Men installing Solar Panels

One of the most effective ways for a household to save money is to reduce energy expenses, and one of the best ways to do that is to switch to solar energy!

But how much does shifting to solar energy really save? Can you safely install solar panels by yourself? What is involved in this kind of project, and is it alright to DIY?

Generally speaking, you can opt for the DIY route. There are many materials on the internet giving information on how to DIY panels. However, it still requires a lot of studies, expertise, and specific equipment.

You may also be risking serious injury as solar panels are usually installed on the roof! So we always recommend using a reputable solar panel company to install your kit.

Going solar is popular nowadays so you can check local operators and compare the cost of labor in order to get a good deal. A good starting point is to go to your browser, find their website and do some online research on what their services include.

Solar Panels on top of a house

How many solar panels do I need for 1kW?

In most cases, solar panels or photovoltaic cells (PV cells) are installed on the roof and you might be worried whether or not they can generate enough kilowatts for your daily needs.

How much power can it produce? 1kW solar panels can produce 1,000 kilowatts per hour on sunny days.

For a 1 kW solar system, you’ll need to install at least 2-3 panels in an array. This can be a good starter for small homes or those who are on a budget and are looking for ways to save cash and reduce their environmental footprint.

Solar Panels

If you have a big household or have lots of energy-hungry appliances, 1kW is probably not enough energy to cover all of your needs. So, what electrical devices can you run on 1,000 kilowatts?

What can you run with 1kW?

One of the reasons why many people are opting to shift to renewables is to be able to go off the grid. But you need to know what appliances you can run using this amount of energy!

A solar panel array with a capacity of 1 kW may generate around 5kWh of electricity each day. This is the maximum amount of energy your installed solar panels produce during peak hours (1000 watts x 5 hours) when it is sunniest outside, provided that your array is oriented correctly to get maximum exposure to the sun.

You might be wondering if this is enough electricity for your air conditioner, laptop, refrigerator, washing machine, and other appliances at home.

The answer is yes – you can run many appliances using the panels on your rooftop!

Appliances

However, there is a catch!

You can’t run these appliances indefinitely since the output of your 1kW solar panels is limited not only by their capacity but also because you need the sun to be shining. At night, you will need to resort to your local electric utility if you do not have batteries in place.

For instance, a typical refrigerator uses around 350-780 watts. If 1kW cells can give 1,000 watts each hour then they will be able to run your fridge during the daytime. It should also be enough so you can use other small appliances like an electric fan, microwave or washing machine.

Washing Machine

Where can you install 1kW solar panels?

Simple solar systems are made up of solar panels, a mounting system, and an inverter with a computerized controller.

Solar Panels on a Roof

The PV panels convert energy from the sun into DC and then the inverter converts it into AC so that it can be used for your home. Excess energy can be stored in batteries and a charge controller prevents it from overcharging.

Many households are still connected to the grid even though they use solar energy so they don’t usually use batteries.

In most cases, solar panels are positioned on the roof. This is to ensure that the cells get the maximum amount of sun exposure. However, this might not be possible for some homeowners.

If so, solar panels can be placed vertically on the walls or even on the ground. In both cases, it is best to make sure that the panels are oriented correctly, usually south-facing, so that you get the maximum power output during the day.

Solar Panels on ground

You can use your browser to do a quick search on the best orientation for your neighborhood.

How do you install 1000 watt solar panels?

Here are some basics on how to install your panels.

Fitting Solar Panels

Try to look for companies that sell a solar kit so that you have all or most of the hardware on hand. This might cost more but will save you time. You can compare the price between brands to stay on budget.

  • Set up scaffolding. Make sure that it is study enough to hold your weight while you work.
  • Next, fix the solar mounts which are used to support the panels. It is best to tilt the mounts 18-36 degrees for optimal sunshine exposure.
  • Set-up the solar panels by attaching to the mounts. Make sure to tighten all the nuts and bolts properly to ensure that the hardware stays stable!
  • Then you’ll need to wire your panels. Turn off your household’s energy supply before wiring using MC4 connectors as they are recommended. Always use cables recommended or supplied by the manufacturer.
  • Connect the system to the battery, if you are using them. A battery (or several batteries) can prevent you from worrying about the lack of electricity when it is cloudy or rainy outside and at night. If you do include them, add in a charge controller to prevent overcharging.
  • Connect the inverter to the consumer unit. You can also opt to set-up a generation meter to track the power output of your panels. It can be connected to your computer or smartphone and you can use it monitor the energy you are generating in real time. Position it in a cool place if possible, so that it works more efficiently. Utility rooms and garages are good spots. If it is being placed outdoors, make sure that it is kept out of the sun.
  • Check the wires and test your installed solar panels, to make sure all is fitted properly and safely.
  • Switch on the system and start using to getting clean and green energy from your panels!
Solar Panel Wires

If this sounds risky and complicated, you can always use your browser to find good PV installers in your area.

How much does installation cost?

The cost will depend on how many panels you are going to fit on your house, and also where you will site them.

The price will also vary due to materials used, components, equipment, wires, and labor, as well as the company you choose to do the work.

Price varies by state too, so make sure to check the installer’s website to find out their costs. A quick browser search will can help you compare between local installers!

Technician installing solar panel

How much money can you save?

Without batteries, you will still rely on your local utility provider for energy at night when the sun is not shining. However, plenty of savings can be had during the daytime!

During the day when your panels are producing at their maximum, you should be able to power your standard household appliances like the refrigerator, meaning you are not spending much money for a big part of the day.

But as always, how much saving you make will depend on how much energy your household uses in general, as well as the size of your array and the amount of sunlight you receive in your area.

Take a look at this page if you want to know how much electricity does a 1kW solar panel produce!

Can you add more panels in future?

Usually yes, but it does depend on the panels you bought and what kit came with it.

Solar Panels

In most cases, more panels can be added. Additional PV panels can be added to your array so that they can be used for powering other appliances.

You may also need to think about battery storage and whether your charge controller will still be suitable in future if you added more panels.

Solar Panels Off Grid House

You should check on your local installer’s website what they say about the cost of adding more solar panels at a later date.

Can you make your home off-grid? 

Yes, you can make your home totally dependent on energy from solar panels but 1,000 kilowatts is not enough to completely light up most households.

As you can see from the example above, a typical fridge alone is enough to use up most of the energy generated by your 1kW array.

To find out how many kilowatts you need per day from your panels, you need to check your current bill for your consumption. Using this, you can quickly calculate what size kit you need to purchase to enable you to go off-grid.

Off Grid

Conclusion

Using solar panels to light up your home is one of the best ways to save our environment. Converting your home means that you are using green energy and cutting carbon emissions.

Starting out by installing 1,000 kilowatts might not seem a lot but imagine the effect if more homes did this. And if you start, the rest of your neighbors may follow your example!

A good place to start is to use your browser to research more about solar panels. We’ve done the research for you, so you can read about the best 1000w solar panels kits and 1000w portable solar generators right now!