Our Solar Power Solution
The main issue to consider when using solar panels to generate power.
The simplest power solution is to get a solar water heater and to convert all your lights to LED’s- thirty 3W LED’s use less power than one 100W incandescent bulb.
The main issue to consider when using solar panels to generate power, is how much power do you need for your house to ‘idle’ (baseload). This means how much power do things that are always on (your fridge and freezer) need for an hour, taking this number (on a sticker on the back, or in the manual) and multiplying by say 10 hours, will give you an idea of how many panels and battery storage your baseload needs for a 10hour power outage. Add say 20% for lights, TV etc.
A family of 2+2 should be comfortable with a 3-5kW inverter with sufficient battery storage and panels. This will run your fridges, lights, TV, as well as allow short bursts of microwave heating (for a few minutes) for example.
A 2kW utensil (m-wave, kettle) used for 10 minutes will use 200W of power. Kettles, geysers, ovens, underfloor heating, electric heaters, hairdryers, pool pumps etc. use kW’s of power, they will drain the battery very quickly. These should not be used when the mains power is not available, or even when it is heavily overcast.
Lastly, your battery can deliver about 80% max of its rated capacity (in kWh). For example, if you have a 5kWh battery 4kWh is available. So, if you use 500W/h, you will have power for about 8 hours.
This is simply a guideline: You should speak to your solar supplier in detail about your requirements.