Renewable energy is the future. With the increasing costs of fossil fuels and their negative environmental impact, moving towards solar energy makes perfect sense.
So yes, investing in solar power is a good move for all commercial businesses. Especially for us in Australia, we can rely on the sun to provide a reliable source of unlimited clean energy.
The most attractive benefit of solar power for businesses is the savings in energy bills. Electricity often makes a large part of a business’ operational costs, and a well-designed solar power system can significantly reduce, or even eliminate electricity costs altogether. But how much solar do you actually need for your commercial property? Based on our expert recommendation, here’s what you should consider.
#1 – Your Electricity Consumption
How much do you spend on monthly electric bills on average? This is the first question we ask our customers when we’re tasked to design a solar panel system. The number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) you consume as well as your consumption patterns let us know what your target solar output is like. This gives us a rough idea of how many panels you’ll need for your business.
#2 – Your Location
Solar panels rely on daylight energy (rather than direct sunlight) to generate electricity. Say that you’re using 3kW panels, multiply that capacity by the total number of panels and the daylight hours of your location to know how much kilowatt-hours you can produce approximately.
The great thing about living in Perth is that we receive plenty of sun as Australia’s sunniest city. On average, we get about 9 hours of sunshine per day which makes solar energy a great choice for businesses in our area.
#3 – Your Budget and Your Goals
Installing a commercial solar power system is a smart investment. Like any other investment, however, it requires money upfront, and it takes time so you can appreciate the returns. What’s your budget like and what exactly are your goals when it comes to solar power? Do you want to just slash your electricity bills or get free power altogether? Some business owners even consider generating extra energy that they can sell back to the grid for an income (but more on that later).
#4 – Your Roof
It goes without saying that the size of your roof dictates the limit of how many panels you can install. Other than the size, the roof’s elevation, pitch, and direction also factor into the calculation of how many solar panels you’ll need. Contrary to popular belief, filling every available space on your roof is NOT always the answer. The largest solar panel system isn’t always the most efficient.
A Sample Computation
Let’s say for instance that you are a small business using 6,000 kilowatt-hours monthly. Dividing that by 30 days, your average daily power consumption is 200 kilowatt-hours. To reduce your energy bills by 50%, multiply your daily consumption by your goal percentage. 200 multiplied by 0.5 gives us 100 kilowatt-hours as your target output.
Say you decide to go for 3kW panels. With a conservative 6 hours of sunshine daily, each panel then produces 3kW x 6h or 18kWh. Dividing your target output by your approximate capacity, 100kWh/18kWh = 5.5 panels. You’ll need about 6 panels to reduce your energy bills by your goal of 50%.
This is just a rough computation, and other factors come into play in designing the best and most efficient solar installation for your commercial property. As Perth’s solar experts, our team at Greentec Energy can help you determine the right kind and size of solar you need. Book your free consultation through this link or call us at 1300 358 042 today.