Solar panels are increasingly being installed by homeowners who are worried by rising electricity costs, and who want a system that both cuts their bills and produces greener energy. We explain what you need to know before installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on your roof..
To size your solar panel system you need to work out how much electricity you use and when you use it. As a guide, a typical home uses 20kWh of energy a day. A 5kW solar system would meet most of the daytime power needs of such a home.
The power output of your whole solar system matters more than the size or number of panels. The higher each panel's nominal power rating (and actual power output), the fewer panels you'll need (or the more power you'll generate). If you have plenty of roof space, you might find it more economical to buy cheaper panels with lower efficiency and just use more of them. The panels in our solar panel reviews are each about 1.6 square metres in area, but they vary in length, width and power output.