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# How many solar cells would I need in order to provide all of the electricity that my house needs?

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How many solar cells would I need in order to provide all of the electricity that my house needs?

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From our calculations and assumptions above, we know that a solar panel can generate 70 milliwatts per square inch * 5 hours = 350 milliwatt hours per day. Therefore you need about 41,000 square inches of solar panel for the house. That’s a solar panel that measures about 285 square feet (about 26 square meters). That would cost around \$16,000 right now. Then, because the sun only shines part of the time, you would need to purchase a battery bank, an inverter, etc., and that often doubles the cost of the installation.

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If you have read the HSW article entitled How Solar Yard Lights Work, then you can get a feeling for how much power a solar cell can produce. The solar panel shown in that article contains 4 cells, and each of them can produce 0.45 volts and 100 milliamps, or 45 milliwatts. Each cell measures 2 inches by 0.5 inches. In other words, with these solar cells you can generate 45 milliwatts in one square inch (6.45 square cm). For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that a panel can generate 70 milliwatts per square inch. To calculate how many square inches of solar panel you need for a house, you need to know: • How much power the house consumes on average. • Where the house is located (so you can calculate mean solar days, average rainfall, etc.). Thi

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HowStuffWorks.com.