Did you know that the answers to the most common questions about solar power are available at the tip of your fingers … literally? Check out this list of solar calculators that are simple to use and available online.
To get direct pricing on a solar system in your area, click here.
Each calculator is different, helping you determine things like the tilt your panels should be, the system size you should purchase given how much energy you want to save, the amount of usable sunlight you can expect in your area, and other helpful information.
Use the calculators before or in conjunction with talking to a professional contractor. Solar calculators can potentially help you determine how many solar panels you need before you purchase, or help you understand your system better after installation. Keep in mind, though, that the calculators aren’t error-proof!
- PV Watts Calculator. After typing in your location, system information, and cost of electricity, this calculator will help you track your panels’ energy production and its dollar value.
- Solar Trading Post Calculator. This calculator will help you determine what kind of system you need. Simply enter your location, average electricity bill, and desired return, and the calculator will recommend a system size as well as automatically generate the cost of the panels in your area. It even pulls up rebate information in your area.
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Calculator. This calculator will help you determine the sun’s position and intensity, given different locations and times.
- Square One Research Calculator. This interactive calculator also helps you determine the position of the sun, given a latitude, longitude, and time.
- Where-RV-Now Calculator. For all you RV owners, this calculator will help you discover your solar panels’ power output, given the specs of your system.
- Maxesun Solar Calculator. This calculator has a system output estimator and panel angle calculator. It is set up for Australia, but you can use one of the other calculators on this list to determine the number of hours of sun you get per day, and fill that number in.
- Solardat Calculator. Fill in your latitude, longitude, and time zone, and this calculator creates a PDF chart of the path of the sun for the specified time. It could be used to evaluate hours of usable sunlight. (hint, hint, see #6)
- Kensolar Panel Angle Calculator. Enter your latitude, and this calculator will help you figure out which angle your panels should face.
- Midsummer Energy Calculator. This calculator will help you calculate approximately how much energy you use every day.
- PV Economics Calculator. Describe your solar set up and this calculator will break down how much power you can expect to get and how economical of an investment it will be.