The energy usage has increased across the globe in recent times. And with that, the energy prices have also gone up. In that case, finding an alternative source to utilize and generate power becomes essential. That’s where solar system comes into play. It is a cleaner way of generating power at lower costs without any emissions. That’s the reason why they are preferred. You can also look for other options if they’re suitable. But there aren’t many who will look for alternate options.
Are you going to use it for residential or commercial purposes? Of course, it’s up to you now. One of their benefits is that you can even export extra energy to the grid. And they’ll pay you in return. So, the investment return may start from the very first day. It doesn’t matter what solar system size you’ve chosen.
One thing every one of us finds hard is to choose its size. Sometimes, the companies want to sell their systems, but they may not suit your home. Be careful while taking this big step. 10kW solar systems have become quite popular in recent times. The reason is their good ROI and better efficiency.
Let’s take a look at what a 10kW solar system does, how much energy you can get from it, and its return on investment.
How Much Power Does a 10kW Solar System Produce?
Do you want to know how much power does a 10kW solar system produce? The answer is 11,000kWh a year. That means you’re going to get around 44kWh per day, which is quite good. But as they say, “size does matter”, area of living does too. If you live in a place where there is more sunlight, the power output will increase. In comparison, if you live in colder areas where the sun doesn’t come out quite often, you may not have that much efficient system. The above figures are for the areas with peak sun hours between 4.5 and 5. However, the case differs for areas with peak sunlight between 3.5 and 4 hours. So, even if you’ve installed a 10kW solar system at two different places, the conditions will decide the power output.
Daylight hours and peak sun hours are two different things. Peak sun hours refer to when the sun is shining at its best. As a result, the power output will increase in those hours. It may relate to your electricity bill as well. For example, if you have a monthly bill of 1250kWh and live in an area where a 1kW solar system generates 2.1kWh per day. So, divide 1250 by 30 and then by 2.1. Thus, you’ll need a 10kW solar system with that much consumption.
A 10kW solar system can power a home with ease. All you need is to ensure the efficient use of power. Since electricity needs may also vary from one country to another, this factor is also crucial. For example, if the weather always remains hot, you must install more air conditioners at home and use them. That’ll require more power than a home with no ACs. So, the efficiency and power output of a 10kW solar system depends largely on the location and energy needs.
Factors Affecting the Power Generation of a 10kW Solar System
Solar panels work well when they get the desired conditions. You can expect dirty panels to produce power. The same is the case with shaded panels. The angle of inclination of panels is another addition to the factors that affect panels’ efficiency. Here are some factors that affect the power generation of a 10kW solar system.
The rooftop inclination angle is an essential factor to consider for homeowners. Some systems have inclination angles between 20 and 30 degrees. At the same time, others have a greater angle of inclination. The former produces less electricity as compared to the latter. So, make sure that you keep an optimum angle while installing the system.
Improper installation of panels does not let them generate the required power. And they degrade faster also. Suitable installation of panels ensures that they are getting the needed sunlight. It would help if you chose an experienced installer to get this job done. Moreover, select a company that offers maintenance checks from time to time. It lets you avoid many issues in the long run.
Have you ever heard of a shade’s impact on a solar panel’s performance? If you haven’t, solar panels convert sunlight into power, which you can use for various purposes. But if there is shading over the panels, they won’t get the required sunlight. As a result, they won’t perform well even in peak sun hours. So, before installation, you must ensure a shadow-free area for panels. And you must also ensure that the site will remain shadow-free for the rest of the year. Or else the performance will keep getting declined.
Over time, dust starts accumulating at the top of the panels, which also impacts heat transfer between panels and sunlight. The cleaning of panels on a regular basis is crucial. If you don’t get to see sun quite often in your area, that’s not your fault. But you can make it better, specifically during snowfall. When it does, it cannot interact with panels because of their snow accumulation. So, cleaning those is another thing you can do to improve the panels’ performance.
The climate conditions influence the efficiency of panels to a large extent. It also involves the installation site of them. You cannot install solar panels anywhere at your home, nor can you do it in any region. It would help if you researched the weather’s impact on your panels’ longevity. For example, hot weather is a good sign for your panels. But have you ever thought about the degradation of panels due to such weather? That would be the worst case.
Humidity also plays a part in decreasing the efficiency of panels. During humid conditions, a minimal layer of water starts forming. As a result, the sunlight doesn’t reach the panels. Won’t that affect the performance of panels? It will for sure. Other factors, such as high winds, can negatively impact their performance.
You can do various things to enhance the efficiency of solar panels. But that’ll require you to either research properly or make specific changes. That’s the only way to make your panels last long enough. Or else, the life of panels may decrease, which is different from what you want.
How Many Solar Panels and Roof Space Do You Need?
Do you know what the wattage of solar panels is? If you don’t, here is what you must know. It is a vital factor in deciding the roof space. If you plan to install 400kW panels, you’ll only need 25 panels for having a 10kW solar system. And if you’ve 300kW solar panels available, you’ll have to install 33 of them. Talking about ideal cases, 25 solar panels are more than enough for this system. You increase the number of panels, you need more roof space.
A 10kW solar system usually needs 450 and 480 sq. feet of roof space. Keep the number of panels, that would benefit you. So, it’s better to have fewer panels as it will maximize the energy as well, which is your ultimate goal.
How Much Does a 10kW Solar System Cost?
Talking about the cost, a 10kW solar system (in the US) is neither cheap nor expensive. You’ve to spend anywhere between $25,000 and $30,000 for that. But this is the amount you can assume before incentives. Even if you get FTC, there will be no such difference in the price. Some countries offer additional solar rebates to customers. As a result, the cost gets minimized. It happens in Asian countries also, like China, that have planned to use renewable energy only. So, they encourage their people to install as many panels as they want, with reduced rates. Australia also makes it to this list.
The cost of a solar system also depends on a few factors. These include the roof type, battery backup, and solar inverter type. Here’s a brief overview of a few of them:
Flat rooftops require more effort to install the system because of their structure than inclined rooftops. But the angle of inclination shouldn’t be much higher. Similarly, if the rooftop is old enough, it may require some repair work before the panels’ installation. That will also increase the cost.
Type of Solar Inverter
You have to install solar panels on the rooftop. So, looking for adaptability must be your core focus. You’ve two options; one is a string inverter, and the other is a micro-inverter. The latter is to be mounted to each solar panel. So, you’ll need as many inverters as the number of panels. On the other hand, one string inverter is enough for all solar panels. But the former has better efficiency. As a result, they can last long enough.
Having a battery backup requires you to pay an extra amount. It increases the overall cost of the system. The size of the battery will decide how much cost you’re going to pay. But battery backup plays a crucial role in case of a power outage.
Does the cost of solar systems keep varying? Yes! Is it worth it? Definitely, once you pay and install a 10kW solar system, you may not have to worry about it for at least 25 years.
Payback Period for a 10kW Solar System
The payback period of something refers to the time it takes to compensate for the price you invested to install the system. For such system, it’s not wrong to say that payback periods vary, may be in between 10 and 20 years. Your location directly impacts the cost, power generation, and how much you can save. And all these factors decide the payback period for your system. Your ROI may also increase if you get more solar rebates. But that is valid for certain states only.
The average homeowner in the US can save up to $150 a month with this system. Interesting, isn’t it? That is about $1800 a year. You may cheer in other ways with that sort of money. And the payback period will also become 10 years, which is fine. So, in any scenario, solar panels will reduce your bill to a large extent. But you can’t exactly tell how much a 10kW solar system will save you. The reason is that it also varies from one state to another. Your electricity bill mainly depends on:
- Power generation of your panels
- Net metering policy
- Cost of electricity
So, you must be wondering what you can do to avoid any change in these. Let us tell you, if you install the same system in two states, that would be worrying for you because your electricity may be more in one state than another. The cost of electricity is solely responsible for this. All in all, you must research how these things work and decide whether to install a 10kW solar system.
Is a 10kW Solar System Right for You?
Still wondering how to choose the size for your solar system? Don’t worry! You can do this by taking a look at your electricity consumption. If your consumption is more than $550 per quarter, a 10kW system will suit you. The reason is that it will decrease your bill to a large extent. And if your consumption is less, you must install an on-grid system. That’ll help you export the extra power to the national grid. As a result, you will get paid in return by the government.
What have we got to do before installing this system? Well, you need to ensure all the above-mentioned factors. Don’t forget to find a professional installer if you find this hard because it’ll be their responsibility to conduct a survey and inform you about how to get it done. So, when are you giving it a try?