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of the Solar System
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Sizing a system is a
fairly complex task with abundant room for errors. Thus, it is a good
place for a professional.
A professional starts
by looking at your existing home's electrical consumption based on
historical records and any new additions to your load. He/she uses a
projected load for a new home. The professional then weighs your
electrical consumption against solar needs to determine the size of your
The size of your
electric system depends on
varies from one region of the world to another. The more sunlight you
receive, of course, the more electricity you can generate. Texas has more
than adequate sunlight to make a solar system feasible.
Check to see that you
Examine your utility
bills to get an average use of electricity during the year. The size of
the system is based on an estimated demand to which you should add some
There are two ways to
size your system:
1. Work from your
2. Work backwards
from your budget.
Check your estimates
with a professional. You will get an estimate of the amount of energy that
the system will produce on an annual or monthly basis. Because the amount
of energy depends on so many
variables, the contractor will probably not quote a specific figure but
will give you a range. A range of plus/minus 20% is realistic.
Don't forget energy
efficiency to lower electrical needs. Find creative ways to stop energy
One last thing: Add
some capacity. Most people either underestimate their electricity
needs or they begin to use more electricity when it is either
"free" or reduced in price. Adding capacity is particularly
important if you are living "off grid."
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Note: The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers or other participants and do not necessarily reflect the position of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of a health, legal, or other professional whose expertise you might need to seek.