How Big is a Solar Panel?

SolarCalendarMarch 19, 2019

If you were to search the internet for solar panel sizes, the answer you’d get is, “It depends.” Solar panels tend to vary based on available or necessary space, and installation can be crafted to fit your unique roof situation. They can be fitted to your residential home, a commercial business, or anything in between. 

How solar panels work

Solar panels work to convert the energy of the sun into usable electricity for you and your home. Solar panels can be a more cost-effective solution than paying for traditional electricity from a utility, and our solar representatives can evaluate your home to make sure it’s a cost-effective solution for you. 

While other energy sources like fossil fuels are dwindling in supply, you can always count on the sun to shine on solar panels to power your life. But the size of a solar panel will greatly depend on if it will be used for residential or commercial solar.

How big is a residential solar panel? 

The standard length and width for a residential solar panel tends to be 66 inches by 40 inches. They tend to weigh about 42 pounds and have a frame thickness between 1.25 inches (32mm) and 1.6 inches (40mm). 

That makes each solar panel about five and a half feet by three and a half feet. The standard cell count for a residential solar panel is 60 cells. However, depending on the weight of the panel, a 72 cell module may also be used, which increases both the size and the power rating of the panel. 

How big is a commercial solar panel? 

72 cell solar panels are often referred to as commercial solar panels. Again, solar panel size tends to vary, but the most common measurement for a commercial solar panel tends to be about 77 inches by 39 inches (that’s about six and a half by three feet). Most commercial solar panels weigh more than 50 pounds, and the frame thickness has the same range as residential panels. 

The weight of a solar panel varies depending on the hardware used to build it. The more mounts that your roof needs (based on shape, slope, and other physical factors), the heavier it will be. Typically, the equipment weighs between 2-4 pounds per square foot, which tends to be within acceptable limits for standard roofs. 

Solar installation and financing

Now let’s talk about solar energy and solar installations. The process itself is simple and is as non-invasive as roof work can get. The solar panel gets designed and sized based on your needs, then the racking or mounts get installed, the solar panels get connected, and the solar inverter is installed. It sounds fairly technical, but it’s actually quite simple. 

Vivint Solar offers different financing options that can help you pay for solar paneling as it’s convenient for you. You can choose to own your system through a cash purchase or Solar Loan, or if you want to go solar with no upfront cost to you, we also offer a Solar Lease or Power Purchase Agreement. So, regardless of panel size, installing a solar panel is as economically savvy as it is environmentally protective. All it takes is a quick phone call and you’ll have your free solar quote.

When it comes to efficiency, standard panels have between 15% to 18% efficiency. That doesn’t seem like a lot, so for reference, a car tends to have a 20% conversion of gas to energy. The ‘wasted’ energy isn’t as expensive as wasted energy in the traditional sense with fossil fuels or hybrid systems.

What size of solar panel is necessary? 

Vivint Solar will create a unique design for you after evaluating your energy consumption, location, and climate to determine the right sized solar energy system for your home.

The national average of consumed electricity is about 11,000 kWh, and a standard panel is currently between 310 and 315 watts and is expected to reach 330W by the end of 2019.. The energy produced by your solar panels will cover either all or a portion of your energy usage, reducing your reliance on more expensive and environmentally damaging energy sources.  

Let Vivint Solar size your solar energy system for you

So, how big is a solar panel? Whatever size will best fit your home, really. From the design to the installation, from the financing to the payment plans, our experts will be there to figure out what the best solar solution is for your home or business, so you don’t have to worry about what size of solar panel you need. 

Consider the amount of energy your household uses and let us help you figure out how much you could save installing new solar panels on your home. Give Vivint Solar a call to get a free, customized quote today!

How to Go Solar

Vivint Solar makes renewable energy a simple and affordable alternative. We take care of everything from solar system design, to paperwork and permitting, to installation and maintenance.

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