How Much Does a Solar Panel Weigh? Solar Panel Size, kg/sq.m., W/kg

How much does a solar panel weigh Solar panel size, kgsq.m., Wkg

If you are thinking about installing solar panels on your roof, you should consider the weight they will add to your roof. So, how much do solar panels weigh? And how much weight do solar panels add to the roof?

More important than the weight of the solar panel you choose is the total weight of the installation and the impact it will have on your roof. Therefore, it is advisable to choose a solar panel with the highest energy-to-weight ratio.

When it comes to the difference in weight between different solar panel brands, there is not a significant difference.

In general, a solar panel consisting of 60 cells weighs between 18-24 kg (40-53 pounds) on average. Larger and more powerful solar panels can weigh much more.

In this article, you will learn about the size and weight of solar panels.

Factors that Determine the Size and Weight of Solar Panels

Among the most important factors that make solar panels so heavy: 

1. The electrical efficiency of solar panels: Solar panels with high efficiency are more efficient in converting light into electrical energy and therefore need the fewest number of panels to generate the same amount of electrical energy.

2. Materials used in the manufacture of solar panels: the materials used in the manufacture of solar cells (relatively light): monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film, and the frame of the solar panel (the majority of the weight of the panel): aluminum framing and tempered glass (tempered glass is heavier than normal glass).

3. Consumer needs (Electricity Output Needed): the greater the consumer's needs for electrical energy, the greater the need for a greater number of solar panels.

4. The temperature of the environment surrounding the solar panels: When the temperature rises, the performance of the solar panels decreases, and generating the same amount of electrical energy requires installing a larger number of panels.

Standard Solar Panel Dimensions

To determine the right solar panel for you, it is very important to know the standard solar panel sizes and types available in the market.

There are two types of solar panels: residential solar panels contain 60 cells, the commercial panels contain 72 cells.

Regardless of their application, residential and commercial solar panels are manufactured in the same manner.

A solar panel consists of several square solar cells, PV solar cells come in different sizes, the most common being solar cells with dimensions of 156 x 156 mm, 182 x 182 mm (M10 cells), and 210 x 210 mm (G12 cells).

How Much Does a Solar Panel Weigh Solar Panel Size, kgsq.m., Wkg

How Much do Residential Solar Panels Weigh?

Solar panel systems are a common sight on rooftops, but unless you go up to the roof to see them up close, it can be hard to tell how big they are and how much they weigh.

The residential solar panel consists of 60 solar cells, and the average weight of the panels is about 40 lbs. (18.14 kg). While this varies by brand, it is usually the same for all residential solar panels.

A typical residential solar panel is around 5.4 feet long and 3.25 feet wide (1.6mx1m), which gives it a surface area of approximately 17.55 square feet (1.68 sq.m.). This means that the weight per square foot of a typical solar panel is around 2.3 pounds (10.80 kg/sq.m.).

The smaller size of residential solar panels makes them ideal for residential rooftop installations. Read our article to learn more about how many solar panels are needed to power a house.

How Much do Commercial Solar Panels Weigh?

Commercial solar panels are slightly larger and heavier than residential solar panels, although this may vary depending on the specific panel model and manufacturer.

A typical commercial solar panel weighs about 50 pounds (18.14 kg), and measures about 6.5 feet long by 3.5 feet wide (2 x 1.1 meters). which gives it a surface area of approximately 17.55 square feet (2.11 sq.m.).

This means that the weight per square foot of the panel is around 2.2 pounds (10.75 kg/sq.m.), which is actually slightly lower than the weight per square foot of a typical residential solar panel. Only 72-cell panels are used on commercial installations. 72-cell panels are also used for residential solar installations.

Residential and Commercial Solar Panels Size and Weight

   Feature        Residential Solar Panels         Commercial Solar Panels      
Average Width (Inches) 39        (1m) 39        (1m)
Average Length (Inches) 65   (1.65m) 78   (1.98m)
N of Solar Cells 60   (1.52m) 72   (1.83m)
Average Depth (Inches) 1.5–2  (38–51mm) 1.5–2  (38–51mm)

Both residential and commercial solar panels have the same width and depth; however, they have different lengths.

Standard solar panel dimensions

If the average area of a solar panel is 1.65 meters by 1 meter (65 x 39 inches), how much space is needed for a full size rooftop solar panel system?

A 6 kW solar panel system with 20 average-sized panels would require an estimated total area of 32.7 square meters (352 sq.ft.), assuming that the panels can be placed close together and there are no obstructions on the roof.

However, in practice, the actual space required may be slightly larger due to the unique shape and orientation of the roof, as well as any shading or other obstructions that may impact the system's performance.

Residential Panel Weight by Manufacturer

After conducting the research and collecting the data required to compare the best brands, the results show that SunPower was the lightest in residential solar panels (60-cell) and Canadian Solar was the heaviest in some panels.

          Solar panel brands                     Residential solar panels weigh          
SunPower 15-18.6 Kgs
LG 17.2 Kgs
Canadian Solar 18.1-23.1 Kgs
Trina 18.6-22.7 Kgs

The Top 3 Solar Panel With The Highest Power-to-Weight Ratio

The 380-watt LG solar panel has the highest power-to-weight ratio.

   Solar panel brands: Model       Power (W)        W/kg    
LG Electronics LG380Q1C-V5 380 21.71
SunPower SPR-A450-COM 450 20.83
AE Solar AE595MD-156 595 20.52

Is My Roof Strong Enough for Solar Panels

Knowing the size and weight of individual solar panels will help you estimate the total weight of a solar panel system and determine whether your roof can support it.

Assuming each panel weighs about 18 Kg. for a 6 kW solar installation of 20 solar panels, the panels will weigh about 362 Kg. If we divide this weight by the total area of the system (32.7 square meters) it gives a weight of approximately 11 kilograms per square meter (2.3 lbs/sq.ft.).

Adding the weight of the mounting hardware, wiring, and other equipment required for a solar panel system, the total weight of the system, including all components, will be closer to 19 kilograms per square meter (4 lbs/sq.ft.).

Most newer homes are designed to handle significantly more weight than the additional weight of a solar panel system. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) states that most roofs are designed to withstand a snow load of up to 20 pounds per square foot. So 3–4 pounds of extra weight will not make much of a difference.

If you have an older roof or are concerned about its ability to support the weight of a solar panel system, it is best to speak to a roofing company to have them perform an examination and determine for you whether the added weight of solar panels is a viable option for your home.

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