How Many Solar Panels for 5kVA Inverter?

For a properly functioning solar PV system, the solar array capacity must align with the inverter size. A 5kVA (5,000 watts) inverter is a common choice for residential solar installations. But how many solar panels are needed to support this 5kVA equipment?

The number of solar panels required depends on the wattage of the individual panels. Typically, you need around 16-22 x 300W panels or 12-18 x 370W panels for a 5kVA inverter system.

The exact solar panel quantity can be determined by factoring in panel efficiency, sunlight hours, power needs, and system losses. Properly sizing a solar array ensures the inverter isn’t under or overdriven. Let’s calculate the number of solar panels needed for your 5kVA inverter.

How Many Solar Panels for 5kVA Inverter

Key Factors that Determine the Number of Solar Panels Necessary for 5kVA Inverter

The first step is understanding the key factors that determine how many solar panels are ideal for your 5kVA inverter:

  • Inverter power rating 5kVA refers to its power rating of 5,000 watts, or 5 kilovolt-amps. This size inverter is suitable for typical residential solar installs.
  • System voltage – Most residential solar systems use 12V or 24V architecture. The system voltage impacts solar panel wiring configurations.
  • Panel wattage – Typical home solar panels range from 250W to 400W. Combining panels reaches the desired system capacity.
  • 25% oversizing – According to a rule of thumb, the allowable oversizing limit is 15 to 25%. However, you can go up to 55%, but it’s recommended to not go beyond the limit. To be on the safe side, let’s take 25% oversizing.
  • Wiring considerations – Electrical wire sizing, layout, and overcurrent protection must be planned appropriately.
  • Solar Panel Type: There are two different types of solar panels available on the market -monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels:
  1. Monocrystalline Panels:

Monocrystalline panels are more powerful and have better efficiency ratings. They are smaller but costly. The typical output of monocrystalline panels ranges from 310 to 400 watts.

  1. Polycrystalline Panels:

Polycrystalline panels are less costly but have lower efficiency compared to monocrystalline panels. They are larger but have a lower cost. The output of polycrystalline panels may range between 250 to 300 watts.

Let’s look at how these factors translate into real-world solar panel numbers for a 5kVA inverter.

Number of Solar Panels Necessary for 5kVA Inverter

Solar Panel Configuration Examples for 3.5kVA Inverter

General Calculation on How Many Solar Panels Are Required for 5kVA Inverter

Here are the other 60-cell solar panel quantities required for a 5kVA inverter:

19 x 330W panels = 6,270W

21 x 300W panels = 6,300W

17 x 370W panels = 6,290W

Here are three examples of solar panel counts and wiring layouts for a 5kVA inverter system:

Example 1: 24V System with 330W Panels

To calculate the number of solar panels required for a 24V system with a 5000W inverter and 25% oversizing, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Calculate the oversizing factor: 

Multiply the inverter power by 1.25 (25% oversizing).

5000W * 1.25 = 6250W

Step 2 – Determine the number of panels: 

Divide the oversized power by the panel wattage.

6250W / 330W per panel = 18.94 panels

Since you can’t have parts of solar panels, round up to the nearest whole number:

19 panels

Therefore, you will need 19 x 330W panels total, providing 6250W of solar power to leverage the full 5kVA inverter capability. This configuration ensures that your system generates enough power to meet your energy needs while also allowing for future expansion.

Example 2: 12V System with 295W Panels

  • Inverter power: 5000W
  • System voltage: 12V
  • 25% oversizing: 5000W x 1.25 = 6250W
  • 295W panels needed: 6250W / 295W = 21.19 panels
  • Round up to 22 panels

Here 22 x 295W solar panels wired in a series-parallel layout satisfy the 5kVA inverter’s input requirements on a 12V system.

Example 3: For Different Types of Solar Panels

To determine the number of panels for a 5kW solar system, you would divide the total system capacity (5,000 watts) by the wattage of each panel.

For example, if you are using monocrystalline panels with an average output of 350 watts:

Number of Panels = 5,000 watts / 350 watts/panel ≈ 14.29 panels (round up to the nearest whole number)

You would need approximately 15 monocrystalline panels for the 5kW system.

For polycrystalline panels with an average output of 275 watts:

Number of Panels = 5,000 watts / 275 watts/panel ≈ 18.18 panels (round up to the nearest whole number)

You would need approximately 19 polycrystalline panels for the 5kW system.

Basically, you need a solar array with a maximum power (Pmax) in the 5,500W – 6,500W range. Higher-watt panels require fewer total panels. With this calculation, you can easily determine the number of solar panels necessary for your inverter. You can also check the table below to determine it more quickly:

KW PanelsNumber of Panels

What Affects The Number Of Solar Panels Requirement

The number of panels depends on:

  • Panel efficiency – Higher rates mean fewer panels are needed.
  • Sun hours – More sun = smaller system required.
  • Power needs – Critical loads determine minimum array size.
  • Losses – Cable, inverter, and temperature losses subtract ~20% from capacity.

An accurate assessment of these factors is necessary for proper solar system sizing.

What Can a 5kVA System Power?

A 5kW solar system can typically power:

  • 1-3 energy-efficient window air conditioners
  • Lights, fans, pumps, and other 120V circuits
  • Applicable 240V appliances if paired with batteries for surge supply
  • Charging stations for phones, tools, laptops, etc.

Cost and Space Needs

  • Equipment cost for a 5kW system averages $3,500-$7,000
  • Installation ranges from $11,000-$16,000
  • Total system cost typically $15k-$23k

You need 150-350 square feet of unshaded roof space for 16-22 panels.

Energy Bill Savings

With an average of 20 kWh generation per day from a 5kW system, annual savings range from:

  • 9 cents/kWh rate = $600/year
  • 15 cents/kWh rate = $1,000/year
  • 25 cents/kWh rate = $1,800/year

Savings depend on utility rates and net metering policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Size Inverter Do I Need For A 5kw System?

A 5kVA inverter is perfectly matched to a 5kW solar array.

What Wiring Should Be Used For A 5kva Grid-Tied System?

#6 AWG copper wire is recommended for cable runs up to 100 ft. in a 5kW system.

How Should Panels Be Configured For 5kva?

Wire panels in series to achieve system voltage, then sets in parallel for current.

How Much Can A 5kva Inverter Support In Off-Grid Mode?

Approximately 3,000-4,000 watts of continuous power consumption.


When installing a 5kVA solar inverter, use the guidance provided to determine the optimum number of panels rated 300-400 watts to create a properly matched 5kW solar array. Sizing your system this way prevents overworking the inverter while maximizing solar energy production.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *