Can solar energy power a House?
What Can Solar Panels Power in My Home ?
Whether a solar electric system can entirely replace the utility grid and meet your daily energy needs depends on your daily consumption.
If your home is already connected to the utility grid, replacing completely the utility with a PV system might NOT be cost-effective.
Offsetting a part of your electrical bills through a solar system however could be the best way to save money on electricity.
While you take your connection to the local utility grid for granted, solar produced electricity is more expensive because your costs for solar electricity production are higher than the costs of your utility grid for producing electricity.
Therefore before implementing a solar system you should try to reduce your daily electrical consumption. You should start with increasing energy efficiency of your home or office. Achieving energy efficiency means reducing electrical consumption and your monthly electricity bills respectively.
Yes, saving energy is less expensive than producing energy. By improving energy efficiency the cost of the photovoltaic system you are going to install will be reduced.
Electrical heating appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, electrical boilers, tumble driers) are not recommended to be powered by photovoltaic systems.
For each heating appliance you should find a proper both energy-efficient and cost-effective alternative. As a matter of fact, heat is always an expensive source.
Actually you could power all those devices by solar electricity. You will rarely see anyone do that however since heating devices are known as ‘power-hungry’. This means that powering heating devices by photovoltaics turns out to be very expensive.
Calculating your daily consumption
Calculating your daily electricity consumption is a step to both reaching energy efficiency and implementing a solar electric system.
Since an off-grid is not connected to the grid, it is irrelevant to talk about offsetting a part of your energy consumption to the PV system. The PV system should be able to meet all of your daily energy needs.