Author Archives: Jacob Marsh

About Jacob Marsh

Jacob is a researcher and content writer at EnergySage, where he's an expert on current issues–and new technology!–in the solar industry. With a background in environmental and geological science, Jacob brings an analytical perspective and passion for conservation to help solar shoppers make the right energy choices for their wallet and the environment. Outside of EnergySage, you can find him playing Ultimate Frisbee or learning a new, obscure board game.

residential solar panels

Solar panels for home: expert guide to residential solar panels

Over the past decade, home rooftop solar use has exploded around the country as home solar becomes a very popular investment. Homes and businesses across the country are transitioning away from a fossil-fueled electricity grid towards a clean energy economy, driven by a need to reduce emissions in a time of global climate change. Amidst this period of energy reform, rooftop solar panel systems for houses are taking off at a remarkable rate. It’s time to give residential solar the credit it deserves.

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monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panels

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels: what you need to know

When you evaluate solar panels for your photovoltaic (PV) system, you will encounter two main categories of panel options: monocrystalline solar panels (mono) and polycrystalline solar panels (poly). Both types of panels produce energy from the sun, but there are some key differences to be aware of.

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types of solar panels

Types of solar panels

Most of the solar panel options currently available fit in one of three types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline (also known as multi-crystalline), and thin-film. These solar panels vary in how they’re made, appearance, performance, costs, and the installations each are best suited for. Depending on the type of installation you’re considering, one option may be more suitable than the others.

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how many solar panels

How many solar panels do I need for my home?

We estimate that a typical home needs between 20 and 24 solar panels to cover 100 percent of its electricity usage. The actual formula to find out how many solar panels you need can be found by the system size divided by the production ratio, divided by panel wattage.

The actual number you’ll need to install depends on factors including geographic location, panel efficiency, panel rated power, and your personal energy consumption habits. Importantly, the number of solar panels you need for your home directly impacts the price you pay for solar. While the answer isn’t always simple, we’ve put together some example cases to help you understand, at a high level, how many solar panels you need to install an effective solar array.

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