What size off-grid solar system do I need?

The summers in this part of Australia only seem to be getting hotter. But we’re sure you’re also feeling the pinch of electricity bills getting higher too. Why not find a balance to help you take advantage of both of these situations by investing in a custom off-grid solar power solution for your property. Renewable energy sources are quickly growing in popularity across the nation and that’s not just for the environmental benefits. There are government-funded benefits to enjoy even if you invest in a small scale system. You may be wondering where, to begin with your very own system and we have the answers to all the questions you have below. 

Main considerations for the size of your solar system 

There is a lot more that goes into planning for your solar panel system than the sizing. There are external and internal constraints that you’ll need to consider before the design process, and they include the following:

  • How much you’re willing to pay 

Solar systems that take you completely off the grid aren’t exactly cheap to install. You will have to buckle down and really do the work towards deciding if you can afford to make this shift. In some cases, you may discover that you can’t afford NOT to, but this all requires that you sit down with a table of your finances to create the plan you have in mind. You’re welcome to give us a call and we can help you navigate this first step to more efficient and environmentally sound energy. The aim is to build a system that fits perfectly into your target budget while still delivering on your needs. 

  • Technical installation aspects

Off-grid solar systems require a couple of things for them to be a worthwhile investment. That includes ample sunlight, installation space, and the capacity to deliver the energy you need. Your system needs to be as space efficient as possible and by efficient we mean that it also allows for expansion in the future where it is needed. You also need to have enough space, to begin with, to install a system that is able to generate the energy you need to go off-grid. It’ll take more than a couple of metres to install equipment that is able to independently power your entire household. Once you’ve assessed your solar needs and established your approach to design, follow these steps to size a grid-tied solar system. We have a detailed solar system dos and don’ts guide for you to get started with. 

Calculating how many solar panels you need

After coming to an average figure of how much power you typically use in a day, it’s time to compare that to the amount of power needed and the number of panels that can supply that. For simple grid-connected systems, 1kW of solar panels = 4kWh of electricity produced per day. The typical usage in Australian homes is between 15-20kWh. So, a 6.6kW solar system, in ideal conditions, will generate more than 26kWh on a good day. These are only estimated figures and the actual amount of electricity generated per kW can depend on your location, how much sunlight there is, the characteristics of the system, and the placement of the panels, just to name a few. 5kW solar systems often have up to 20 panels depending on their watt value. The number of solar panels will differ based on your unique location and installation parameters, but this gives you a general idea of what to expect. 

  • Your energy goals

The size of your solar system will also depend on how much you intend to rely on it. We’ve been noticing a growing trend of off-grid standalone systems in the Northern Rivers area because reliance on the national power grid is expensive and not all that consistent anymore. The number of solar panels needed, therefore, will depend on how much you’re aiming to save on your future electricity bills. Looking to cover your daytime energy needs or are you looking for a system that makes you completely self-sufficient? Make sure that you have a clear goal in mind about your energy requirements and how much you’d like to have generated by your new solar energy system. Then consult with a professional who understands this goal and implements that information to tailor-make a solar energy system design. 

  • Design that is flexible to future upgrades

The design will be influenced by the size of the system you need, and the number of solar panels required, and this way, there is room for future expansion once you start saving money. Even those with modest power requirements who invest in a smaller system will still see that it helps to lower your electricity costs almost immediately and could set you up for the easy addition of a battery in the future. Choose a certified solar installer that will understand that a smaller system will have to be designed with future expansion or modification in mind. The design must allow for the addition of a larger system, battery storage, or any other solar innovation that might come along in the future. 

We strongly suggest that you stick with professional electricians that are licensed, insured, and come with solid guarantees. Doing this will ensure that you’ll notice the difference straight away in your power bills. The benefit of using certified solar technicians is that they will be liable for any faults, and you can rely on them to come back and fix the issue. Cave Electrical & Solar also has some important advice about maintaining your solar panels after installation.  Solar installations aren’t cheap and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t rely on the best of the best to enjoy the full benefit of your new unit. You can also trust our own team of Byron Bay experts to help you navigate electrical work that is sure to improve your daily workplace or household experience. 

Contact Info

Northern Rivers Electricians you can trust!

0419 001 001


Cave Electrical & Solar
47 Braeside Drive,
NSW 2484

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