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Off-Grid Calculator: Size Your System for Off-Grid

If you are moving from a utility-connected home in the 'burbs' to an off-grid home in the boonies, you will have the opportunity (perhaps necessity) of downsizing your electricity usage. In order to calculate how large your home power system needs to be, run the Off-Grid sizing calculator below.

  • Run the System Sizing Calculator with with figures from working through the Load Evaluation Calculator, (PDF) based on the energy efficient lighting and energy efficient appliances you will choose for your new off-grid home.
  • Use our Appliance Electrical Consumption Table for average appliance electrical usages.
  • Decide what percentage of power you want to generate.
  • Get the daily sun hours for your building location.
  • Calculate your system size.
  • Once you calculate your system size, write it down. You will need this for Step Four.
    You can also explore some of our pre-designed systems to get a ballpark idea of what your system might cost.

1. What's the most electricity you might use in a month?

Use the actual watt-hours per day at the end of your Load Evaluation Calculator OR (PDF). You can do this by consulting our Appliance Electrical Consumption Table below or by measuring the power usage of each appliance with a Kill A Watt Meter for a more precise measurement.

* If you want a quick ballpark number, look at your past electric bills and find the month with the highest usage (often summer or winter, depending on cooling/heating needs in your area). The bill should show you the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) used that month. Put this number in the space below.

Wholesale Solar Load Evaluation Calculator
Appliance Quantity Watts
(V x A)
Mult. * 1.1 for AC conversion
Hours On per Day Watt Hours per Day

Total Watt Hours per Day:

Watt Hours Required Assuming Inherent Efficiency Loss:

* Use these estimates to provide a general watt value for your appliances.
For example:

Blender - 500 Watts

2. What percentage of your house/business power do you want to generate with solar power?

If you want to produce 100% of your electricity, leave 100.

3. How many Sun Hours do you average per day?

Enter your zip code, and we'll look up the the sun hours in your area.

Or, you can look at the Solar Map to find this number.

This is based on an annual average. Depending on your location and energy usage patterns, you might need a larger system to avoid using a backup generator excessively during the winter months.

Sun Hours/Day

Typically 4-6 hours, most of the US receives an average of around 5 sun hours per day.

*An overestimation of sun hours will result in an incorrect system calculation.

This is a very general system size estimation. Other factors such as shade, location, available panel space, and seasonal use need to be taken into account.

For the most accurate and personalized system size calculation, call our solar experts at 1-800-472-1142.

We want to help you get the system that's right for you.

Minimum System Size:
Approximate Solar Panel Wattage:

Approximate Number of Solar Panels Needed:

NOTE: These figures are approximate and do not take into account the variable efficiency ratings of solar panels and off grid inverters. Please work with experienced Wholesale Solar staff to design a system which fits within your budget and can be expanded as needed.

If you want to see the results of your form submission and would like us to email you a copy, click here.*
*If you leave the page, the form might reset and the information you have entered could be lost.
I have my mininum system size.
Go to Step Four
Let us design your system

To get a ballpark idea of what your system might cost:

Click the button on the right to view our off-grid ballpark cost table.

Last updated: 04/21/2019

System size (kW) Daily Production Estimate Example panel configuration Approximate Price Range (before 30% federal tax credit)
1.12 kWSummer 5.5 kWh
Winter 2.5 kWh
4 × 280 W
$7,600 - $10,200
1.68 kWSummer 8.5 kWh
Winter 4.0 kWh
6 × 280 W
$8,900 - $14,600
2.52 kWSummer 12.5 kWh
Winter 6.0 kWh
9 × 280 W
$9,800 - $15,500
3.36 kWSummer 17.0 kWh
Winter 8.5 kWh
12 × 280 W
$11,900 - $23,600
4.2 kWSummer 22.5 kWh
Winter 11.0 kWh
15 × 280 W
$13,000 - $24,700
6.72 kWSummer 30.0 kWh
Winter 15.0 kWh
24 × 280 W
$21,600 - $45,700
8.4 kWSummer 37.5 kWh
Winter 18.5 kWh
30 × 280 W
$23,000 - $47,100
9.45 kWSummer 42.5 kWh
Winter 21.0 kWh
30 × 315 W
$25,300 - $49,400
10.08 kWSummer 45.0 kWh
Winter 22.5 kWh
36 × 280 W
$29,100 - $48,500
11.34 kWSummer 51.0 kWh
Winter 25.5 kWh
36 × 315 W
$31,800 - $51,200
12.6 kWSummer 56.5 kWh
Winter 28.0 kWh
45 × 280 W
$37,600 - $44,300
14.18 kWSummer 63.5 kWh
Winter 31.5 kWh
45 × 315 W
$41,200 - $47,900
15.12 kWSummer 68.0 kWh
Winter 34.0 kWh
54 × 280 W
$39,700 - $46,400
17.01 kWSummer 76.5 kWh
Winter 38.0 kWh
54 × 315 W
$43,800 - $50,500

These figures are based on complete solar power systems that Wholesale Solar sells. Prices are approximate. Prices do not include freight, tax, or installation.

Why are smaller systems sometimes more expensive than larger ones? Because higher-efficiency panels cost more. For example, to get a 10 kW system, you can either use 35 285W panels or 39 260W panels. Even though you need more 260W panels (they are less efficient), economies of scale actually make them more affordable. So when would you want to use higher-efficieny panels? Only when you're limited on roof/ground space and need to squeeze the most power out of every available square foot. In other words, more efficient panels cost more but can generate more power per square area. If you're not limited by space, we suggest you go with the best price per watt instead.

Click the button on the right to check out our pre-designed systems that closely match your current calculated off-grid needs. *

* Pricing on these systems does NOT include batteries.

Take your calculated numbers and explore the Off-Grid Systems.
Or give us a call at 1-800-472-1142. We are here to help!