How Much Does A 5Kw Solar System Produce
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When considering purchasing and installing a solar system to help offset the cost of your electric utility bill or for an off-grid application, the numbers can quickly become confusing. You want to make sure you can power everything you need without exorbitant prices ruining your wallet.
Even though it may seem like a 5kW system should be producing 5kW within a set time, very rarely do you ever achieve that amount of power because of variables like the amount of sun.
Read on to learn more about the kind of things you can expect to run on a 5kW solar system, as well as information about typical power consumption and more.
What can You run on a 5kW solar system?
5kW of power sounds like a lot of energy, and it is, but you might be surprised at how quickly you can use that energy with certain appliances. Below is a list of items you might want or need to power with your 5kW solar system:
- Over 500 9W LED light bulbs
- An energy-efficient refrigerator
- A 3kWh electric oven or dryer
- An average air conditioning unit
Keep in mind that you may not be able to use all of these appliances simultaneously on a 5kW solar system and that these are rough estimates. Your energy consumption or powering priorities may differ from others, so what you can run on a 5kW system may also change.
Is 5kW Enough for a House?
This mostly depends on your energy consumption, as we discussed earlier. For example, if you are trying to run all of your electronics at the same time, it is unlikely that 5kW of power will be enough.
The average American household tends to use around 30kWh each day. Therefore, by using the equation below, we can estimate how much energy a 5kW system will produce in a day:
Solar system production = system power x peak sun hours x 0.75
We already know the system power is 5kW, and if we assume there are 5 hours of peak sun in your area, we can see that about 18.75kWh will be generated every day (0.75 represents the loss of energy during conversions, transfers, and inefficiencies).
This isn’t enough to fully power the typical American home, but it doesn’t account for the energy produced during hours of sunlight that don’t peak at sun hours.
If you have an off-grid 5kW system, you’ll also want to consider how much power is directed to charging any batteries in your system so that you can operate electronic devices overnight when no solar power is generated.
How much will a 5kW solar system save You?
Just as how much electricity you use daily is different for each person, so too are the savings that a 5kW solar system can give you.
Not only do you have to consider your energy consumption and the number of peak sun hours in your area, but you also have to consider your local electric utility rate.
If we assume that your utility charges you at a rate of $0.132 per kWh of power throughout the year (it often becomes more expensive in the winter) and daily production of 18.75kWh, you could be looking at just over $900 in savings each year.
How Long Can a 5kW Powerwall Last?
A Tesla Powerwall is a piece of proprietary technology that can hold power generated by solar systems. While there may be other storage solutions on the market of the same size, there are no 5kWh Powerwall models.
The Powerwall 2 is one of the models that hasn’t been discontinued and holds a maximum charge of 13.5kWh.
This is almost three times the size of a 5kWh battery, so if we know that a 13.5kWh Powerwall 2 lasts between 12 and 15 hours on a full charge, we know that a 5kWh solution should last between 4 and 5 hours with average power consumption.
Are there Any Additional Costs Once You Install a 5kW Powerwall?
If we’re still considering Tesla Powerwalls, Tesla recommends a minimum of two Powerwall 2 units as part of a solar system.
The price for the products and professional installation costs well over $15,000 and does not include the price of solar panels and their installation (you cannot buy Powerwalls separately from Tesla, they must be part of a complete solar system).
However, once the Powerwall is installed, there shouldn’t be any hidden or additional costs aside from any maintenance you may need.
Final Thoughts on How Much Energy 5kW Solar System Can Make
A 5kW solar system can produce just shy of 20kWh each day, under the right conditions, which isn’t enough to power the average American household but can certainly supplement your energy needs and lower your utility costs throughout the year.
Aside from the cost of installation and parts, you also need to consider that a 5kW or larger solar system will take up a decent amount of space. It may be worth it if you can install roof panels, but ground panels may take up too much of your land otherwise.