Solar Cost Calculator

Solar Sizing Calculator 

How to Calculate the Total Watts (W) Your Electronics Will Consume

The first step to properly utilizing a solar cost calculator is to determine the total watts (W) that your home electronics will consume. To do this accurately, you’ll need to create a detailed list of all of your appliances, along with their wattages and how many hours you use them daily.

To give an example, let’s say you have a washing machine that is 500 watts, and you estimate that it runs for two hours per day. That would mean your washing machine requires 1,000 watts of power per day or 30,000 watts (30 kWh) per month on average.

Another option is to refer to the information on your monthly electricity bills. The mathematical challenge with this approach is that your bill will be measured using kilowatt-hours (kWh), not watt-hours. The easiest way to adjust for this and learn your usage in watt-hours is to take your monthly kilowatt-hours and multiply them by 1,000.

As an example, the average Canadian home utilizes around 750 kWh of electricity each month. If you multiply this number by 1,000, you get 750,000 watt-hours for the month or around 25,000 watt-hours per day (which equates to 25 kWh).

If all of this seems like it’s a bit complicated, you can always give your utility company a call to get further assistance in reading your bill and getting the data you need for the solar cost calculator.

How to Figure Out Your Average Sun Hours Per Day

As we all know, Canada is a vast country with varying climates. Whether you live in British Columbia or Ontario, your location will make a difference in your peak sun hours. Don’t confuse peak sun hours with sunrise and sunset. To qualify as a peak sun hour, 60 minutes of sunlight must provide at least 1,000 watts of energy per square meter.

Most places in Canada will have between three-and-a-half to six peak sun hours on an average day. Generally speaking, the central provinces have closer to six peak sun hours, while the coastal provinces and the northern territories have closer to four or five peak sun hours.

Solar Panel Cost Per Watt in Canada

Once you figure out which solar panel system will work best for you using Renogy’s solar panel calculator, you may be curious to know the solar panel cost per watt so that you can get an idea of the expected initial expenses for your proposed system. Solar panels can be as tiny as five watts and as massive as 400 watts for each panel.

Of course, the price range of these panels will also vary greatly, and the number of panels you will need will depend on their output. Keeping all of this in mind, the average Canadian cost for solar panels per watt is around $2.50 - $4.00.

Grid-Tie Solar System Costs

If your home is connected to the utility company’s grid already, you’ll likely be looking to lower your monthly electricity bill when you install a solar system. You probably won’t need something that can support your entire watt usage. Instead, your grid-tie solar energy system would supplement your home’s energy consumption.

Because you won’t need to cover 100% of your energy use, at least initially, you can choose from any number of solar panel kits . One factor to keep in mind is whether you want to depend on your solar panel energy as a backup option if the power goes out. In the event that you do, you’ll want a system that has enough battery storage to serve your home in an outage.

Another advantage of a renewable energy system with plenty of battery storage comes in the form of buy-back programs and tax rebate incentives. For example, the Ontario Power Authority offers progressive incentives for homeowners that utilize solar energy. This is something to consider when you’re using an on-grid solar calculator to determine your usage and needs.

What size solar inverters do I need for my system?

Off-Grid Solar System Costs

If you plan to set up your system for off-grid use, you’ll need to prepare some additional information for the off-grid solar calculator. For starters, you’ll have to decide whether you want to use an 80% efficiency or 92% efficiency charge controller. In either case, it’s a good idea to include a 3000-watt inverter when you purchase any small solar panel kits.

Once you figure out how many hours your tiny home solar system (or RV or cabin) will run daily and which charge controller you want to use, the off-grid solar calculator will compute how much direct current (DC) energy that your solar panels need to produce. Next, your inverter can convert it into alternating current (AC).

The solar cost calculator will also help you know how many battery banks you need, based on your hourly usage.

Solar Panel Installation Costs

One expense that the solar cost calculator won’t factor in for you is installation. If you’re skilled enough, you may have the electrical know-how to install your home solar panel kits without any professional assistance. To do this, you’ll also need to feel confident in your ability to attach the panels onto your roof or the side of your house without issue.

In most scenarios, though, the best option is to pay for professional installation. Solar installers will ensure that the job is done correctly and safely. These skilled professionals usually charge between $1 and $2 per watt for their services.

It’s essential to add in the cost after using the solar cost calculator as it will give you a bottom-line expense. This can help you to calculate your payback period or how long it will take for you to break even on your system.

Overall, How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Canada?

While each province is different, you can use the solar panel calculator to find an answer to this question. The solar cost calculator will also help you with your location and peak sun hours so that you can input your specific data.

If you take the average home in Ontario and determine that it uses 10,000 kWh of electricity each year, you would then want to divide that by the average peak sun hours for the year in Ontario. If you estimate that number to be around 1,200 hours, you would end up needing a solar system that can support 8.33 kWh.

Finally, if you take the average per watt cost of solar panels in Ontario at $2.50 and multiply that by the watt usage of 8,330, you would end up with a final price of $20,825.