1kW solar PV systems: Pricing, output, returns

Should you install a 1 kilowatt (kW) solar system for your home? These days, 1kW solar system installations are relatively rare, as larger systems frequently offer better value for money at only a modestly higher price. The smallest size of system that Solar Choice keeps track of in our monthly Solar PV Price Index articles is 1.5kW.

A more common application for a 1kW solar system these days might be as an addition to an existing solar installation. This article provides an overview of what 1kW of solar capacity may offer a home in terms of energy production and electricity bill savings.

Pricing for 1kW solar PV systems

Solar photovoltaic (PV) system prices have dropped dramatically in the past few years, while grid electricity prices have continued to rise. As of 2016, solar power is a viable option for virtually any home or business with unshaded roof space and some daytime electricity consumption.

In Australia at the moment, the cost of installing a solar system is around $1.68 per watt (1 watt = 1000kW). As systems get larger, however, the price per watt tends to get lower – with 3kW and 5kW solar systems generally offering better value for money. Indeed, this is the size range that more and more customers are opting for, with 1kW and 1.5kW systems becoming increasingly less popular as stand-alone systems as time goes on.

Solar Choice publishes a Solar PV Price Index on a monthly basis. The index includes prices for 1.5kW, 2kW, 3kW, and 5kW and 10kW solar systems for 6 of Australia’s capital cities. Although the Index does not include 1kW solar system prices, 1.5kW system pricing gives an indication of what a 1kW system might cost to install. At the time of writing (early December 2016), the average price per watt of a 1.5kW solar system is about $2.16, meaning that a 1kW system would cost around $2,160 to install.

Of course this is only the average price, and there is considerable variety in the market, depending on the location, installer, and components used in the installation. The cost may be further reduced if you’re only considering the 1kW of solar to be retrofitted onto an existing system – e.g. during a routine inverter replacement.

Solar Choice can help you find the solution that is best for your home. Request a free Solar and Battery Storage Quote Comparison by filling out the form on the right of this page.

1kW solar PV system power outputs

Actual solar system power generation depends on a number of factors, including the following:

Although this varies with latitude and climate, a solar system installed in Australia can be expected to produce about 4 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per day, averaged throughout the year.

A 1kW solar system in Sydney, for example, would produce about (3kWh x 1kW =) 3kWh of power on a day in the middle of winter. In summer, power generation from the same 1kW solar system would be around (5 x 1kW =) 5kWh. (Figures are approximate only – check out PVWatts for more accurate figures.)

Is a 1kW solar system right for my home?

There are a range of factors come into play when determining which size solar system is right for your home. As a rule of thumb, a 1kW-1.5kW solar system would be most appropriate for a household with minimal daytime energy needs, or for a home looking to expand existing solar capacity.

To help you work out the answers for yourself, we’ve developed a range of calculator tools, outlined below:

Compare solar & battery storage prices instantly: Complete our Quote Comparison request form on the right of this page

© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Jeff Sykes


    1. Hi Deepak

      The number of rooms is not so important as what you use in them. If you’re only running lights and a computer, for example, 1kW should be plenty – although you’ll also need some batteries to get you through the evening.

  1. Please tell me what kind of battery is suitable for solar system and quantity required for panel and battery. My idea is running Fridge, computer if possible I may add some more items completely on solar power.

  2. hi are the solar pannels connected in series or in parallel in order to get the desired output power, say 1kW output power

    1. Hi Phillip. With a 1kW system, they’ll generally be connected in series, but it depends on the inverter. Regardless of whether they are installed in parallel or series, you should get the same power output (in watts) in the end.

  3. Dear Sir,

    Could you told me how many poly-crystalline Pv panels i need for 1 Kw system in Sydney as an example?

    1. Hi Mansour. It depends on the wattage of the panel. Panels typically have wattages of anywhere from 230-260 watts these days, so a 1kW system would be approximately 4 panels.

      Keep in mind, however, that systems this small are rather unusual these days, with most homes opting for slightly larger ones. 3kW, 4kW and 5kW systems are much more common now.

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