does solar panel size matter?

Does Solar Panel Size Matter?

When it comes to choosing and installing a solar panel system, size is important. It is due to differences in the use of solar energy and solar cells. Solar panels are made up of solar cells that are connected in a certain arrangement by a silver wire. This is due to the fact that silver is the finest conductor of electricity.

There are several methods for measuring size. One approach is physical size, which is defined in square feet or how much area it takes up on your roof, and solar panels come in a variety of sizes. The power rating is another way to determine size. Simply because one panel is physically larger does not imply that it has a greater power rating.

Although size is an important consideration in solar panels, most homeowners will choose a solar-powered system for their house based on efficiency and dependability. As solar energy technology advanced, panels have been developed to collect more sunlight and provide more electricity while becoming physically smaller.

Advantages of Bigger Solar Panels

The bigger the panel, the better! We’ve always heard this, and it also applies to solar panels. Large solar panels generate a lot of sun power, which may be used to generate additional energy. Commercial locations, such as industrial companies and other large open-land sites, typically install large-scale solar systems, whereas residential solar systems are typically smaller or medium-sized.

There is a valid reason for doing so, which is to consume more power in order to obtain a continuous supply. The rest of the reasoning is as follows.

  • Watts per m2 are somehow higher.
  • Allows for quicker installation.
  • Large amounts of solar energy can be stored, converted, and produced.
  • Larger panels are often fresher stock than older panels.
  • Specifically, lower the cost of a solar panel installation.

Although large solar panels offer numerous benefits, they also have drawbacks too.

  • Difficult to install and measure.
  • The weight of the equipment makes it potentially dangerous to install.
  • In the event of an immediate failure, replacement costs may be substantial.

Aside from the size of the solar panels, selecting more efficient panels is a key consideration.

High electricity and lengthy running cycles are guaranteed by efficient photovoltaic cells. Today, every major brand places a strong emphasis on the EPC and I&C services that eventually increase the efficiency of solar panels.

The majority of solar panels on the market now range from 15 to 20 percent in efficiency, and the kind of solar panel has a considerable impact on this efficiency.

The Advantages of Efficiency

The technology is now more appealing to households because of this improvement in solar panel efficiency. When solar panels were less effective in the past, more physically bigger panels were needed in order to significantly reduce or eliminate the quantity of power the homeowner purchased from the utility.

The lack of roof space prevented many homeowners from installing enough of these massive, inefficient panels to generate enough power to lower their electricity costs sufficiently to make solar worth the investment.

Due to the significant improvement in efficiency, homeowners can now buy fewer, physically smaller panels that nonetheless produce as much electricity as earlier systems made up of bigger panels. Naturally, this has a number of effects, but the most significant is that since the homeowner doesn’t have to buy as many panels, the return on investment is considerably quicker.

The roof space saved by using fewer panels is advantageous for many reasons than just the return on investment. The additional room gives homeowners the opportunity to add one or more panels, which can provide enough electricity to cover additional energy costs like a heated pool or electric vehicle. Some homes will install an additional panel or two in preparation for future energy demand increases, such as a child returning from college or an elderly parent relocating.

This was not feasible in the past when you would have needed a whole roof’s worth of big, ineffective solar panels to cover your basic expenses.

Homeowners who value appearance may want a more compact, discreet system. Smaller systems may now be put in roof areas where larger systems couldn’t before as they become more productive. Because of this, they may be concealed or mounted on a roof that is hidden from view. Consequently, a smaller, more covert but more potent system can enable homeowners who don’t want their devices to be noticed to place them out of sight and out of mind.

What Size Are Standard Solar Panels?

The typical size of residential solar panels, which you would put on the roof of your home, is 65 inches by 39 inches, or 5.4 feet by 3.25 feet, and they have a 15 square foot surface area.

Depending on the manufacturer of the solar panel, there are a few minor measurement differences.

Solar panels may be up to 6 feet in length for large-scale solar installations like those attached to warehouses (these are known as commercial solar panels).

The overall structure of the solar panel must first be understood in order to determine the size of the panel.

Smaller individual photovoltaic (PV) solar cells are used to make solar panels. 156 mm by 156 mm, or around 6 inches long and 6 inches broad, is the constant standard size for PV cells.

Most small-scale solar installations, like the one you’re likely to acquire for your house, are composed of 60 solar cells.

In contrast, commercial solar systems typically include at least 98 cells and as many as 72 cells.

FEATURERESIDENTIAL PANELSCOMMERCIAL PANELS
Average Length (inches)6578
# of Solar Cells6072
Average Width (inches)3939
Average Depth (inches)1.5 – 21.5 – 2

A solar panel’s length is essentially determined by the number of cells included in it.

solar panel sizes

How does the size of a typical solar panel (65 inches by 39 inches) convert to a full-sized rooftop solar panel system?

Consider a system with a 6 kW capacity (kW). Installing a 6 kW system with 20 panels of average size will result in a system that is 352 square feet in size overall, measuring around 27 feet wide by 13 feet long. This implies that there are no barriers on your roof and that your panels may be positioned closely together; in practice, you’ll typically need a bit extra room due to the particular shape and orientation of your roof.

Importantly, the design of your solar panel system affects the cost of solar; a simpler, more compact installation will almost always be less expensive than a more complicated one.

Can your roof support the weight of a solar panel system?

You can estimate the total weight of a solar panel system by knowing the size and weight of each individual solar panel system. You may use this information to determine whether or not your roof can accommodate such a system.

The panels alone weigh about 800 pounds in a 20-panel, 6-kilowatt solar system (20 panels x 40 lbs). A similar system weighs 2.3 pounds per square foot (800 pounds divided by 352 sq ft), according to our figure above, which indicates its size is 352 square feet. The weight per square foot will be closer to 3–4 pounds when the mounting hardware and other panel-related equipment are included in.

Most modern houses have roofs that can support far more weight per square foot than 3 pounds. However, consult a roofing specialist if you have an older roof or have any concerns about whether it can sustain the extra weight of solar panels. If you want to know if adding solar panels to your roof would benefit your house, a simple roof inspection can assist.

Key Takeaways

The size of solar panels certainly matters, but larger solar panels are not necessarily better. In order to provide more power with less space, you want a panel with a higher power rating and a lower physical size. The more efficient and small solar panels grow, the more power they can produce with less space, the more attractive they will be, and the less strain they will place on rooftops. As solar technology advances, this trend will continue.