SOLAR ENERGY

How Big Is A Solar Panel? (Sizes & Dimensions for 2022)

July 15, 2022
Solar Energy

Solar panels are becoming an increasingly common sight in neighborhoods these days and many people are making the switch to solar power to help the environment and save some money on power every year.

There are many things that you might want to know about installing solar panels and two of the most common questions that people often ask is how big is a solar panel and how many solar panels will fit on my roof? Keep reading for these answers and more useful information about solar panels.

What Is The Size Of A Solar Panel?

Residential solar panels come at a standard size of 66 x 40 inches and weigh about 42 pounds. Commercial panels are usually about 6.5 feet long and weigh about 50 pounds. For comparison, residential panels are about the size of a large dining room table and commercial panels are about the size of a pool table.

You will also need to consider 1.25 x 1.6 inches for the frame that holds the panel. There is some variety per brand, but this is a pretty standard estimate for the size and weight of these panels.

Commercial solar panels can vary in size more than residential panels due to the various sizes of buildings that might have commercial use panels applied to them. Commercial panels will often produce more power than residential systems since these are typically larger buildings and complexes that need more power every year to operate.

The weight of these panels is an additional factor, although the overall weight of solar panels has decreased greatly in recent years. The quality framing solutions that are offered by most manufacturers will readily support the weight of the installation of panels on your roof unless your roof is in very bad repair.

how big is a solar panel

What Is The Size Of A Solar Panel?

Residential solar panels come at a standard size of 66 x 40 inches and weigh about 42 pounds. Commercial panels are usually about 6.5 feet long and weigh about 50 pounds. For comparison, residential panels are about the size of a large dining room table and commercial panels are about the size of a pool table.

You will also need to consider 1.25 x 1.6 inches for the frame that holds the panel. There is some variety per brand, but this is a pretty standard estimate for the size and weight of these panels.

Commercial solar panels can vary in size more than residential panels due to the various sizes of buildings that might have commercial use panels applied to them. Commercial panels will often produce more power than residential systems since these are typically larger buildings and complexes that need more power every year to operate.

The weight of these panels is an additional factor, although the overall weight of solar panels has decreased greatly in recent years. The quality framing solutions that are offered by most manufacturers will readily support the weight of the installation of panels on your roof unless your roof is in very bad repair.

How Many Solar Panels Will Fit on a Home Roof?

This is one of the most common questions that people ask when considering installing solar panels, especially for residential installations. Residential roofs are not often as friendly to the process of installing solar panels as commercial building roofs. This means that there might be some limitations to your unique rooftop that other homes will not experience.

As a rule of thumb, most people can fit about 97 solar panels on their roof, which is far more than they will need. The company installing your system will be able to advise you as far as how many solar panels are required to generate the power that you need. EPB Energy Pros ℠ are able to provide a list of vetted solar contractors in our service territory to help.

what size is a solar panel

The amount of sunlight that you experience in your part of Tennessee might impact the number of panels that you will ultimately need on your home and your own power demands each day might also affect this number. At the end of the day, you will only need enough panels to power your home and no more.

One of the other factors that can limit or prevent the installation of solar panels on your roof is the condition of your roof. If your home needs a new roof or needs lots of repairs to the existing roof, it is not a good idea to attach heavy solar panels to it. Solar installations that are 20 panels in size, for example, will weigh 800 pounds. This means that your roof will need to be durable and new enough to hold up this amount of weight.

Most homes that are newer or have new roofs installed can handle more than 3 pounds per square foot of weight. This is usually more than enough to take care of your solar panel installation needs. Older roof styles and older designs of roofs might not have enough support to handle this kind of weight. You should keep this in mind if you are going to be installing your solar panels on an older home. You might need to replace your roof before you do so.

How Many Power Cells Are in Standard and Commercial Solar Panels?

All solar panels are made with individual solar photovoltaic cells. These are referred to as PV cells. These come in standard sizes as well and will usually be 156mm by 156mm, or about 6 inches by 6 inches. Most standard solar panels will have about 60 of these cells and the commercial ones will have 72 PV cells. You might see larger numbers in commercial cells of 98 or more.

These are the most important part of the solar panel and the more of these cells that are present in the panel, the more power it will generate. This is a factor that not many people are aware of as far as the power of their solar panels. You might be able to generate more power with a solar panel that has more PV cells.

Are There Smaller Solar Cells Than Commercial or Residential?

There are actually mini solar panels that are made for RV use and other kinds of smaller power demand settings. You will find that these will be about 0.6 x 2.55 inches all the way up to 8.85 x 5.12 inches. These panels will generate about 0.06 and 4 watts of electric power per hour. This is why this solar panel is usually only used for RVs or portable use.

These are made for limited space and they are lighter in weight. This is not going to be a solution for your home use in most cases, but you will find that there are some instances where this is a great investment if you need to power some small items, an RV, or a machine with solar power. These units usually are set to charge a battery and store power in this way to make sure that you do not run out of power if you do not have the sun that you need to generate power each day.

If you’ve done your research and decide that a solar installation isn’t right for you, you can also look for community solar options. Here in Chattanooga, the EPB Solar ShareTM Program allows homeowners, businesses, and renters to lease panels monthly and earn generation credits on their monthly bills.

What Does it Cost to Install Solar Panels?

When you hear about the size of solar panels, you might think that they will be prohibitively expensive to install. You will find that the average cost is about $12,000 after you get paid back by tax incentives if they’re available. This means that a small system might be possible to install for around $5,000 but a commercial system might be as much as $40,000. Costs can vary from state to state. Contact EPB Energy Pros for free guidance on solar panel costs and verified contractors.

There might also be added costs such as a roof replacement if your roof is not sturdy enough for this installation. You might also need specialized frames for places that get very high winds or other environmental challenges like lots of snow each year. Labor costs and equipment costs can vary by location as well, so these price quotes are just a suggested average.

how big are solar panels

Usually, a solar energy company will install the panels and provide the maintenance after the installation and the work is done. Additional services are not free but they are offset in most cases by the amount of money that you can make selling power back to the grid.

These installs take a few days at most. The roof will be prepped, the frames will be set up and wired correctly, and then the panels themselves will be installed. The inverters and control circuits will then be connected and checked to make sure they are working. The last step in the process is for someone from the local government to come and make sure that the panels are correctly installed before they are approved to be connected to the grid.

Install costs are often offset by tax breaks that are given to home and business owners who commit to installing solar energy on their property. In Alaska, for example, the starting cost for a system is around $13,000 and the total tax credits will come to around $3,000. In Tennessee, the total cost of an average system is about $29,880 before tax incentives according to EcoWatch. There is a federal tax credit available in Tennessee of 26% of the total system value which averages out to around $7,769. You can see that there is some variability in the overall cost and the amount of the tax breaks that are given back to homeowners and business owners.

The more important question that you need to answer when looking at installing a solar power array is what you will save each month. Most Americans spend between $100 and $200 a month on power on average. The original investment cost for your solar setup will be offset in most cases within 12 to 18 years and they can last for 25 to 30 years. The sustainability of your solar-powered home is an additional benefit to consider.

How Much Power Can a Standard Solar Panel Generate?

Solar panels are rated for the power that they can produce based on their STC or the standard test conditions that the manufacturer uses to rate them. This is usually a higher number than what they actually can create. For standard size panels, the STC is usually 230 and 275 watts while the real-world numbers are about 10-15% lower. The average output for these panels is about 195-247 watts depending on weather and other factors.

The average home needs about 9,000 kWh each year of active energy. A single solar panel will create about 150 watts of power an hour on the low end. Most panels will generate about 250 watts of power per hour on average. This means that you will need about 20 to 25 panels to power your home all year without help from the power grid. In some locations, you might need more to meet your needs. The amount of light that your home gets and the seasonal conditions in your area can impact this number but not greatly.

how large is a solar panel

The size of solar panels has become increasingly manageable over the years. The size of the average commercial or residential panels will now fit comfortably onto more roof styles, whether you are installing at home or at a business. You will only need to worry about the weight of your solar panels if you have an older roof that needs repairs or if your roof is not designed with many flat surfaces that are suitable for installing these devices.

Solar power can help the environment, save you money, and create power for the grid. This is one of the best ways to make a difference in your use of energy resources and the cost of the installation of solar panels continues to decrease as they become more mainstream. Despite the size of your solar panels, your home will not look like it is burdened by the solar panels on the roof and you will have added value to your property through this installation process.

how big are solar panels

A qualified installer can help you to figure out how many solar panels you need for your home or business and they can advise you about the right installation processes for your needs. If you’re considering going solar, EPB Energy Pros will give you a free consultation to help you decide whether solar is a good option for you. Our Energy Pros can also provide a list of reputable and vetted solar energy contractors near you and are available to review any quotes you receive. Contact EPB Energy Pros today to schedule your free solar energy consultation.

Did you enjoy this article?
0 article likes
YES!
LOADING