Solar panels in 2022 are far more efficient than they ever have been. And even sweeter, they are less expensive now than ever. And it is entirely possible to generate enough power with solar panels to power your home.
Often, this question comes up when somebody is wondering about powering their home during an extended power outage. The real trick to running an entire house on solar panels without any help from the power company is to have sufficient battery capacity at hand.
Your initial step to energy independence is to figure out how much electricity you currently use during an average month. You could do this through an energy audit, but the fastest and less expensive route is to look at your past utility bills. Your utility bill will tell you how much power you consumed for each month of the year.
If your goal is to be independent of the utility, or "off-grid," as we say, then you will need to plan to generate and store enough electricity for your peak use month.
Once you have this information, you and your solar consultant can determine how many panels you need to provide sufficient electricity for your home. More importantly, you can decide on how much battery backup capacity you will need.
See your estimated: System Wattage Size, Number of Solar Panels, and Roof Space Required!
A solar panel system can deliver as much energy as you need, but there is no reason to pay for a bigger, more expensive system than is necessary.
You can learn a lot about how much electricity you need and where you might be wasting electricity. During the energy audit, pay special attention to the appliances that demand the most electricity. These appliances would likely heat or cool things in your home. Some examples are air conditioning, electric heating, cooking, and refrigeration. You might find upgrading these appliances to be the most cost-effective.
The Three Different Types Of Solar Panel Installations
In most circumstances, you can choose three basic types of solar panel systems. Your system can be
2. Grid-paired with a whole-house battery.
3. Completely off-grid with a whole-house battery backup.
Here's a brief description of each of these types of solar systems:
With a grid-paired system, the homeowner uses the roof's solar system to augment or assist the power company. Pairing the home solar system with the energy grid is the most common solar panel configuration in the United States. With this configuration, your solar panels usually produce only part of the electricity you use. However, because your system will be tied into the Texas's power grid, your home will draw electricity from the utility grid when your panels cannot generate all the necessary power. Also, when your panels produce more electricity than you can, your system will send power back into the grid.
If you are a utility customer that provides net metering, you will get paid back for the electricity you send to the grid.
A grid-paired system is the least expensive solar configuration available. The most common reason homeowners choose a grid-paired system is because it lowers their electricity cost. The problem with a grid-paired system is that they are in the dark at night like everybody else when the grid goes down. This type of system can produce electricity during the day, but it would not be able to help you at night time. And you need a special additional "disconnect switch" to use it during the day. There is no storage capability with a grid-paired system.
GRID-TIED WITH WHOLE-HOUSE BATTERY STORAGE
Solar with battery configuration is becoming much more popular as we experience more power outages, and grid failures are becoming more common. In the future, we will probably see this configuration in most new solar panel installations. With this system, you would have batteries in your home that will store the excess electricity that your solar panels produce.
These batteries would store this electricity until you need to draw on it during you can't produce electricity - such as during the nighttime. If your system is configured correctly, you would never need to draw electricity from the utility. Of course, the world is not perfect, and there will be cloudy days when your system is not running at peak performance (cloudy days, heavy snow). During these days, you might need to draw some electricity from the utility.
Homeowners have their choice of how big of battery storage they purchase, which would impact how much electricity they can use during lower production periods.
This configuration is the ultimate type of solar array configuration. It is most often used in remote locations outside the power company's coverage. Unlike the first two options, this type of system is not connected to the power grid at all. Off-grid systems are more expensive because you would need to have a battery bank sufficient in size to power your home for 24 hours a day. Batteries for such a configuration are costly.
However, solar battery technology is constantly advancing.his configuration is the ultimate type of solar array configuration. It is most often used in remote locations outside the power company's coverage. Unlike the first two options, this type of system is not connected to the power grid at all. Off-grid systems are more expensive because you would need to have a battery bank sufficient in size to power your home for 24 hours a day. Batteries for such a configuration are costly.
Four Major Components Of A Solar System
The four major components of a residential solar panel system include the solar panels, the inverter, the breaker box, and the battery bank. Solar panels have become more efficient, and the costs of these components have also dropped in the last few years.
The same is true with whole-house batteries. Including sufficient battery storage will increase the cost of your system significantly. But even with that added cost, you will be buying peace of mind, and the cost of your electricity during the life of your system would probably be a fraction of the cost of continuing to purchase that same electricity from the power company.
It would safe to assume a 25 to 30-year life of your solar panel system and most solar panels have warranties that run that long. The warranty typically includes solar panels, inverters, and installation. However, batteries are different as they do not last that long. Therefore, it is not unusual that you would need to replace your batteries at about the halfway point of the life of your panels.
hope this has given you a good foundation to decide what kind of solar system is best for your home. Solar panels on your Texas roof would be your "mini power generation plant." You will own this power plant - it will be part of your home.
Producing your power can provide peace of mind, increased home value, a cleaner environment, and lots of electricity that is produced by only using sunlight as its fuel.
A typical cost for a solar system that would service a 1500-2000 square foot house might fall in about $20,000 - $25,000 (an example, not a quote). Financing that solar system would be the only cost to producing electricity for your home.
However, purchasing electricity monthly from utility would probably be a multiple of that amount over the next 25 years. So even if the system ended up costing you $25,000, that's all you would ever pay for electricity.
I hope that this has given you a good foundation so you can make a decision on what kind of solar system is best for your home. Solar panels on your Texas roof are your own mini power generation plant. You will own this power plant - it will be part of your home.
Producing your own power will provide peace of mind, increased home value, a cleaner environment, and lots of electricity that is produced by only using sunlight as its fuel.
Solar panels are an excellent choice for energy independence in your Texas home! If you are interested in living in a solar-powered home, check out our free quiz to see if your home is a good fit for solar panels here, We would love to help you get started on your solar panel journey!