“I have a 2,500 square foot house. How much solar can you put on it?”
It’s a question every solar professional has heard, and a question that is almost always answered starting with, “It depends on…”
I wish the answer was easy. Unfortunately, it does depend on… a lot! What shape is your home? What is the roof pitch? How is the home oriented, and what side faces south? What obstructions are present? Is it a hip or gable roof, a combination, or a hybrid roof design? Are there any obstructions that could cause shade like trees, chimneys, power lines, neighboring buildings, etc?
I’ll show you why there is no simple answer or rule-of-thumb.
Here is an example of two homes that are both 2,500 square feet, but are vastly different in terms of how many solar panels can fit on the roof because of the shape of the home. The home on the right has the exact same floor space, but the roof is cut up into many more sections, reducing the number of solar panels possible.
The type of roof framing can have a dramatic effect on the number of solar panels. A hip roof cannot accommodate the same number of panels as a gable roof as shown below. These homes have the exact same floor plan (footprint) but dramatically different roof space.
The orientation also has a big impact on solar panel placement. Take a look at the two identical homes below that are located across the street from one another.
We have fantastic tools available to tell us how many solar panels will fit on your home. We can look at aerial images, property appraiser data, take physical measurements, or even make a 3D computer model of your home! If you want to know how many solar panels will fit on your roof, don’t expect a quick answer in casual conversation. Give us a little time, tell us where you live, and let us come see your home so we can advise you properly on how many solar panels will fit on your roof!