Solar panels are growing quite popular, and it is not difficult to see why. Solar energy is a great alternative to coal or natural gas because it is sustainable and does not harm the environment.
Plus, many owners of industrial, commercial, and residential buildings can sell excess energy back to the grid for a profit.
Deciding to power your building with solar energy can be quite complicated. Roofs can only withstand so much weight, and it is crucial to know how much your solar panel of choice will weigh. Plus, there are specific wattages for different uses.
The following are some key topics that we will cover:
- Sizes of solar panels
- Weights of solar panels
- About roofs
Keep reading to find out all the details about this topic and make an informed decision when buying solar panels.
What Are the Weights of Differently Sized Solar Panels?
The wattages of solar panels can range greatly. While some solar panels power select appliances or RVs, others powerhouses, and still others can power industrial buildings. These solar panels differ in both size and weight.
On average, a solar panel can provide 15 watts per square foot. Let’s start by breaking down the average dimensions of different solar panels by size.
How Big Is a 100-Watt Solar Panel?
A 100-watt solar panel measures 47 inches long by 21.3 inches wide by 1.4 inches deep.
A 100-watt solar panel is not typically used to power a residential household. It can provide enough power for small, household appliances, but it is usually used alongside a battery. With battery storage, any excess energy can be saved for later.
Nonetheless, 100-watt solar panels have become very popular due to their small, portable size. They are often brought on camping and RV trips. Travelers are granted peace of mind because they are easy to replace in the middle of a vacation, if necessary.
How Big Is a 200-Watt Solar Panel?
A 200-watt solar panel measures 64.57 inches long by 39.06 inches wide by 1.48 inches deep.
Two-hundred-watt solar panels are still quite small, but they are capable of powering some houses. They are also perfect for RVs and boats. Many people select this size for its versatility and its compact size.
Size of 60-Cell Solar Panels
The dimensions of these 60-cell solar panels are 66 inches long by 40 inches wide. The typical depth will range from 1.4 to 1.8 inches.
In most cases, 60-cell solar panels are used in residential households. Each panel contains 60 photovoltaic cells, which are in charge of capturing the sunlight to turn it into electricity.
Sixty-cell solar panels most commonly produce 270 to 300 watts of energy.
Size of 72-Cell Solar Panels
Seventy-two-cell solar panels measure 80 inches long by 40 inches wide. Like 60-cell solar panels, the normal depth can be anywhere between 1.4 and 1.8 inches.
Seventy-two-cell solar panels have one additional row of photovoltaic cells compared to 60-cell solar panels. Thus, they generate more electricity and are usually implemented for commercial buildings.
A general estimate of wattage for these solar panels is between 350 to 400 watts.
How Big Is a 500-Watt Solar Panel?
Five hundred-watt solar panels are some of the largest solar panels produced. The average dimensions are 86.61 inches long by 43.31 inches wide. Once again, the average depth ranges from 1.4 inches to 1.8 inches.
Unfortunately, 500 watt solar panels are fairly new and too large for residential households. For the time being, they are only appropriate for large commercial and industrial buildings.
Weights of Solar Panels
Here are some quick facts about the average weight of solar panels with differing wattages:
- 100-watt solar panels from 5 of the most popular brands average 18.8 pounds.
- 200-watt solar panels from 5 of the most popular brands average 23.28 pounds.
- Most 60-cell solar panels weigh about 44.9 pounds. Remember, these solar panels fall into the 270-300 watt range.
- 72-cell solar panels weigh around 61.73 pounds. As you may recall, these larger panels usually provide 350 to 400 watts.
Weight per Unit
The weight of a solar panel per unit is an important consideration when deciding which size is best for your home, which we will discuss further in a later section.
Kilograms per Square Meter
- 100-watt solar panels that are 8.53 kilograms and measure 1.19 meters long by 0.16 meters wide have an area of 0.65 square meters. They will weigh 13.12 kilograms per square meter.
- 200-watt solar panels that are 10.56 kilograms and measure 1.64 meters long by 0.99 meters wide have an area of 1.63 square meters. They weigh 6.48 kilograms per square meter.
- 60-cell solar panels that are 20 kilograms and measure 1.68 meters long by 1.01 meters wide have an area of 1.70 meters squared. Thus, they weigh 11.76 kilograms per square meter.
- 72-cell solar panels that are 28 kilograms and measure 2.03 meters long by 1.01 meters wide have an area of 2.05 square meters. Therefore, they weigh 13.66 kilograms per square meter.
Pounds per Foot
- A 100-watt solar panel that is 18.8 pounds and measures 3.92 feet long by 1.78 feet wide will have an area of 6.98 square feet. It will weigh 2.69 pounds per square foot.
- A 200-watt solar panel that is 23.28 pounds and measures 5.38 feet long by 3.26 feet wide will have an area of 17.54 square feet. Thus, it will weigh 1.33 pounds per square foot.
- 60-cell solar panels that are 44.9 pounds and measure 5.5 feet long by 3.33 feet wide have an area of 18.32 square feet. These will weigh 2.45 pounds per square foot.
- The larger, 72-cell solar panels that are 61.73 pounds and measure 6.67 feet long by 3.33 feet wide have an area of 22.21 square feet. Therefore, they weigh 2.78 pounds per square foot.
Weight per Watt
- A 100-watt solar panel that is the same size as that mentioned above weighs 0.18 pounds per watt.
- 200-watt solar panels identical to the one mentioned above weigh 0.12 pounds per watt.
- The same 60-cell solar panels mentioned above weigh 0.17 to 0.15 pounds per watt, depending upon where they fall within the 270 to 300-watt range.
- A 72-cell solar panel identical to that mentioned above would weigh 0.18 to 0.15 pounds per watt, based on where they fall within the 350 to 400-watt range.
Weight by Popular Companies
Here are the weights of 60-cell solar panels produced by some of the top companies:
- LG: 38 pounds
- Hyundai: 38 to 41 pounds
- Kyocera: 42 to 44 pounds
- SolarWorld: 40 to 47 pounds
- Trina: 41 to 50 pounds
When comparing the top 10 solar brands, SunPower was shown to produce the lightest solar panels.
Their panels could be as light as 33 pounds. Canadian Solar produced the heaviest solar panels, weighing up to 50 pounds.
Can My Roof Withstand Enough Solar Panels To Power My House?
The roofs of current homes can safely support about 20 pounds per square foot. Including the mounting equipment, residential solar panels weigh about 3 to 4 pounds per square foot.
Even after a snowstorm, your roof is unlikely to encounter any trouble. If you have 10 to 12 inches of unpacked snow, the average weight is about 5 pounds per square foot.
That snow, plus the 3 to 4 pounds per square foot of solar panels, is well below the 20 pounds per square foot limit.
Most houses require 20 panels to produce enough electricity for everyday activities, which can cover quite a bit of space. However, the weight of the system is fairly evenly distributed and does not place excessive stress in any one area.
Although solar panels may appear heavy due to their sizes, they are perfectly safe to place on your roof.