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How Many Solar Panels In a 10kW System?

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LUKE COVE
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How Many Solar Panels In a 10kW System?

Fortunately for the environment and the price of your energy bills, solar panel systems are becoming bigger and more powerful than ever. While the market was once dominated by 5kW systems, we are seeing an increase in 10kW systems all across Australia. 

10kW solar systems could be the new sweet spot when it comes to the size of your solar installation. A question I get asked often is, ‘how many solar panels in a 10kW System?’ So, I thought it would be helpful to break it down as it is not a simple linear answer.

Once reserved for larger households with high energy uses, we have seen a shift in the popularity of 10kW systems. This could be because of the increased amount of energy-intensive appliances, such as electric vehicles and battery storage. 

Increased demand has led to people questioning how many solar panels you need for a 10kW system. It is hard to get around the different sizes of solar panels and which one will best suit you and your home. 

With all that being said, I strongly advise homeowners to request a free design proposal from a solar craftsman who can understand the best size system for your home ranging from 5kw-15kw and above. 

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with my solar engineers and request a proposal here

So, let’s dive into how many solar panels in a 10kW system there are.

Table Of Contents

how many solar panels in 10kw system

The Amount Of Panels For a 10kW System Depends On The Size Of The Panel

It is not as simple as a black-and-white answer. It really depends on the size of the panel. Like most things, there are different sizes. This means the size of your solar panels will depend on how many you need.

If you have smaller solar panels in watt size, this will mean that you will need more for a 10kW system. An easy way to work it out is by dividing 10000w (10kW) by the size of your panel. For example:

10,000w (10kW) divided by 415w = 24 panels.

Then if it doesn’t match 10kW exactly, just round up or down, so it is the closest. This is the easiest and most efficient way to work it out if you already have a solar system installed. For example, say you have a 5kw system installed and want to upgrade it to 10; just double the number of solar panels you have. 

If you are starting from scratch and have a smaller roof, I recommend opting for a larger-watt solar panel. This way, you can fit more power into a smaller area. Whereas, if you have lots of space, consider smaller-watt solar panels between 370-400w. 

There are plenty of panels available on the market right now, for example the 425w Sunpower Maxeon 6 offering a high panel efficiency. Others may be the Trina 415w Vertex S+ panel and of course Jinkos 390w N Type which you can read my review on here.

On Average, Solar Panels Are Between 370w and 450w

Luckily for you, the size of solar panels has increased over the last 10-15 years. Now, most residential solar panels in Australia are between 370w and 450w. Compared to a few years ago when the average was 250w, it is a significant increase. 

This saves you some money as you can buy fewer solar panels for the same amount of power. Technology has developed, meaning manufacturers have been able to maintain a similar size panel with more power output. Ultimately giving you more value and more space. For example:

24 x 415w= 10kW
27 x 370w = 10kW

Therefore, you would need 3 more solar panels if you opted for the smaller size to reach a 10kW system. 

One of the key reasons for the increased size of solar panel power outputs is energy consumption. Many homeowners opt for a bigger solar panel system because they have many more appliances to run. Therefore, to accommodate for that the solar panel sizes have increased. 

As we move into a world that is aligned with daily technology, we are using more energy to power this lifestyle. Now we are seeing an increase in EV cars and solar batteries that will consume even more energy. Along with new home appliances like air fryers and smart TVs, which also consume a lot of energy. 

I go into much more detail about this on my blog for those thinking if you should install solar now or wait. Give this a read if you’re unsure about waiting for the cost of solar to keep going down. 

Think about a family of 5. That could be 5 phones, 5 laptops, 5 speakers and 5 earphones. Even though individually these appliances don’t take that much energy together, put all together, it increases a lot. 

On top of all the other household appliances, it is easy to see why Australian households are opting for bigger solar panel systems.

average size of solar panels

If You Choose a Larger Watt Panel, You Can Maximise The Space You Have Available On Your Roof

If you are fortunate to have a big roof (or even if you don’t), choosing to have larger solar panels frees up a lot of space on your roof. I mean being realistic, no one wants their whole roof covered in smaller-watt solar panels. 

When trying to work out how many solar panels in a 10kW system you will need you should choose solar panels of about 400w. This allows you more space with your design. In fact, most design engineers might offer you bigger solar panels to ensure you get a big enough system to generate faster savings. 

Also, another bonus of opting for larger solar panels for your 10kW system is that if you do want to add more in the future, you have the space to. If you find that you are consuming too much energy, installing an enphase home energy system can help you track your energy usage and optimise your system. 

It was only 10 years ago that a 3-5kW system was enough for more homeowners. Now we’ve had customers removing older systems and replacing them with a large 10kW+ system to keep up with the increased energy consumption. 

However, this costly mistake had cost them twice the installation fee on top of new panels. So, make sure you think ahead about the potential of wanting a bigger solar panel system in the future.

Flexible Design Systems Will Allow You To Add Solar Panels In Unconventional Areas

Me & my team are no strangers to difficult and awkward shaped roofs. So, if that is you then please do not worry. These days technology has improved so much that the shape of your roof does not matter. 

Systems such as solar edge and enphase allow for flexible designs, meaning you can place panels in impossible places with conventional string systems. For example, you can place them in areas along the side of your roof or places that could usually only comfortably fit 1-2 solar panels. 

Of course, this means you can still get a 10kw system; even if your roof is a difficult shape or small, you will just need to consider using technology that allows for flexible system designs. 

I suppose this means that even if your roof has awkward shapes and designs it’s very easy to overcome and create a system that may actually benefit you more. For example, you could place panels on the areas of your roof that capture sunlight during the times you use most energy. 

This means you can maximise the sunlight and generate that energy straight into self consumption which of course is going to be the biggest level of savings from solar.

get flexible designs when you installer bigger wattage solar panels

An Average Household Will Need 24 Solar Panels For a 10kW System

If we go from the average household I work with every day for a 10kW system, you will need around 24 solar panels.

I worked this outgoing from: 415w panels x 24 = 10kW

The reason why I chose 415w is because for me, it’s the industry standard now. You’ve got Jinko 415w, Jinko 440w, Sunpower 425w, Trina 415w and many more across this size frame. These are high quality residential solar panels and make the design for your home more higher in performance. 

Of course, the biggest thing to remember is that every home is different; there is no such thing as cookie-cutter solar (one size fits all). As I have said above, different size roofs will determine the size of panels you go for. 

However, if you want a more black and white answer based upon popularity in Australia, 24 solar panels for 10kW is the most common. This is going from my experience in the industry and based on what customers are requesting in their proposals. 

This may change in the future as technology for solar panels becomes more and more advanced. I can only hope that we require less and less solar panels to power your home. Not only is this more cost effective, but it’s better for space and energy generation.

10kW Should Be Enough To Power a Solar Battery And EV Charger

Theoretically, a 10kW solar system will be enough to power a solar battery and an EV charger. I’m actually basing this off an intelligent EV charger which would be able to pull energy when it’s not being used to charge the solar battery. 

10kW of solar power should be enough to power a Tesla Powerwall 2, but I would recommend going for something closer to 13kW. This is because it is then the same size as the solar battery. If you charged the 5kW battery it would take approx 2 ½ hours to charge

Of course it’s seriously important to consider getting a solar system that is at least 10kW or more if you are considering a battery and EV charger together. The more energy you are able to produce the bigger the savings and the better your systems are going to work. 

You should have no problem charging your EV car with 10kw. With advanced EV chargers like Zappi, you can help your energy go further with its smart energy management technology. This is a smart charger like I mentioned above.

You Should Always Consider 10kW+ For a Future-Proof Energy System

As I mentioned before, our energy consumption is increasing every year as we move more into the digital age. The increased number of appliances run by energy shows how much we rely on energy to live our lives. 

10-15 years ago, we didn’t have such things as juicers, air fryers, or smartphones; if we did, it was not a common household appliance. The rise of EVs and battery storage has increased over the past few years, meaning more power is needed.

Now think about the way we are heading in the future. Our energy consumption is due to change completely over the next 10-15 years as more technological advances happen. As a result, relying on the grid for your energy will not only cost you a lot of money but also have a massive cost on the environment. 

I always want to highlight this to homeowners. It’s extremely important in my eyes. I’ve had to deal with multiple households having to rip off a 6-7 year old system because it’s now no longer producing enough energy compared to household bills. 

Believe me, no one ever makes that same mistake twice. Homeowners who have fallen victim to this usually install a system as big as 15kW+.

make sure you choose 10kw or more or have options to expand your solar systems

Conclusion:

I hope that has helped answer your questions about how many solar panels you will need for a 10kW system. While not completely straightforward, as you can see, there are many ways you can go about implementing a 10kW solar panel system into your home. 

I understand more than anyone the increase in energy consumption and couldn’t recommend enough relying on solar power to aid that. If you have the roof space and the capacity to increase your system, it will not only save you money on energy bills but help the environment in the long run. 

As always, leave any comments down below and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about our products and services!

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Written By:

Luke Cove
Managing Director
Lightning Solar & Electrical

1 thought on “How Many Solar Panels In a 10kW System?”

  1. I inherited an off grid system and would like to know how you can tell what the wattage is of a solar panel. Is it marked on the panel or does the panel design indicate the answer?

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