts (w), kilowatts (kw) or kilowatts per hour (kwh). An example of this in context would be that the average household requires a 3-4kw system in order to produce enough electricity to keep the home powered.
Now, a 3kw system will need to be around 226 sq. ft. This may sound quite large, but when we put it into a different measurement, it only comes out at 15ftx15ft. This will easily fit on most rooftops in the UK. Each of the individual solar panels in the system will be around 17 sq. ft., and will have an optimal output of around 345w.
What this means is that each of the solar panels will provide you with an average output of 20w per sq. ft. Over the course of a year, this will equate to your 3kw system providing a total output of around 121kwh per sq. ft., or a total of 2,550kwh.
The output of the solar panels that are installed on your roof will depend on the size of the system that you have installed, as well as its efficiency, and the direction in which the panels face. If you want to get the most from your solar panels, they should be facing south and at an angle of 32 degrees.
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The Cost of Solar Panels Per Square Foot
It is actually a little tricky to determine how much solar panels will cost you per square foot. This is because there are several factors that can affect the overall cost. Some of these things are:
However, it is possible to provide a rough calculation of the cost per square foot using average figures. Please note that the figure used below incorporate the cost of installation, additional equipment, warranty, and certificate costs.
A 2kw system will cover a total of around 150 sq. ft., and the price of a mid-range system would be around £2,775 in total. This means that the system would cost a total of £18.50 per square foot. If we take the same formula again for a 3kw system, we can estimate that it would cover around 225 sq. ft., and cost around £5,000.
This would work out to be around £22.12 per square foot. We can also apply it to a 4kw system. This would cover around 301 sq. ft., and would cost around £7,000. As a result, the cost per square foot would be around £23.26.
Solar Panel Size Per KWH
Solar panels work by absorbing light and converting it into electricity. As a result, it makes sense that the more surface area that solar system covers, the more sun they can absorb, and the more electricity they can create.
You can expect the average solar panel array to produce between 9 and 11kwh per sq. ft. every year. This means that if you have a 1kw system that covers 86 sq. ft., you will be able to use around 850kwh of electricity per year. On the other hand, a 4kw system that takes up 301 sq. ft. will allow you to benefit from around 3,400kwh of electricity each year.
Advantages of Solar Energy
- It’s a renewable energy source. This means it will not run out (at least, not for another 5 billion years or so). It is also a clean source of energy, so does not cause pollution.
- It reduced your electricity bills. The electricity generated by solar panels is technically free as you do not pay for it, reducing the cost of your monthly or annual energy bill. Plus, you can sell the surplus energy back to the grid, and sign up for the Feed-in Tariff scheme.
- It has diverse applications. It can be used to generate electricity, but also for heating. It can be used in areas that don’t have access to the National Grid, and to distill water in regions with limited clean water supplies.
- There are low maintenance costs. The panels don’t require much maintenance aside from a quick wash a couple of times a year. They last around 50 years, and the warranties tend to cover around half of that time.
- Constant development. One of the great things about solar technology is that there is constant research and development going on to make them more efficient, effective, and lighter. Plus, it helps to keep the price lower than before, with increasing rates of efficiency and decreasing prices.
Are There Risks?
Solar panels actually tend to be quite low risk because they don’t have any moving parts, aside from a small inverter. This tends to be the part that may need replacing at some point. Plus, they have great lifespans and warranties.
One of the important things to remember is that you should always use an MCS accredited installer, as not doing so could risk poor installation and also void your warranty. MCS accredited installers know what they are doing and will ensure it is installed to industry standards, as well as providing you with a guarantee.
Without MCS installation, you will also not be eligible for the Feed-in Tariff should you want it any point. As a general rule, you should also get at least three quotes before you go to make your decision with regards to who you will use.
Want to Know More?
Have you found yourself interested in solar panels? If you want to know more then make sure you head to our marketplace where you can find our full range of products, each with the relevant information. Or simply give us a ring using the number at the top of this page and have a chat.
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