What size solar panel array do you need for your home? And if you’re considering battery storage, what size battery bank would be most appropriate? This article includes tables that provide an at-a-glance guide, as well as links to more comprehensive calculators.
Solar system sizing table (no batteries)
If you’re considering solar panels for your home, you’ll get the most value from them by directly ‘self-consuming‘ the energy that they produce during the daylight hours. The simple reason for this is that using the solar yourself allows you to avoid purchasing expensive energy from the grid instead of earning only a small credit for sending it into the grid. This is a crucial fact about going solar in Australia today.
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Your rate of self-consumption will depend the amount of energy that you use on a daily basis, the pattern of your consumption throughout the day, and the size of the system that you install. You can increase your solar self-consumption ratio by running more of your devices during daylight hours – possibly manually, on timers or using a home energy management system.
The table below contains very rough solar self-consumption ratio estimates for a range of popular solar system sizes and energy consumption levels. Generally we recommend keeping to a system size that means your self-consumption ratio remains above 30%.
|Your daily energy consumption||Self-Consumption Ratio for Different Solar System Sizes|
|2kW Solar||3kW Solar||5kW Solar||7kW Solar||10kW Solar|
Remember: The table above is a highly generalised, indicative guide; it does not take into account your location or the tilt & orientation of your roof – not to consider system prices or financial details like payback period. If you’d like to take a more detailed look, use our Solar PV System Payback Estimator or our Simple Solar System Sizing Estimator.
The below video gives a run through on how to select the right solar system size
Picking the Correct Solar and Battery System Size
Using Sunwiz’s PVSell software, we’ve put together the below table to help shoppers choose the right system size for their needs. PVSell uses 365 days of weather data Please read the paragraphs below and remember that the table is a guide and a starting point only – we encourage you to do more research (and get more opinions) before deciding on a system size.
About solar & battery system sizing ▼
About solar batteries & energy goals ▼
A few caveats... ▼
The battery bank sizing calculator
The battery bank sizing table
Your daily energy consumption
Largest recommended battery size for…
|Solar system size|
|Maximising energy independence:||–||22kWh (3 days of energy autonomy)||35kWh (5 days of energy autonomy)||35kWh (5 days of energy autonomy)||35kWh (5 days of energy autonomy)|
|Maximising energy independence:||–||–||40kWh (3 days of energy autonomy)||65kWh (5 days of energy autonomy)||65kWh (5 days of energy autonomy)|
|Maximising energy independence:||–||–||–||55kWh (3 days of energy autonomy)||90kWh (5 days of energy autonomy)|
|Maximising energy independence:||–||–||–||23kWh (0.77 days of blackout protection)||70kWh (3 days of energy autonomy)|
|Maximising energy independence:||–||–||–||–||40kWh (1.5 days of blackout protection)|
|Maximising energy independence:||–||–||–||–||27kWh (0.7 days of blackout protection)|
Glossary for this table ▼
Since 2008 our knowledge and sophisticated software has allowed over 180,000 Australian households and businesses to make a well-informed choice on their solar & battery installer.
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Can you tell me when new back up batteries ( new technology) will be available and when the government will subside there batteries .
I have 5 ks system Thank You
Hi Sinikk. Backup power is already possible with the right battery setup. As for a government subsidy, a few small jurisdictions (ACT and City of Adelaide) offer battery incentives, but there is nothing on the federal level.
Hope this helps!
These tables are all well and good but when determining the economic criteria it falls apart because of the current huge disparity in costs between different battery storage makes. A Powerwall 2 with a stated capacity of 13.5 kWh and a cost of say $12000 installed compared to a Sonnen 6kwh with a installed cost of $12000 it’s a no brainer whatever else is variable i.e. Size of PV system home consumption or usage patterns. Even if you don’t use the full capacity of the PW2 battery it still represents better value and you don’t need a complicated chart to tell you that. Or am I missing something?
Thanks always for your thoughtful input. You are well on point with this observation. We’ve written lots of articles on the financial case for solar & batteries and regularly point out (e.g. here) that – for now – solar makes more sense on its own. We’ve also pointed out that smaller battery banks tend to have faster payback periods than larger ones for the majority of homes. Our calculators yield the same results as well.
The focus of this article is sizing, with the aim of educating people about how large a battery bank they can actually make use of – giving them a starting point for shopping around. This will help people to avoid being oversold on system size, especially in instances when the bigger battery bank does indeed cost significantly more than the smaller one. If the larger battery bank is more cost-effective and can operate at partial states of charge (so that it’s not a problem if it doesn’t reach ‘full’ most of the time – if ever), then by all means the larger one would be the smarter choice – and leaves room for expansion.
As you’ve pointed out there are some significant price disparities at present, but we expect these to even out as time goes on and the market matures. At that point in time, these tables will become even more relevant.
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