Sweet Answer from Solar Mango: (updated Jul 2015)
The quickest answer is: 1 kW of solar power plant requires approximately 100 sq.ft or 10 sq.m. This area is required for mainly accommodating the solar panels. This is easy to remember – Just remember 1 and 10. 1 kW = 10 sq.m.
To make it even better, and just so that you do not mix up sq.ft and sq.m, remember all three – 1, 10, 100. Thus, it is easy as ABC: 1 kW = 10 sq.m = 100 sq.ft
Now that’s the simplest answer. But, hang on: The actual area you require per kW depends on the efficiency of the solar panels and could be a bit more (or less) than 10 sq.m/100 sq.ft.
- The area required is 100 sq.ft per kW when you are using solar modules of efficiency between 16-17%, the efficiency range for conventional modules currently.
- If you use higher efficiency modules (say 20%), you will require less than 100 sq ft (around 85 sq.ft). If you use modules that have less than 15% efficiency (say 12%), you will require a bit more than 100 sq.ft for 1 kW (around 125 sq.ft).
The only other aspect you should remember is that, when we talk of area required, we talk of shade-free area, that is, roof area that is not affected by shade during any part of the day.
So, the bottom line is: 1 kW requires approximately 100 sq.ft of shade-free area, plus or minus 20% depending on the type of panel you use.
- Calculate the roof area required for your solar plant – Solar Calculator
- How much roof area do I require to install a rooftop solar PV system?
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