Imagine waking up in a small, cozy house. You get out of bed and walk to the window. Birds are singing, the sun is shining, and you feel the fresh air on your face — complete tranquility.
While this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, people keep choosing eco-friendliness and sustainability over convenience. If you’re a sustainable lifestyle enthusiast, you’ve probably considered getting a small solar house that doesn’t consume as many energy resources as a suburban summer house or high-rise condo.
Even though the amount of energy generated by solar systems in residential buildings in the USA has been increasing over the last 5 years, IEA states that global carbon dioxide emissions are also on the rise.
There’s no denying that installing a solar panel for small house will probably have little to no impact on a global scale. But the good news is you’ll save money on utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
According to Forbes Home, the savings amount to at least $25,000 over the entire lifespan of small solar power systems. But let’s take it step by step and start with a quick recap of what a small solar power system is.
Small Solar Power System: A Brief Overview
A small solar power system for homes utilizes solar energy to produce electricity for:
- Powering household appliances
- Charging an electric car or electric bicycle
- Operating a pool pump or heating system
If you are interested in energy production but don’t quite understand what you need to purchase – what devices, of what quality, and capacity – then a solar panel kit will come in handy. It’s a set of components and devices that, when connected to the electrical system, form a fully functional small solar power system.
All the devices and components included in it can be purchased individually. However, with a solar panel for small house kit, you can save time searching for equipment. Besides, it will help you avoid inflating prices and having to figure out the compatibility of different devices.
What’s Inside Solar Panel Kits for Small Homes?
Most solar panel kits include a scalability feature. What kind of scalability is it? Simply put, the equipment in your small solar power system can easily connect with other new devices. You can add them to generate even more energy or replace malfunctioning devices.
In reality, there is no single configuration for a kit, as it depends on factors such as price, model, manufacturer, purpose, etc. However, there are certain devices without which the operation of a solar panel for small houses would be impossible. Here are some of them:
1. Solar Panels (Photovoltaic Modules)
They are the central component of a small solar power system that consists of numerous photovoltaic cells made from semiconductor material, mostly silicon.
When sunlight hits them, the photovoltaic modules absorb it, creating an electric field that leads to the movement of electrons. This electron movement is the electric current, transforming solar radiation into electricity.
Solar panel for small house comes in various power capacities, and the larger the capacity, the more current it produces, resulting in a higher price.
The inverter for a solar panel for small house performs the function of converting DC to AC current. That is crucial as most household appliances consume AC. The inverter’s operation involves a rotor creating a magnetic field.
Microinverters, which are sufficient for a small solar power system, are installed individually on each panel. They have high efficiency and work well with the power grid, ensuring a stable energy supply.
3. Charge Controller
The controller acts as an intermediary between the photovoltaic module and the battery. It performs two consecutive tasks:
- Monitoring – determines the energy flow characteristics by measuring the voltage and current from the solar panels and batteries.
- Energy management – decides how to distribute energy between the battery and meet your needs (e.g., powering an electric stove).
Batteries essentially act as reservoirs where the generated energy is stored, which is useful when solar panels generate excess electricity. During periods of low solar activity or at night, the stored energy is drawn from the reservoir to fulfill your energy requirements.
Installing Small Solar Panel for Home
There are two main methods for installing solar panel for small house:
- On the roof: This is the most common method as it requires minimal alterations to your home.
- On the ground: An effective method if your roof area is too small or unsuitable in shape or material.
Installing a small solar power system is not an easy task and requires specific knowledge and skills. Whether you’re a DIY expert or a prospective customer of a solar panel installation company, we’ll take you through the main steps of this process.
Stages of the Solar Panel for Small House Installation
|Stage #1. Location Selection
|If possible, install a small solar power system on the southern side of the roof to enhance its productivity.
|The ideal location is a spacious area without shading. Use a map to identify areas receiving the most sunlight. Check the foundation for strength.
|Stage #2. Installation of Solar Panels
|Start by installing the first panel, then use a level ruler to mount the others evenly and parallel to each other. Consider the angle of inclination; the optimal range is from 30 to 45 degrees.
|Stage #3. Electrical Installation
|Connect the panels to the grid using special cables and connectors for the small solar power system. At this stage, it is recommended that you seek the services of an experienced installer.
Use only certified materials and equipment, follow instructions, and don’t hesitate to seek help from professionals. Your safety and the reliability of the solar for small houses are paramount!
How To Choose Suitable Small Solar Panel Kits for Home
There are several factors to consider when choosing small home solar panels.
Size and Area of the House
Determine the size of the solar panel for small house using a specialized calculator. It takes into account various factors such as the house’s square footage, energy consumption, the amount of sunlight the house receives, and more.
Location of the House
The amount of sunlight the house receives throughout the day affects the efficiency of small house solar panels. However, sunlight is not evenly distributed across states. Arizona, New Mexico, and California have the most active solar hours. Consequently, fewer panels may be needed in these regions.
The number of panels and the overall capacity of the small solar power system depend on factors such as the number of people living in the house, how much time family members spend at home, and the daily energy usage. However, consider future changes in your daily routine, such as the next 10 years.
Since 2010, there has been a decrease in the cost of panels. In 2022, the average price was $876 per kilowatt. On average, a small house with an area of 30 square meters consumes up to 4350 kilowatts annually. Considering that, on average, one panel with a capacity of 1 kilowatt produces 1100 kilowatt-hours per year, you will need to install at least 4 panels. Thus, this will cost a minimum of $3500.
Why Consider a Small House With Solar Panels
If you’re contemplating building a house, solar panels can be an excellent option for independently managing energy production and usage.
Let’s discuss the possibilities that open up for you with a solar panel for small house.
On average, Americans pay up to $140 per month for electricity. So, for instance, having a small solar power system, you could save approximately $25,200 over 15 years. Additionally, you have the opportunity to qualify for green tariffs, albeit with specific features varying across different states.
The entire civilized world has been using fossil fuels for decades, polluting the environment. Our World in Data reports that in 2022, America and China were the leaders in fossil fuel consumption.
Source: Our World in Data
It’s time to change these statistics for the better. By installing a small house solar system that doesn’t produce harmful emissions, you become a true friend to nature.
With your solar system, you will control its generation and usage. Now, you’re independent of energy supply companies. If you live in an area where power outages, electricity disruptions, and natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, floods) are commonplace, having your solar system becomes invaluable.
Moreover, if you plan to sell your house, having a small solar power system will make it more valuable or attract more renters.
Solar Panel Kits for Small Homes: What’s in It for You?
Interested in saving money in the long run, reducing your environmental impact, and gaining independence from the general power grid? Then, consider getting solar panel kits for small homes. When choosing small solar panel kits, make sure all components can meet your energy needs. We also recommend researching offers from different companies.
Do you want to generate your own energy in a small home? Now, you know where to start and how to make the most of the limited space of your cozy little home.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a solar panel for small house cost?
The starting price for a solar panel for small house is $2300. The more extensive the house’s area, the more panels, and the more renowned the manufacturer, the more expensive it becomes.
Is a small solar power system suitable for me if my state doesn’t receive maximum sunlight?
Certainly, a solar panel for small house will still work, but its efficiency may be lower.
What additional elements might be in small solar panel kits for home?
Additional elements in solar panel kits for small homes include cables for connecting panels to main devices and connectors for joining cables.