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How to Use Solar Panels to Power a Tiny House

Solar Panels

Homeowners all across the world are choosing compact dwellings to limit their energy use and material possessions. Despite the fact that these homes are much smaller than a typical home, they consume a lot of energy for lighting, heating, cooling, and other equipment. Using solar panels to create your own safe, free energy can help you save even more money on your energy bills, whether you reside in a tiny house or are planning to build one.

Because only a few people have gone fully off the grid in their small home, many people have enquired about placing a solar panel on their tiny house. All of these small households had to learn how to run their air conditioning on solar, how to cook meals in a solar oven, and how to use solar generators as backup power.

Tiny houses are good candidates for solar energy because they have a small footprint and so need less energy. The average American home consumes over 30 KWs per day, while my modest apartment utilizes only 3 KWs per day.

Benefits of solar panels for compact houses

Solar Panels
Photo by: regre-min

Placing solar panels on a tiny house has many of the same benefits as installing them on a larger system: you will save money on power, you will help the environment, and you will have control over your own energy output. Solar panel systems will also help you increase the value of your little house if you plan to sell it in the future; potential buyers value free, sustainable energy and are willing to pay a premium for it up front.

Many tiny houses are also mobile, moving from one location to another over time. If you have or want to build up a little house on wheels, solar energy is the way to go: you won’t have to rely on finding power sources wherever you start to put your home for a while. Instead, you can count on a steady supply of electricity no matter where you are.

Is it better to be grid-tied or off-grid?

Solar panels are an excellent method to reduce your reliance on large power providers, lower your energy expenses, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in grid-connected Tiny Homes. You can even return the favor by exchanging your energy with them!

If your Tiny Home is too far away from the grid to connect to the grid, or if you just prefer the independence of a more sustainable lifestyle, an off-grid solar system is a great option.

Off the Grid Solar Tiny Houses

A well-thought-out off-grid system Even if the lights are turned on, a solar panel can keep your Tiny Home warm all year. There are several solar professionals who will take the time to conduct a comprehensive energy audit of your needs. They will estimate and predict your Tiny Home’s energy use based on the equipment, available space, and your normal lifestyle. This information is used by the skilled staff to tailor your system to properly meet your energy usage.

How much energy do you want to generate?

On average, tiny houses use a lot less electricity than a regular dwelling. However, each tiny house is different, and the quantity of electricity used will vary depending on the size, number of people living in it, equipment used, and other considerations. To maximize your savings, attempt to produce as much of your total electricity demand as possible. This could mean installing as few as five solar panels or as many as fifteen.

If you’re not sure how much electricity your small house will require, the Department of Energy’s appliances and Household Electronic Power Need Calculator is a great place to start. Individual appliances, as well as how often they are used, can be entered to generate an estimate of how much electricity they use each year.

To power a little house, how many solar panels are required?

Solar Panels

To begin, utilize a solar calculator to see how much electricity you now consume. This appliance chart might also help you figure out how much energy you’ll need. Next, to save money on electricity and reduce the size of your solar system, consider purchasing energy-efficient or alternative-powered equipment for your Tiny House RV.

A traditional tiny house, on the other hand, will be powered by 15 solar panels. This is based on a 300-watt solar panel producing 4,500 watts of power from the sun. This would meet all of your energy needs, including some air conditioning and heating systems, although a gas stove and a propane-fueled hot water heater would be required. If you live in a particularly cold climate, a gas heater will almost probably be required to keep you warm.

In general, the roof of a small house can only hold roughly two solar panels. This is a serious challenge because you can only expect to generate about 20 watts per square foot of solar cell under perfect conditions. That means a tiny house roof can only hold approximately 600 watts of solar energy, which isn’t much.

Should the solar system be installed on the roof or on the ground?

Solar Panels

Make sure your small house’s roof gets enough light and is technically sound enough to sustain solar cells and racking equipment before installing solar panels. Depending on how and what your little house was built with, the roof may not be able to take the additional weight.

If this is the case, thin-film solar cells are worth looking into because they are typically significantly lighter than traditional solar panel options. Because some thin-film panels, such as Lumeta’s, are adhesive, you may not need to worry about racking components adding to the load.

Rather than erecting rooftop solar systems, many small house owners prefer to install solar panels on a sunny piece of land near their homes. Although these solutions necessitate more racking and installation equipment, you will have more choice in where you place your panels and often have more space to work with.

You’ll want to make sure your panels are oriented to capture the most amount of sunlight possible, whether they’re on the rooftop or on the ground.

Final Thoughts

So, after reading the advantages and learning the basics of using solar panels to power your small house, are you ready to make the transition to greener energy sources for your power supply system? Please let us know!

You can also read: Tiny Home Electrical Guide