What Solar Configuration is Right for My Property? 

Green energy engineer helping client to figure out how many solar panels she needs for her house
Don't be overwhelmed with trying to figure out how many solar panels & batteries you need; Holu Hou Energy is here to help!

Understanding the Number of Solar Panels, Batteries, and Inverters Needed to Make Solar Work for You

Several considerations are essential to understand before you add a solar energy system to your property:

  • Potential panel locations
  • The amount of energy your property uses
  • The amount of solar batteries you will need
  • The amount of inverters you will need

Solar storage systems comprise many small parts that work together, taking the sun’s energy and making it usable in your home or business. In this case, we focus on hybrid systems rather than on-grid or off-grid systems

That may sound complex, but you can easily find your annual electricity usage on your electric bill, estimate solar wattage by an average (320 watts is an average estimate), and use online tools to get your production ratio.

Some homeowners estimate based on the square footage of their home. For example, a 1500 sq ft home uses around 15 panels. Keep in mind that calculating based on energy usage is going to be a more accurate estimate. Overall, consulting the experts at Holu Hou Energy is going to give you the best idea of how many solar panels your home or business will need.

Common Solar Panel Location Options

The most crucial consideration in solar panel installation location is the direction the panels face. Solar panels will be most efficient when they face south, as they will get the most sunlight during the day and, thus, the most energy production. Panels facing southwest and southeast are good options as well. In some cases, the roof angle is not ideal for collecting the most sunlight, and the panel angle will need to be adjusted. Roof-mounted and ground-mounted are the most common locations for solar panels to be installed, however carports are becoming an increasingly popular option. 


Roof-mounted solar panels are popular for home solar systems, typically installed on top of the primary dwelling space or an auxiliary building, like a garage. Choosing a roof-mounted system means you aren’t sacrificing ground space on your property, and solar panels can work as a barrier to both protect your roof and block sunlight from excessively heating your home. 

Rooftop installation has disadvantages, though. Your roof may not be the ideal direction and slope for installation, nearby trees or buildings may provide too much shade for optimal performance, you could dislike the look of the panels, and not every roof is built to support that much weight. Each panel weighs around 40 pounds, and a household averages 15 to 30 panels in an array. A medium-sized business would need even more, averaging around 70 panels in an array.


Ground-mounted solar panels are often used by commercial properties. They are usually faster to install, more accessible for maintenance and cleaning, and frequently more efficient because the airflow underneath keeps the panels cooler. Expansions are easier without the constraints of a roof; however, you may run into problems with having enough ground space for the number of panels you need. Ground panels can be more expensive in some cases, but not all.


A solution that is a happy medium for many properties is a carport. Carport canopies have space for panels and a roof to cover a parking area, making the area usable both to shade a personal home parking spot or to create a shaded parking lot for your business. They work very similar to a ground-mounted system, except elevated, and are particularly useful for combining with an EV charging station. Installing a carport system gives a space double duty, protecting the vehicle and adding real estate for solar panels. The solar panels are more accessible in this set-up than on a rooftop and can be designed to have the perfect slope and orientation for maximum energy production. Carports typically require different permitting and can have a higher initial installation cost for both labor and materials.

Solar Panel Array Sizing

The number of solar panels (or “array sizing”) that suit your property will depend on your property’s monthly power demand. The more significant the use of electrical appliances in your building, the more panels you will need to draw enough power. You can make a calculated estimate by dividing your annual electricity usage (in kWh) by your estimated solar panel wattage and then by your area’s production ratio. 

Number of Solar Batteries Needed

Similar to solar panels, the number of solar batteries needed in your system directly correlates to your property’s energy needs; a higher appliance load requires more batteries. Since batteries are directly linked to solar panels, the size of your solar array directly affects the number of batteries you can fill. If your panels aren’t capable of filling all your batteries, you either have too many batteries or need more panels. 

On average, a home needs 2-3 batteries to cover energy needs when the solar panels aren’t producing. Additional batteries can provide resilience when the grid goes down or if you are interested in moving to fully off-grid. Although a simplified approach, more storage overall means more savings since you can avoid using the grid during peak hours or when the solar panels aren’t producing.

Understanding Inverters

Inverters are essential for converting DC (the sun’s power) to AC (power usable by our appliances). Inverter amounts depend on the capacity of each individual inverter and the size of your solar array. The type of inverter also needs to comply with local regulations. The most common approach to deciding how many inverters are required is to have inverter watt capacity that equals solar array wattage. An alternate approach is what is called “overclocking.” Overclocking involves installing a solar array with a higher capacity than the inverter wattage. Inverters can handle around 133% of incoming energy, and solar panels don’t always produce the energy they are rated to. You can maximize energy by installing extra panels over what your inverter is rated to, even when your solar panels underperform.

Contact Holu Hou to Start Planning Your Solar Savings

Your solar panels, batteries, and inverters work in tandem to provide your home or business with renewable, affordable energy. Scaling is done together for maximum efficiency; more solar panels usually result in more batteries and sometimes inverters. The good news is, with Holu Hou Energy, experts are always available to help guide you through the process. We will ensure your initial solar energy system is installed correctly and efficiently, whether for your home, business, or apartment complex, and are happy to answer your questions when it’s time to scale.