3.8kW Solar System: Price, Load Capacity, How Big, and More

How Much Will a 3.8kW Solar System Save?

By installing a 3.8kW solar system, you can save a significant amount of money on your electricity bills. On average, you can save up to $1,179 per year with this system. Over the course of the panel’s 25-year lifetime, this translates to a total savings of $29,474. These savings are based on the assumption that you will generate a substantial portion of your electricity from the solar system.

Rising Cost of Electricity

One of the driving factors behind the increasing popularity of solar energy is the rising cost of electricity. Over the past 40 years, electricity costs in the United States have increased by a staggering 270%. This upward trend can be observed in the following chart:

Electricity Costs

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

By investing in a solar system, you can reduce your dependence on utility companies and mitigate the impact of these rising electricity costs.

See also: Solar Panel Systems: The Ultimate Guide to Going Green in 2023

Electricity Saving

The more electricity you generate from your solar system, the less you need to rely on utility companies. By producing your own electricity, you can significantly reduce your monthly bills. The excess energy that you generate can even be sold back to the grid, allowing you to make a profit from your solar energy production.

Solar Energy for a Profit

In addition to saving on your electricity bills, you can also turn your solar energy production into a profitable venture. If you generate more electricity than you consume, you can sell the excess energy back to the grid. This means that you can potentially earn a 20% return on your investment per year based on current electricity costs.

3.8kW Solar Panel System Price

The typical cost for a 3.8kW solar system is approximately $7,600. This price includes the solar panels, inverters, mounting equipment, and installation. It’s important to note that prices for solar systems have come down substantially over the past 10 years, making it a more affordable option for homeowners.

Solar Panel Costs

Source: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

3.8kW System with Battery Backup

If you are considering a solar system with battery backup, there are two main types of batteries to consider: lead acid and lithium polymer. When sizing the batteries for a 3.8kW system, the calculations are as follows:

  • Lead Acid Sizing: 3.8kWh x 2 (for 50% depth of discharge) x 1.2 (inefficiency factor) = 46 kWh
  • Lithium Sizing: 3.8kWh x 1.2 (for 80% depth of discharge) x 1.05 (inefficiency factor) = 24 kWh

Based on these calculations, it is highly recommended to use lithium polymer batteries as they require only half as many batteries compared to lead acid batteries. Furthermore, purchasing batteries and panels together can help reduce the overall cost of the system.

3.8kW Off-Grid Solar System

If you are looking to go completely off-grid with your solar system, you will need to consider additional factors. To run a 3.8kW off-grid system, you will typically need to buy 13 or more solar panels. Additionally, you will require approximately 24 kWh worth of lithium polymer batteries to ensure you have enough storage capacity for a full cycle. The typical cost of batteries required to run a 3.8kW off-grid system is $11,252.

How Many Panels Are Needed?

Most solar panels have a power output of 300 watts. To achieve a 3.8kW solar system, you will need a minimum of 13 panels. However, it’s worth considering adding a few extra panels to account for any potential shading or inefficiencies in the system.

If you need different power requirements, check out 3.2 kW solar systems

How Big is a 3.8 kW Solar System?

Each solar panel has a size of approximately 17 square feet. With a minimum of 13 panels for a 3.8 kW system, the total footprint of the system would be approximately 215 square feet. It’s important to consider the available space on your roof or in your yard when planning for the installation of a solar system.

How Many kWh Does a 3.8kW Solar System Produce? (Load Per Day)

A 3.8kW solar system has a typical output of 19 kWh per day. This output is based on the assumption that the panels receive at least 5 hours of sunlight per day. This translates to approximately 570 kWh per month and 6,935 kWh per year. It’s important to note that the actual output may vary based on factors such as location, shading, and weather conditions.

There are also 4 kW solar systems if you need a different sized system.

How Many Batteries Needed For a 3.8kW Solar Panel System?

The number of batteries required for a 3.8kW solar panel system depends on the type of battery being used. If you opt for the recommended lithium polymer battery, you will need approximately 24 kWh worth of batteries. It is possible to purchase a single battery system or wire several batteries of smaller sizes together to meet the required capacity.

Is a 3.8kW Solar System Worth It?

Investing in a 3.8kW solar system can be financially beneficial in the long run, especially if you live in an area with ample sunlight. With the potential to generate $1,179 worth of electricity savings every year, you can achieve a 20% return on your investment based on the current costs of solar panels. Considering the average cost of $7,600 for this system, it indeed sounds like a great deal.

In conclusion, a 3.8kW solar system offers substantial savings and benefits. With the decreasing cost of solar panels and the rising cost of electricity, it is an opportune time to transition to solar energy. By harnessing the power of the sun, you not only save money but also contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future.

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Elliot has 20+ years of experience in renewable technology, from conservation to efficient living. His passion is to help others achieve independent off-grid living.

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