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How Many KWH Can 14 Solar Panels Make

How Much Electricity will Solar Panels actually Make?

From the view of the nearest sidewalk a 14 PV panel solar system may not look huge, but the kwh output could surprise you. For houses which are already energy efficient and not surrounded by shade, this size system will make an impact. Looking at the math involved and assuming a solar panel rating of 200 watts per panel, that would mean a 2.8kW system. In most locations, that could produce between 350-500 kwh per month. That is substantial amounts of clean energy which will make you happy when the electric bill arrives. Take a look at what a 2.8 kw system of solar looks like:

14 solar panels

For many residential houses, the south and south-west angles that these solar panels need to have is not going to be an eye-sore, and even if a neighbor complains, ask them if they are worried about their carbon footprint. By decreasing the demand on electricity from the local electric company, every solar house is doing the neighbors a big favor.
During the summer months it should be expected that the solar panels will be making more electricity compared to winter months, that you should have already guessed. Some people do clean their solar panels with water occasionally but that is really not necessary.

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Heating Water with Solar Panels

solar hot water panels

Finding ways to heat up your water is not a brand new way of thinking.  In several cities across the United States, you will find solar hot water systems in use all over the town, and there is very good reason for this.  Solar hot water saves incredible amounts of money.  Solat Hot Water is a very efficient solar technology, much more efficient when compared to solar electricity, especially when you compare the upfront costs and then compare that to the dollar savings in energy costs.

Apartment Buildings Utilizing Solar Hot Water

In the picture above, you can see that on the rooftop of this 50 plus unit apartment building are many very large solar hot water panels.  These panels are able to heat up all of the hot water needs for over 100 people all year long.  A large scale solar hot water system can provide incredible savings when it is looked at over many years.  The return on investment for solar hot water is comparable to an investment that pays for itself completely in less than 6 years.  Because a well maintained solar hot water system can last for well over 20 years, the overall investment is going to be very hard to beat in today’s economy.  And what could be better than having solar hot water also be promoted as a green technology that is helping the environment too.

If you are looking to add solar hot water to your house, but want to know if it might be better to install solar electric panels instead, don’t think about this too long.  In nearly all cases in the United States right now the solar hot water solution will be your best bet.

Read more about this topic of solar energy here:  Solar Hot Water Systems

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How To Calculate Solar Panels For Daily Electricity Use

calculating solar

So often people ask me how to begin figuring out how much money a PV solar panel system is going to cost.  Come on, it is by far the most common question asked on this website and it has been for over two years now which is how long the site has been around.  So, let’s take a moment and talk about how you can figure out your solar system’s expected costs once again.  The math is really quite simple.

Steps for Calculating Solar Costs to Meet Electric Needs:

Step 1:  Figure out how many kilo watt hours or KWH’s of electricity your house uses on an annual basis.

Step 2: Take that annual number and divide it by 365 days to figure out your average daily kwh use for your home.  Hopefully this number will be something that is less than 50kwh per day.  If you are using more than that, you are consuming more electricity than the average household which is fine, but you should also be thinking of ways to conserve energy if possible.

Step 3: Now, we need to calculate the average hours of sunlight you have in your local area per day each year.  You can use the solar sunlight data page to figure this out.

Step 4: Now that you have some of the main math figures, we can begin calculating exactly how many solar panels you can expect to 100% eliminate your electric bill.

Start with your daily kwh usage number.  We will call that “X”

Next, let’s call your daily sunlight figure “Y”

So,  X/Y= Average KWH Use Divided By Sunlight hours.

That new number is going to be “Z”.  Which represents how many kwh the solar system must produce each hour it is working.

Let’s assume for example that Z= 10 kwh.  That means the system must produce 10 kwh each hour that it has sunlight each day.  That would create enough electricity to eliminate your electric bill and allow you to run on solar alone.  But still, we need to figure out how many solar panels that would be.

Step 5:  If we need to produce 10kwh (10,000 watt hours) each hour we still need to know how many watts each solar panel can produce.  If each 200 watt PV solar panel produces 160 watts of electricity after energy loss is factored in, we can do the math of 10,000/160 to figure out how many solar panels we might need.  This would equal 62 solar panels.

NOTE: Your numbers are likely to be different because your home’s sunlight hours and also your homes annual electricity use numbers are different.  But, the formula above is what you need to use to gain an understanding of how many solar panels are required to eliminate your energy bill.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact




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Just Little Solar Energy in Dallas, Texas

Solar Energy has most definitely not hit it off big yet in many parts of Texas.  That is surely the case for one of the largest cities of Dallas.  During a recent visit to Dallas, it became clear after flying over parts of the city that they were not nearly as progressive with putting up solar panels on buildings compared to cities like Austin and even Houston.

Take for example a building which was located very near to the airport.  It appears to have a great flat roof with  absolutely no obstructions to the sunlight, yet there is not a single solar panel installed to produce electricity.  Here is a picture of the Dallas, TX building which needs to have solar panels installed:  building that needs solar panels in Dallas, TX

To the defense of many of the residents and businesses in the Dallas, TX area, there is a very good chance that the lack of solar panels is not because of anything other than economics.  Although the price of labor and solar panels has decreased in Texas over the past five years, the solar investment is still often out of reach for most homeowners and businesses which leads to in-action on solar project ideas.  Another very important factor is the differences that exist even within states in terms of the prices end users pay for electricity.  KWH(kilo watt hour) prices can vary considerably even just a few hundred miles from one spot to another within a large state such as Texas.  When the price of electricity is relatively cheap, it can make the financial case for a solar system even worse.

Hopefully someday in the near future, the price of solar panel will be so perfect, that all of the residents and businesses in Dallas, TX will be utilizing the sunlight in a much more self sustaining way compared to right now.

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Solar Panels Made For Farms

ground standing tilted solar panels

32 solar panels ground mounted at a farm

Farms all over the United States are going green with solar panels these days.  Not only are farmers having to pay through the nose for the high prices of electricity, but overall commodity prices are increasing for most of the other items that farmers need.  But, many of them, like the farmers in these pictures have found some ways to cut corners and reduce their costs on the energy consumption side, while thinking long term too.  The solar industry has been focused on the local farmers for many years, this is nothing new.  With the simple fact that farmers often times are in need of power and electricity that is far away from any electric panel, many farmers developed off grid solar systems to meet their energy needs years ago.

Today, things have become even easier for small and large farmers to cash in on sunlight and the solar electricity it produces, with the invention of grid connected solar panel systems, you don’t even need batteries anymore to make your own power on your farm.  The solar panels from these pictures are actually grid connected PV solar systems.  They simply collect the sunlight all day long, and as you can see there is absolutely no shade to worry about, and they feed the energy back into the electric meter.  When the property is producing more electricity than they are consuming, the meter spins backwards.  The opposite is true when they use more power than they are making.  Overall, the reality of farming is that electricity is needed to run a farming operation in this modern world, and with an abundance of sunlight, farms are an ideal place to have solar panels.


rural solar panels

32 solar panels on the ground


The ground mounted solar system option utilized on this farm works very well for two reasons.  The first reason is the angle these panels have towards the sun is ideal because they are situated at a south-west direction towards the sun.  Also, the angle of these solar panels is setup perfectly and adapted to the ground mounting hardware racks, so the panels can sit at approximately 22 degrees and face the sun at the same time.  This is a 32 panel solar system, and its about 5.4kw in size, so it will be producing a sizable amount of kilo watt hours each month, but not all productive systems need to be this large.




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Texas Solar

Case Study:  Solar Energy House in Texas

This study is going to review what the expected solar panel costs will be for a medium sized home solar electric system in the state of Texas.  We will look at the system costs, incentives available, expected electricity amounts, and some other variables that are common to a prospective solar energy buyer.   If you have any questions, please be sure to leave a comment and I will answer you right away.

You can look at the picture below to get a feel for what this actual solar panel system might look like if it were installed on your roof.

Equipment for this solar system:

  • 24   180 watt PV solar modules
  • 1 SunnyBoy inverter
  • 1 DC disconnect switch
  • some cables and wiring
  • 1 Unirac mounting system to place the solar panels on the roof

The total cost for the solar panels and hardware for the system  is usually around $19,000

The expected labor costs for this system could be anywhere from $4,000- $6,000 depending on what  company you decide to work with for installing your system.

texas solar

4.32 kW solar panel system

Texas Solar Rebates and Incentives for solar panels:

much of the incentives depend on your local utility company in Texas

  • Sunset Valley residents can receive up to $3,187.50 per solar system
  • Statewide solar production program allowing for $0.27 / kwh produced more information on this program can be found on this website about the solar program
  • Austin Residents can receive a $2.50 per AC watt rebate up to $15,000 more info on this program is located here on the Austin power website
  • Bryan Texas Utility customers can look forward to a solar panel incentive of up to $2.00/watt AC or $6,000, whichever is less.  more information on this program is found at the Bryan site.
  • Entergy Utility customers can make use of a $2.50/ watt with a maximum of $25,000 solar incentive, with more information here:
  • Texas New Mexico Power Company customers have a solar incentive program too.  They are offering a rebate in the amount of $2.00/DC watt up to $20,000.  there is more info here:

Federal Tax Credits that All Texas Solar Panel Projects Can Make Use of:

The 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit is something that everyone can make use of.  This is a tax credit you can take for 30% of the total cost of your solar panel system.

Expected Electricity Output of a 4.32 kW solar panel system in Texas:

  • Austin Texas Solar Electricty from 4.32kW system: 572 kwh per month
  • Abilene Texas Solar Electricity from a 4.32kW system: 617 kwh per month
  • Amarillo Texas Solar Electrity from a 4.32kW system: 628 kwh per month
  • Corpus Christi Texas solar electricity from 4.32 kW System: 528 kwh per month
  • Fort Worth Texas solar electricity from 4.32kW solar system: 583 kwh per month
  • Houston Texas solar electricity from a 4.32kW  solar system: 517 kwh per month
  • San Antonio solar electricity from a 4.32kW solar system: 583 kwh per month
  • Waco Texas solar electricity generated from a 4.32kW solar system: 583 kwh per month

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Amount of Electricity PV Panels Make Annually In Chicago

How Much Electricity Will PV Solar Make In Chicago Each Year?

Calculating the electricity output of solar PV panels is very important and should be looked at and discussed with your PV installer prior to making any decisions.  Photovoltaic panels can produce high amounts of electricity, but there are also many ways that they can lose efficiency and then lose output and value too.

Chicago, IL and Solar Potential

Chicago is one of the cities that is growing rapidly right now with solar power projects.  There has been many different initiatives from the local and state government to promote clean energy and the residents are taking notice.  Still though, everyone needs to pay attention to the science of PV solar and needs to understand the limitations and the expectations that solar can provide.

Estimated Electricity Production from PV in Chicago:

Calculating the electricity production numbers requires an understanding of the average sunlight hours per day each year in any given area.  For Chicago that amount is about 4.8 average hours of sunlight per day per year.

If we look at one average size solar panel of 180 watts DC, we can now calculate the expected electricity.

Here is the math equation to calculate Electricity Production from PV in Kilowatt Hours:

180 watt DC * 4.8 = 864 watts DC each day

After a 15% electricity loss in converting to AC(Alternating Current) the above amount equals: 734 watt hours.

So in one day, 1 solar panel would produce about .734 kwh

Over the course of a year, this would equal = 267 kwh each year.
Summary of Solar Panel Electricity Each Year in Chicago:

One 180 watt solar panel can produce about 267 kilo watt hours (kWh) per year in Chicago, IL.


Chicago, IL PV solar electricity

PV Solar panels in Chicago, IL

Posted in Illinois, Pictures0 Comments

Solar Power For Apartments

Solar Apartment Ideas

Much of the population of the United States lives in houses, but there is also a very large percentage of the population who live in apartments as well.  Millions of people actually live in apartments or apartment buildings all over the US.  Usually, the electricity needs and consumption for people who live in apartments is typically less than people who live in houses.  There are several reasons for this, and this is actually a positive feature of apartment living.  When it comes down to living a sustainable future in an apartment, there is sometimes few options for solar panels and producing your own electricity.

Some of the newest apartments to be built in cities like New Orleans and Los Angeles and San Francisco are focusing on solar power to help keep utility company generated electricity consumption low.  This is one of the most progressive ways of thinking, and it looks to be very successful so far.  The common apartment building which is located in an urban area or big city, is often open to direct sunlight all day long.  This is not always the case, but often it is.  Also, newly built apartments are not going to be in need of roof repairs for a very long time.  This is also a very positive thing for solar power.  And most importantly, newly constructed apartments are going to be around for many years.  That is exactly what solar panels like.  They have a very long lifespan, and need to be sitting on a roof that will exist for a long time too.

Benefits of Solar Power for Apartments

  1. Apartment owners can sell the electricity to their tenants
  2. Tenants can make use of clean energy
  3. Property value of the apartments increases with solar power
  4. Apartment owners can make use of solar tax credits
  5. Electricity costs can be hedged with solar panels

Negative Aspects of Solar Power for Apartments

  1. Difficult to figure out how to divide construction costs
  2. Certain solar incentives and rebates might not be available to apartment owners
  3. A direct feed of the solar electricity to the electric panel is sometimes difficult
  4. Cleaning of the solar panels is sometimes not accessible

Solar Power for Public Housing Aparment Buildings

One of the most impressive new initiatives is the growth in solar power for public housing apartment buildings all over the United States.  This is an excellent program for several reasons.  One of those reasons has to do with educating the lower class about the importance of renewable energy sources.  Without educating people about how solar power and renewable energy works, it would be an even harder uphill battle to make real changes around the world.  The second big benefit for placing solar panel systems on public housing is all about the investment.  Sometimes local and state and federal governments just don’t know where to spend their money.  With a solar system, the benefits of clean energy production will last for over 25 years in most cases.  And, there are very little maintenance costs associated with solar energy.  So, by installing solar panels on these apartment buildings, and offering low income people solar, it should be looked at as money well spent.

Below are two pictures of solar panels on apartment buildings:

urban solar panels

solar panel apartment building

PV solar apartment buildings

PV solar panels on an apartment

Posted in Green Energy, Pictures9 Comments