How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

Deciding how many solar panels you need for your home or business can be a challenging task. This is where we, at Symons Energy, step in to offer our expertise and guidance. With the rising need for energy efficiency, and Australia’s commitment to renewable energy, understanding your solar requirements has never been more critical. Recent stats show that more than 2.4 million solar PV installations have been completed across Australia as of 2021.

Factors Determining Your Solar Needs

  1. Energy Consumption

To determine the number of solar panels you need, it’s essential first to understand your energy consumption. Your electricity bill provides a good snapshot of your monthly or quarterly usage.

  1. Solar Panel Efficiency

Solar panel efficiency refers to how much sunlight the panel can convert into usable electricity. Panels with higher efficiency will generate more power and require fewer panels overall.

  1. Sunlight Hours

In Australia, sunlight hours vary from region to region. Cities like Darwin have approximately 8.5 hours of sunlight per day, while Melbourne averages around 4.5 hours. You can find accurate data for your location from the Bureau of Meteorology.

  1. Roof Space

The amount of roof space you have available can also limit the number of solar panels you can install.

  1. Future Energy Needs

Your future energy needs might change with additions to your family or buying more appliances. Considering these factors will help to future-proof your solar panel system.

A Practical Example

Suppose your home uses 18 kWh per day, you have 5 hours of sunlight per day, and you’ve chosen solar panels with an efficiency of 15%. The number of panels you’ll need is calculated as follows:

18 kWh per day / 5 hours sunlight = 3.6 kW required.

3.6 kW / 0.15 (panel efficiency) = 24 square meters of solar panels.

If each panel is 1.6 square meters, you’ll need approximately 15 panels.

This calculation is purely an example and the actual number can vary based on several factors. For an accurate estimate, you should contact us at Symons Energy.

Solar Panel Efficiency: A Closer Look

Solar panels come in a variety of types, including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film, each with its own efficiency rating. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient, converting up to 20% of sunlight into electricity, while thin-film solar panels generally have an efficiency rating of 10-12%.

Choosing high-efficiency solar panels can be particularly beneficial for those with limited roof space. Although they might be more expensive upfront, they generate more power per square foot, meaning you need fewer panels to meet your energy needs. At Symons Energy, we supply a range of high-quality, high-efficiency solar panels that deliver the best value for money in the long run.

Understanding Sunlight Hours

The number of hours of sunlight your property receives can significantly impact how many solar panels you need. For instance, if you’re in a region that receives a large amount of sunlight, you might need fewer panels than someone who lives in an area with less sunlight. The Bureau of Meteorology provides comprehensive data about sunlight hours in different parts of Australia. At Symons Energy, we take these variables into account to offer you the most accurate and efficient solar solution possible.

Anticipating Future Energy Needs

Your energy needs today may not be the same in the future. Anticipating future energy consumption, such as considering the purchase of an electric vehicle or adding an air conditioning unit, will impact the number of solar panels needed. By consulting with us early on, we can help you plan for these changes and ensure your solar power system is designed with enough capacity to meet these future needs.

Getting the Most Out of Your Solar Panels

After determining how many solar panels you need and having them installed, there are several strategies you can use to maximise their benefits. One of the most effective ways is by using a solar battery. Solar batteries store excess energy produced during the day for use during peak usage times or during power outages.

Another useful tool is a smart meter, which provides real-time information about how much electricity you’re using and how much your solar panels are generating. By monitoring your energy usage, you can adjust your habits to make the most of your solar power.

Government Incentives and Rebates

To encourage the adoption of solar energy, the Australian government offers various incentives and rebates. Under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, eligible households can receive Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) which can be sold to recoup a portion of the cost of purchasing and installing a solar panel system. The amount of STCs you receive will depend on the size of your solar power system and your geographical location.

Furthermore, feed-in tariffs are offered by many energy retailers. If your solar system generates more electricity than you use, the excess power is fed back into the grid, and you’ll receive a credit on your electricity bill.

Choosing the right solar panel system can be a complex process, but with our expert team at Symons Energy, we make it simple. We take into account your unique needs and situation to recommend the best solar solution. We’re here to help you every step of the way on your solar energy journey.


Determining the number of solar panels you need is a vital step towards energy efficiency and cost-saving. Our team at Symons Energy is dedicated to making this process as smooth as possible for you. As recognised by the Clean Energy Council, we are committed to providing our clients with industry-leading service and guidance. Our trusted advice is in line with the highest standards set by the Australian Energy Regulator. We’re here to make this process as effortless and straightforward as possible for you.For a precise estimate and expert advice, please get in touch with us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much does a solar panel system cost?

The cost of a solar panel system varies depending on the size and quality of the system. It’s best to request a quote for an accurate figure.

  1. How long will it take to recoup my investment in solar panels?

The payback period can vary, but most Australian households can expect it to be within 3 to 6 years.

  1. Can I store the energy produced by my solar panels for later use?

Yes, with the help of a solar battery, excess energy can be stored and used later.

  1. What happens if my solar panels produce more energy than I need?

Any extra energy your solar panels produce will be fed back into the grid. You’ll be credited for this on your electricity bill in most cases.

  1. Do solar panels work during cloudy or rainy days?

Yes, but their output is reduced. On a heavily overcast day, panels might produce around 10-25% of their rated capacity.

Author : Kosta Symons

Published Date : July, 12 2023

At Symons, we only install panels and batteries we know you will love. Get to learn more about installing solar panels in our blog. Read More.