Solar Panels: How much power for self-consumption?

Solar Panels: How much power for self-consumption?

ME Green Team |

Self-consumption with solar panels is an ideal way to save money on your electricity bill. However, for this method to be truly effective, it's essential to know how to calculate the right wattage. In this article, we'll explain how.

What is self-consumption?

  • Self-consumption is simply the proportion of your energy consumption that you generate using your home's solar panels. If you achieve total self-consumption, it means you consume all the energy you produce. However, consuming all your production doesn't mean you're totally independent of the electricity grid. It simply means that you manage not to waste the solar energy you produce.

How to calculate the power required for your photovoltaic panels:

  • To correctly size your solar installation for self-consumption, it's important to take several criteria into account, such as the geographical location of your installation (i.e. the amount of sunshine) and your household's average electricity consumption. In France, the average electricity consumption is 4679 kilowatt-hours per year. Ideally, your solar power system should have the capacity to cover all your electricity needs.
  • In practice, the calculation is a little more subtle, as the solar panels' output will not correspond 100% to your electricity consumption. This is because the modules only produce when the sun is shining. It is therefore advisable to take this into account when estimating the power required.

How many solar panels are needed to power a house?

  • Not all photovoltaic panels have the same power or surface area. To give you an idea, the surface area of a panel is around 1.7 square meters and its power is around 375 watts. Most home installations have a total output of 3, 6 or 9 kilowatts peak. So, for 3 kilowatts peak, you'll need to install 8 panels (14 square meters), for 6 kilowatts peak, 16 panels (27 square meters) and for 9 kilowatts peak, 24 panels (41 square meters).


It's important to remember that consuming your entire production doesn't mean you're totally independent of the electricity grid. It simply means that you can avoid wasting the solar energy you produce. The power required is generally between 3 and 9 kilowatts peak for an individual. You'll need to take into account the amount of sun your home receives and your production potential to determine how much power you'll need. To learn even more about self-consumption, we recommend you consult additional resources.


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