Solar is a great way to get a little bit of money saved. Instead of paying the utility company, you can use the sun to knock off some or all of the cost, depending on the amount of power you use.
While solar sounds like a great idea, they can, unfortunately, be a little costly. As of January 2022, a 3.5kW solar system could cost $9,695. The investment is well worth it, but the initial price might seem daunting.
But perhaps you are trying to see if a 3.5kW system provides enough power for your needs. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast amount of power. It depends on the panels’ efficiency, the kind of sun you get, and how many sunny days a year you have.
Generally, you can expect somewhere around 4,000 to 5,000kWhs (kilowatt hours) of power a year from a 3.5kW system.
How Much Money Can You Save on it?
Like with the amount of solar you will get a year, the amount of money you can save by getting solar changes as well. Also, it depends on your storage system.
You will want a battery to provide you maximum savings, as it stores all the excess power you aren’t using with the solar panels that are getting energy from the sun.
Also, the efficiency of your solar panels, amount of sunny days, and the efficiency of your panel angle change the savings. However, on average, you can expect to save somewhere around $45 a month. This equates to about $550 a year.
While this doesn’t sound like much, especially with a $9,000 initial payment, it can save you quite a bit of money in the long run if you are planning to stay in that home for a long time.
It is also important to note that this number is also based on solar energy in Florida. Although called the sunshine state, in many months, the peak hours are usually cloudy and rainy, which takes away from some effectiveness of solar panels.
So if you are living somewhere with a lot more sun, you can potentially save even more.
Does a Generator charge it?
While you could potentially charge your solar system with a generator, it kind of defeats the purpose. A solar system is designed to produce energy based on sunlight. So if you are buying a generator and paying for gas, you are probably better off just paying for utilities.
There are solar generators out there that you could use to add a boost to your battery if you need to. They also use solar panels to get energy from the sun, and they can be used if you’ve experienced a few cloudy days and just need a little extra power.
What if There is a Power Outage?
If your neighborhood experiences a power outage, your system should continue to work. However, it isn’t connected to the grid and instead is a system fully encompassed in your home.
However, whatever solar system you have is the only power you get. So if you are used to using a couple of thousand watts of power at a time, your 3.5kW solar system may not be able to support it. You can also pull from the battery as long as it is full.
This means that solar systems are a great way to provide emergency power if your grid goes down. As long as it is somewhat sunny or you have good power storage in your batteries, you can run things like your fridge in an emergency.
Do You Need Wifi for a Solar System?
While it isn’t necessarily required, having WiFi for your solar setup is useful. Most of the apps allow you to check on your system and run on either Bluetooth or WiFi.
If you are near or in your home, Bluetooth is often good enough. However, if you want to be able to check on your system and get alerts even when you aren’t home, WiFi is necessary.
The other benefit to having WiFi or some sort of internet connection is for updates. If your system can’t connect to the internet, then it will not be able to get necessary and useful updates.
Do Solar Systems Lose Their Capacity over Time?
Solar systems do lose capacity over time. Generally, a solar battery can handle somewhere between 300 and 700 cycles if it is a lithium-ion battery before it starts to degrade. They can last for a total of up to 2000 cycles before having to be replaced.
This means that for most households, the battery can start to degrade in as little as three years, even for a great battery company. This is unfortunate as lithium batteries are the most expensive part of a system.
Final Thoughts on How Much Power Does a 3.5kw Solar System Produce
A 3.5kW solar system may not be enough to fully power your home, especially if you live a traditional lifestyle. However, it can save you money throughout the year. So despite the initial purchase, it is well worth investing for long-term profits and savings.
Even smaller systems can save you money in the long run while still allowing you to mostly use your local utility service, so invest what you can and know it will save you money in the long run, especially when your power grid shuts down.