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PV Solar Sizing Methodology

Photovoltaic (PV) system sizes are listed in a variety of kilowatt (kW) terms:

  • Nameplate kW (or Standard Test Conditions, STC)

  • PVUSA Test Conditions kW (PTC)

  • CEC-AC kW , after the inverter efficiency is applied

  • CSI-kW, which includes site-specific design conditions that may reduce annual generation

Example: On the SF Peninsula a 1 kilowatt (AC) PV system is estimated to generate between 1,600 and 1,800 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. Therefore to calculate the system size needed to meet all your electric consumption, divide your annual electric consumption (kWh) by 1,700 to get a the PV system size in kilowatts (CEC-AC).

Your results may vary!