Electricity use is measured in terms of thousands (k) of watts (w) of power used over one hour, or kilowatt-hour (kWh). The size of a PV system is described in terms of kilowatts (kW). A high-efficiency system requires approximately 100 square feet for every kilowatts of modules. Since a standard residential system size is 2-3kW, the space requirement for a standard residential PV system is 200 to 300 square feet. The modules weight 4-6 pounds per square foot with mounting hardware.

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Sample Photovoltaic System

A typical 2.5kW residential-sized PV system will cost $15K - $17K after financial incentives. It requires 250 square feet of unshaded generally south facing space to mount the system and it will produce 50 to 80 percent of the home's electricity.

The general rule for estimating PV system size is that 1,000 watts of system capacity (1kW) produces between 135 and 150 kWh per month, on average. So, if your monthly use averages 700kWh, a 2 kW PV system would produce close to 50 percent of your electricity per month, on average.

The system should last thirty years or more and provide a major hedge against future increases in electricity prices, which rose 6 percent a year average in the PG&E territory over the last thirty years.

Quick Budget Calculator

Ever wonder what size a solar panel system you need or how much one costs? Use this solar power calculator to estimate the cost and size of a solar energy project in your area. This should only be used as a rough estimate, and may not include any federal, state, or local solar incentives/rebates.

CMR Solar Energy Integrators would be able to provide you with a more accurate estimate.

This calculator also gives rough estimates on how much carbon emissions your current electricity usage contributes to our Earth's global warming. Are you doing your part in helping save our planet?

If you notice any discrepencies or believe our data is out of date, please notify us here:

Provided by

CMR Integrators - Solar Energy
Clean Mainstream Renewable
San Ramon, CA 94583
Business: (925)917-1315 - Fax: (877)334-0711 -

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