Are Solar Panels too heavy for my roof? Plenty of homeowners across the United States are increasingly opting for solar energy systems. Without measuring a panel itself, it may not always be possible to estimate the size and weights of the panel. Unless you climb up onto a roof, it can be difficult to figure out how big solar panels are, how much they weigh, and whether your roof can support solar panels.
The objective of this article is to teach you the weight, dimensions of an average solar panel, and if your roof has the required strength to support the solar panels.
How heavy are solar panels? How much do solar panels weigh in pounds and kilograms?
If you’re planning on installing a rooftop solar system it is vital that you understand how much solar panels weigh. It is the best way to be certain that your roof can support a full installation.
How much do solar panels weigh? Most residential Solar panels weight will vary from brand to brand but, 40 pounds (18 kilograms) each on average. The weight of the Solar Panel will range between 33-50 pounds (15-23 kilograms), all depending on the brand. These are often acceptable weights for your roof as the sizes really don’t vary much and your roof should be able to hold it, but if you are unsure by all means get it checked beforehand.
Commercial Solar Panels tend to weigh more due to their added length. Most weigh in at 50 pounds (22 kilograms) or more.
How large are solar panels on average? How big are solar Panels?
Most solar modules are 65 inches (5.4 feet) long by 39 inches (3.25 feet) wide. The actual size will vary from one brand to another. Those that are intended for large scale use like warehouses or commercial buildings can be 6 feet.
Each solar panel is made up of several solar photovoltaic cells, typically containing 60 solar cells. They are 156 mm (6 inches) long and wide. Those for commercial facilities start at 72 and can rise to 98 plus cells.
There is a direct association between the length of the panel and the number of solar cells per panel. The 72-cell commercial solar panels are usually 13 inches longer than the residential modules (60-cell).
A solar panel system from the United States generates an average of 6 Kilowatts (kW). This means if you install a 6kW system that is made of 20 average solar panels, you will have to keep a space of 13 feet long and 72 feet wide (352 square feet). Assuming that you have placed your panels very close to one another without obstructions.
How many are necessary?
I Imagine, you already know the benefits of solar panels, including carbon footprint and a reduced utility bill etc. Additionally, you are aware of how solar energy systems work to power your home.
So if you are wondering just how many panels are necessary for my home. You probably have concerns regarding how much space is available on your roof. We are going to be looking into everything you need to know concerning the required quantity, size of the solar panels, and what sort of power production to be expecting.
In order to calculate how many solar panels are needed, you must know the following: your roof’s usable surface area; how much energy your household uses; the wattage and relative efficiency of the photovoltaic (PV) panels you’re considering; the climate and peak sunlight in your area; and whether net metering is available.
The best and most simplest way of answering the “How many solar panels do I need” question is to consult with a professional solar installer, who can give you a free home solar evaluation.
Around 11,000 kWh of electricity are generated for use in homes annually on a National basis. When this is broken down to 250kW solar panels, this translates to roughly 28-34 panels per home.
How much solar energy do I need?
With determining your home’s average energy requirements, you will have to look at your past utility bills. You need to calculate how many solar panels are needed by multiplying your household’s hourly energy usage by the peak sunlight hours for your location and dividing that by a solar panel’s wattage. Use a low-wattage (150W) and high-wattage (370W) example to establish a range (ex: 17-42 solar panels generating 11,000 kWh/year). You will need to take note of how much sunlight your roof gets and other factors such as battery storage and roof size will also figure in as well.
How many watts do I currently use?
To determine how many watts your home uses on average, have a look at your electricity bill. Look for “Kilowatt Hours (or kWh) Used” or something similar, and then note the time period represented (usually 30 days). If your bill doesn’t show kilowatt hours used, look for beginning and ending meter readings and subtract the previous reading from the most recent one. A Solar Consultant will be able to handle these calculations for you.
What is the most popular size for solar panels?
Your typical residential solar panels are often 65 inches (5.4 foot) long by 39 inches (3.25 foot) wide and weigh around 40 pounds (18 kilograms). Solar panels for commercial installation tend to be a little bigger, given the sheer size of warehouse/commercial buildings, etc. Residential panels tend to be lighter and smaller, mostly due to their design and intent for use on household roofs. These homes can't hold a heavier weight.
Each solar panel will generally have 60 solar cells. This is where the magic happens and these little guys are the ones that convert solar energy into direct electrical currents. Solar panels use the photons which are generated by the sun and react with the electrons which the solar cells release to enerates Direct Current (DC) electricity. During this process the electrons will begin to part from the atoms and move around the solar cell. The DC electricity then flows to the systems inverter, where the conversion to alternating current (AC) electricity is made. AC is the type of electricity needed to supply the property with power for all your home’s electronic appliances.
A small home in a temperate climate could use for example something along the likes of 200 kwh per month, and a larger home, taking into consideration air conditioners for the largest portion of home energy usage might use up to 2,000 kWh or more. On average home in the United States use about 900 kWh per month. So that would be 1.25 kWh per hour or 30 kWh per day.
Usually solar panels will have between 230-275 Watts of power. When measured against the standard solar panel wattage and average yearly energy consumption, this comes to about 28-34 physical solar panels, which are installable at your home.
This is the number of panels you will need to generate sufficient amounts of power for your home's electrical consumption. It is not the actual number of panels your home will need. This latter metric also depends on the available space you have on your roof.
The majority of solar panels measure 17.5 square feet (2520 square inches). In case yours is a roof that measures 385 square feet, you have the leeway to fit around 22 solar panels. So basically (385÷17.5=22).
What is the total energy production of my solar panels?
There will be a few factors that will determine the total energy production of your solar panels. The precise location of your residence and the time of year would be the two of the most important determinants. If you live in a state that experiences higher sunshine rates like Florida your panels will be capable of generating more energy.
Time of year determines the amount of energy your panels are likely to produce. Winter days experience limited sunshine, will lead to a reduction in energy production. The opposite will obviously apply to summer months.
The power rating of your system (kW or kilowatts) is measured in relation to the size of your generation system, not how much it will produce.
What factors affect solar energy?
The obvious first factor that will influence the amount of electrical energy that you will generate is the size (otherwise known as rated power) of your solar panel installation. The larger the installation the more kW’s (electrical energy) that will be produced.
But if we move past the obvious impact of size, the amount of energy your solar cells produce depends on how much solar PV cells are fed. Their fuel is the sun.
Where your home is positioned also plays an important role. If the location of your home is in a shaded area, your panels are most certainly going to produce less electricity compared to that of a home that is smack bang in the middle of a wide-open treeless field. To make the most, you need to work out the best position for your solar panel, the current landscape, the angle of your roof, and where your home etc is positioned.
Say you have 22 solar panels installed at 256 Watts each in capacity, you will produce around 5.83kW of energy. This converts to 6,366 kWh annually. How much will you save using solar panels? Based on the average rates of utility, you should expect to save an amazing $700 annually! That's alot of dollars!
So if this figure is multiplied by the total lifespan of the system, you can understand and appreciate why so many people are going with the solar option. And the icing on the cake. Within a short five-year lifespan, you could be able to receive 100% return on your investments and no less than 20 plus years of money savings!
The amount of sun your solar cells are exposed to (and hence how much energy will be produced) depends upon:
The intensity of the sunlight (dependant on location)
The number of hours of full sun vs cloudy days (dependant on location)
The number of daylight hours (dependant on location)
The tilt and orientation of your installation (which will be optimised by your installer)
Whether there are shadows cast over your cells (due to buildings, trees etc).
What is the impact of solar panel sizes? How does Photo-voltaic panel size (pv panel) affect your options?
So with being a clean energy investor, you may have taken notice of solar arrays on a commercial project and observed the numerous sizes of panels being used for installation. You constantly wonder how the size can affect the initial cost of installation and what size will be the right option for your solar project. The panel size will be one of the major factors contributing to the amount of electricity that will be generated on site. Along with the other aspects like type of solar panels, weight, and cost, investors should also take into consideration the size of panels and the effect of solar cells during their energy harvest.
The size is a vital factor when selecting a panel, but eventually, it all comes down to the effectiveness and performance. So for example, imagine a solar panel is just like the windowpane in your home, you will get maximal light if you have a large one. Equally , the larger your solar panel, the better the efficiency. So if you don't wash and clean your windowpane regularly, then it can interfere with the sunlight coming in and making your view not so clear. Now, solar panels are just like the clean glass panel, they absorb more light to absorb more energy for a better solar harvest.
If yours is a roof that is small or peculiarly-shaped, you must consider the size of the solar panels and the overall quantity. If you have a large and unusable roof, disregard some efficiency and opt for a more extensive array of panels, which cost less per panel, for your desired energy output. If the usable area is partly shaded or small, picking smaller and fewer and panels that are higher in efficacy is something that should really be considered. By taking this approach it may be the best way forward to assure you will receive better savings and the highest power output in the long term.
Residential solar panel dimensions at the moment are approximately 39 inches (3.25 feet) wide by 65 inches (5.4 feet) long on average. Manufacturers will vary their pricing depending on what is specifically needed.
Knowing the answers to the above questions will help give you a good idea of just how many panels you might need for the electricity generation concerning your needs. you will have to settle for a specific range If that cannot happen.
A professional installer will have to determine the unique architecture of the roof. This is followed by the angle of the sun and other important factors. All this information will be necessary to determine how the panels will be physically arranged on your roof. This combination will decide on your daily energy production needs.
Given that you want to understand the returns on investment for your solar system, net metering is something that could be useful. Net metering is in reference to how your utility company would credit you for generating excess solar energy. When sunshine is abundant, it gives you the leeway you will need to withdraw from those credits while using the power grid during night time, only if you have a solar battery system.
How many hours of sunshine should I expect in my area?
Peak sunlight hours have a significant impact on the energy that your home’s solar system is likely to produce considering the specific location. For instance, if you reside in Tampa Bay, you should assume a higher number of peak sunlight hours than if you were located in Seattle. This isn't implying in any way that those who are located in Seattle cant install solar panels. They would need an increased number of panels.
The renewable resource data center measures sunlight information per state and for the majority of the big cities. With finding the sunlight requirements that are needed, simply start by multiplying your hourly usage by 1,000 and then convert that into watts. Basically divide your average hourly wattage requirement by your area’s daily peak of sunlight hours.
This mathematical quotient will indicate the number of solar panels that should be necessary to produce power by the hour. So if we were to create the United States average of 900kWh/monthly, in those areas which receive five peak sunlight hours on a daily basis would require 6,250 Watts.
Is it possible for my roof to support a solar panel system? Will my roof support a solar panel system?
Now that you are a bit more knowledgeable about the solar panel weights and sizes, you calculate the weight of a solar panel system. This will help you understand if your roof will be able to support a solar panel system or not.So for example, a 6kW solar installation, which constitutes 20 solar panels, which would be in the region of 800 pounds (20 solar panels by 40 pounds). Basing this on the calculations above, the system will measure around 352 square feet, translating to the average weight of about 2.3 pounds per square foot (800 pounds ÷ 352 square feet).You will be getting a combined weight of approximately 3-4 pounds per square foot when you incorporate the mounting-hardware and other pieces of equipment for the panels.
The majority of rooftops of most new homes are capable of handling over 3 pounds per square feet of weight. If your roof is older, you need to make sure that it can hold the weight of solar panels. You can talk with solar providers or roofing companies for this. A simple roof inspection should do the trick.
Do Solar panels vary in size and weight?
It is important to know the construction of a solar panel before we start with the solar panel sizes. Your standard solar panel is made up of solar cells which are arranged in columns and rows to form a solar panel.
The physical size and weight of a solar panel depends on the cell configuration (72 cells, 60 cells) and the wattage of the solar panel.
The standard size of a 250 Watt 60 cell solar panel be it polycrystalline or monocrystalline is 66 inches by 39 inches ( 5.5 ft by 3.25 ft) and the weight of a 250 watt 60 cell solar panel is around 19 kg (41 pounds).
Whereas the size of a 320 watt 72 cell solar panel is 77 inches by 39 inches ( 6.42 ft by 3.25 ft) and the weight of a 300 watt 72 cell solar panel is around 25 kg (55 pounds).
Solar panels will vary in maximum power output, temperature coefficient, and efficacy. Their relative weight and sizes are the same for the most part. Solar panels are between 17-23 square feet and weigh between 40-50 pounds in general.
We do hope that we have help give you an insight into what solar panel you would like to install.