What Can A 5kW Solar System Run

Updated: March 5, 2022

5kw solar systems have been installed by many households in Australia. They produce sufficient power to run an ordinary home as efficiently as when using grid electricity.

You can run a washing machine, air conditioner, fridge, water heater, oven, and TV with a 5kw solar system.

If you have these appliances in your home, a 5kW solar system is sufficient. It produces 20kWh per day. Most households in Australia consume a maximum of 24kWh of electricity. Thus, the 5kW solar system can run your home efficiently.

A 6KW solar system will produce up to 22 kWh per day. With 22kW hours of power, you can run a bunch of electrical appliances in a 3 – 4 bedroom house.

ApplianceWatts per hourAvg. Hours used dailyTotal Watts
Hot water system (100L electric)150034,500
Microwave15000.3450
Dishwasher181.52,700
Freezer42241,000
Refrigerator3524900
Washing machine5000.5250
Clothes Dryer40000.31,050
Central Air conditioner 320026,400
2 x LCD televisions605300
2 x Laptops20061,200
Lights for 4 bedroom home (10 x 7 Watt LED lights [60W equivalent per globe])706420
Wifi624144
Total19,100

Note: Daily hours are calculated by taking the average weekly usage and dividing by 7 days. For example with clothes dryer use, 71.8% of households own a clothes dryer, and 74.4% of people use the clothes dryer for every load. With the average house doing 2.5 loads per week and time per load being 1 hour each time, average 2 hours per week and 0.3 of an hour per day. Also, in the chart above, 1 hour is represented as “1”, where 30 minutes is represented as 0.5 hours. Daily watt figures sourced from energyusecalculator.com

Factors That Determine What Your Solar System Can Run

How Much Power The System Produces

How much power a solar system produces is determined by the size of the solar system. A 5kW solar system produces 20kWh per day of electricity. A larger solar system will produce more power and hence will run more appliances and suitable for larger homes.

If you have a large home or your home consumes a lot of power daily, you need a solar system that produces more power.

Region

Solar systems in different regions produce different amounts of power even when they are the same size.

Solar systems in regions with more hours of sunshine produce more power. While those with fewer hours of sunshine produce less.

Depending on the climate where you live, your 5kW solar system may power your home efficiently or you may need a larger system.

How Much Power Your Appliances Need

Different appliances require different amounts of power to run. Some appliances, for example, a TV will need less power than a washing machine or a water heater.

If you have appliances that need a lot of power to run, you will need a solar system that produces more power. A smaller than 5kW solar system may not power a washing machine while it can.

Factors That Determine The Size Of Solar System You Need For Your Home

Power Consumption

How much electricity you use also determines the size of the solar system you require. Find out your electricity consumption on your electricity bill. The amount of power you consume depends on the size of your house, the number of appliances in it, and other items that may need electricity such as an electric car.

The more your electricity consumption, the larger a solar system you need.

Size Of Your Home

The size of your home determines how much power you need. The larger your home, the more rooms you have that need lighting and air conditioning. Additionally, the more appliances you are likely to have.

Where You Live

How much power a solar system produces depends on the availability of the sun. You may buy a large solar system in a region with less sunshine availability. In this region, the solar system will not produce as much power as it would in a different region with more hours of intense sunshine availability.

A professional installer will advise you on the best solar system for where you live before installation.

Price

Solar PV systems are expensive. The larger the system, the more expensive it is. In Australia, the government has offered rebates for new solar customers. These rebates help to reduce the cost of purchase and installation. The larger the system, the higher the rebate value. The rebate or a typical 6.6kWh solar system is $3,157 (NSW, QLD, SA, WA).

Depending on where you live, some states also offer low-interest rate loans for the purchase of a solar system. Coupled with the state rebate, you can easily acquire a solar system that is suitable for your lifestyle.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For A 5kW Solar System?

The number of solar panels you need for your 5kwh solar system depends on the rating of the panels. The higher the rating on the panels, the fewer solar panels you require.

To install a 5kw solar system using the most common 315W solar panel, you will need 16 solar panels. 16 x 315w = 5040w or 5kW.

To fit these panels on your roof, you need about 25-40 square meters of roof space. If you don’t have sufficient roof space, you can mount your solar panels on the ground. Make sure they are in the open for easy absorption of sunshine.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For A 5kW Solar System

How Much Does A 5kW Solar System Cost

A 5kW solar system costs around $5,130. Depending on where you live, you can expect a rebate discount of around $2,387. This rebate is actually claimed by your installer and the price they will give you (range above) is the after credit price.

Can You Install A Battery System With A 5kW Solar System?

Yes, you can install a solar battery system with a 5kW solar system but it’s probably not worth it just yet.

TSolar battery systems are expensive and to be honest you are best just taking advantage of the feed-in tariff system which allows you to use the grid like a virtual battery.

So instead of paying $15,000 for solar panel and battery, you will only pay about $4,500 for just the panels. This will mean you will save a max of 90% offyour power bill instead of 100% with a battery, but if you do the math, you will see it’s not worth paying $10,000 extra for a battery to save that last 10%.

What Happens When You Don’t Have A Battery System

Without a battery system, you can export your excess power to the grid.

To do this, you need to get into an agreement with an electricity retailer. Your solar system will then be connected to the grid.

You will be paid for the amount of power you send to the grid at an agreed-upon rate known as a feed-in tariff. For most households, this helps to offset any electricity bills incurred.

How Long Does It Take For A 5kW System To Pay Itself?

When you purchase a solar system, you invest in the system. As a result, you want to see a return on your investment. The return on investment is the time it takes for you to recover your investment in the solar system.

For a 5kW solar system, it takes about 3.5 to 5 years for a 5kW system to pay itself.

How long it takes for a system to pay itself depends on several factors.

  • First, solar power consumption. When you consume most of the power produced by your solar panels, you make more savings on your electricity bill.
  • Second, electricity consumption. The more electricity you consume when you have solar, the longer it will take to return your investment.
  • Third, feed-in tariffs. They help offset your electricity bill against the amount of solar you export to the grid. Maximum use of solar in the home coupled with payment for the solar power exported and reduced use of electricity help to shorten your payback period.

Do Solar Panels Work At Night

No, solar panels don’t work at night. Solar panels convert sunshine into electrical power. Solar panels absorb sunshine during the day, They will then convert the sunshine into DC power.

The DC power is then passed through the inverter which converts it to AC power. AC power is used by electrical appliances in the house.

To use solar at night, you need to invest in a solar battery system. Solar batteries store the excess power produced by your solar system. You can then use the power in the battery at night.

Do Solar Panels Work At Night

Do Solar Panels Produce The Same Amount Of Power Throughout The Day

No. The more intense the sun is, the more power the solar panels produce.

In the morning, the sun is not hot enough. Your solar panels will absorb the sunshine and produce some little power.

However, as the day advances, so does the intensity of the sun. Consequently, your solar panels produce lots of power at this time when the sun is hottest.

time-of-day-vs-power-output

In the evening, as the sun sets, it reduces its intensity. Your solar panels also reduce their electricity production rate. Once the sun sets and it gets dark, your solar panels stop producing any power.

It is at the hours of the day when the sun is most intense that your solar panels produce enough power to export to the grid and power the home.

Depending on where you live in Australia, this peak time for solar panels falls from 10 am-2 pm.

Ben McInerney head shotAuthor: Ben McInerney is a renewable energy enthusiast with the goal of helping more Australians understand solar systems to make the best choice before they purchase. Having an accredited solar installer in the family helps give Ben access to the correct information, which allows him to break it down and make it easily understandable to the average homeowner.