Solar Panels for Commercial Buildings (Future Proof)

Solar power is rapidly becoming the most popular way of providing green energy to your business. Providing a green workspace, while reducing energy bills.

Commercial solar panels offer the opportunity to improve your bottom line and protect the environment. This is an important decision for your business plan.

Here are some of the key points that I’ll cover:

  • Number of solar panels for commercial buildings
  • Different commercial solar projects
  • The difference between commercial and residential solar power
  • What solar panel is best for commercial buildings
  • The value of commercial solar panels

Maintaining a business is all about saving as much as possible in costs and other expenses. Solar panels are one of the most proven technologies that help you cut costs, furthermore, transforming your business into one that is environmentally conscious.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about solar panels for commercial buildings and get your business ready for the green energy revolution.

Commercial Solar Panels On A Flat Roof
Commercial Solar Panels On A Flat Roof

Do Solar Panels Work on Commercial Buildings?

Solar panels are not just for residential buildings. Solar panels work just as well on commercial buildings. 

There are a lot of reasons to consider solar panels for your business.

First, solar panels can help reduce your electricity bill. Commercial buildings use a lot of energy, and installing solar panels can help you offset some of those costs. After installing solar panels, many businesses have seen their electricity bills decrease by 50% or more after several years.

Solar panels can help you become more sustainable. By using solar energy, you’re reducing your dependence on fossil fuels, and that’s good for the environment. Solar energy is also a renewable resource, never running out.

Finally, installing solar panels can make your business look good. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environment, and going green can help attract new customers. 

How Many Solar Panels Are Needed to Power an Office Building?

Identifying the number of solar panels needed to power an office building requires a simple equation. You need to divide the amount of electricity the building uses by the amount of energy a solar panel can provide.  

The average size business uses around 25,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year. This comes to 70 kWh per day. If you assume that your business receives 5 hours of sunlight per day, that means the solar panels need to produce 14kW per hour. 

However, this number should be increased due to inefficiencies in conversion from AC to DC, so estimating 80% efficiency comes to 17.5 kW/hour. 

  • The average solar panel provides 250 watts. Dividing 17.5 kW by 250 watts gives you 70 solar panels. Therefore, 70 solar panels will meet the daily electrical needs of an average-sized commercial building.

However, this equation does not consider the angle of the sun or weather conditions. If your location has limited sun exposure, you will need more solar panels to generate the necessary electricity.

How Do Commercial Solar Panels Work?

A commercial solar panel is a collection of photovoltaic solar cells grouped together. Each photovoltaic solar cell converts the energy of the sun into electricity. 

The commercial solar panels are then connected to an inverter, which converts the direct current (DC) electricity that the solar panels produce into alternating current (AC) electricity used in your building.

Commercial solar panels are a great way to reduce your energy costs and help the environment. They can also increase the value of your property. If you are interested in installing commercial solar panels, contact a reputable solar installer in your area.

How Big Is a Commercial Solar Panel?

Size is one of the primary differences between commercial and residential solar panels. The average commercial solar panel is larger than their residential counterparts. The typical commercial solar panel is 96 photovoltaic cells and measures 78 inches by 39 inches. 

The average residential solar panel is 72 cells and measures 65 inches by 39 inches. 

Commercial solar panels are designed to generate more power than residential solar panels. This is because businesses use more energy than homes. Commercial solar panels typically have a higher wattage rating than residential solar panels. 

A commercial solar panel with a 350-watt rating can generate up to twice the power of a residential solar panel with a 175-watt rating.

Businesses can save money by installing commercial solar panels. Solar energy is becoming more affordable, but companies can also take advantage of tax incentives and rebates to reduce the cost of installation. 

Businesses can sell their excess solar energy back to utility companies in some states.

How Big Is a 1 Kwh Solar Panel?

The average 1 kWh solar panel is currently around 2.5 feet by 4 feet in size. A 1 kWh solar panel is a solar panel that produces one kilowatt of energy per hour. The size of the panel depends on the efficiency of the photovoltaic cell in the panel. 

The average efficiency of a solar panel is around 20%. However, some solar panels are now reaching 25% efficiency. The more efficient a solar panel, the smaller it can be. 

It’s essential to consider the amount of space available when installing solar panels. If you don’t have enough room for a large solar array, you may want to consider a smaller system that can still provide enough energy for your needs.

What Is the Lifespan of a Commercial Solar Panel?

Commercial solar panels are built to withstand years of exposure to the sun and elements. Although electronics tend to have a reputation for being fragile, commercial solar panels are rugged and require little maintenance.

The average lifespan of a commercial solar panel is between 15-and 25 years. However, with proper care and maintenance, they can last even longer.

After twenty-five years, most commercial solar panels are still working at 85% of their original efficiency. Commercial solar panels are built to last. 

One of the benefits of using solar power is that it’s a renewable energy source. When one panel reaches the end of its lifespan, it can be replaced with another. Each panel can be replaced, so you only have to replace the broken ones and not the entire array. 

This ensures that your business continues to run on clean, sustainable energy. 

How Much Electricity Does a Commercial Solar Panel Produce?

The first solar panels converted a low 6% of the energy from the sun into electricity. However, this number has increased to between 15-and 25% in modern solar panels. 

The amount of electricity produced by a commercial solar panel depends on its efficiency, size, location, and sun’s intensity. 

  • Commercial solar panels are typically sized between 250 and 350 watts.
  • For a 250 watt panel, the average commercial building can produce 575-kWh of electricity each month.
  • A 350-watt panel can make 825-kWh of electricity monthly. 

These numbers will vary depending on the solar panel’s location and the sun’s intensity. Panels in sunny states will produce more electricity than panels in cloudy states.

However, commercial solar panels are a great way to reduce your monthly energy costs no matter where you live.

How Much do Solar Panels for Commercial Buildings Cost

The cost of installing solar panels on a commercial building depends on the electricity usage of the building. The average price of installing commercial solar panels was slightly over $250,000. The cost can range anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000. 

The cost of a solar energy project is traditionally calculated in dollars per watt. Using this metric, the average cost of commercial solar panels was $2.87 per watt. The majority of quotes fell between $2.50/watt and $3.22/watt. 

Federal tax incentives can reduce the cost of a solar energy project by up to 30%. Other incentives may also be available at the state and local levels. 

Are Commercial Solar Panels Worth It?

Yes, commercial solar panels are worth the investment. The payback period for a solar energy system is when it takes for the system to generate enough savings to cover its cost. This period is typically six to eight years for a commercial solar panel system.

Furthermore, there are various federal and state tax incentives for installing solar panels on your commercial building. The most significant benefit is that after the payback point is reached, all of your electricity after that is effectively free. 

Depending on the size of the solar array and your energy needs, your commercial solar panels might make you money. 

Most utility companies will pay for any extra electricity sent back to the grid from your solar panels. This is called net metering, and it’s a great way to make some extra cash from your solar energy system.

The best part about commercial solar panels is that they increase the value of your building. 

A recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that for every $1 invested in a commercial solar energy system, the property owner could expect to see a return on investment of $2.12. That’s a great return on your investment!

So, if you’re thinking of installing solar panels on your commercial building, now is the time to do it. The benefits are many, and the cost is dropping all the time. 

What are the Benefits of Solar Energy for Commercial Buildings 

Solar power on commercial buildings gives you a fantastic return on investment (ROI). It can also reduce the overhead or operating costs of your commercial building. Furthermore, solar energy can help you control your future energy costs while also improving the image of your company.   

Solar panels on commercial buildings also improve your company’s image and make an environmentally friendly statement.

Solar power is reliable, efficient, and long-lasting, making it an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes. 

What Is a Commercial Solar Project?

A commercial solar project is another name for solar power installed on a commercial property. This title applies to any size of business. 

The business could be as small as a mom-and-pop shop or as large as a huge factory or headquarters. Solar power is a viable option for any of them.

Solar panels mounted on the roof of a business are the most common type of commercial solar project. 

However, companies can also install solar arrays in their parking lots. Solar projects can also include other renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines or geothermal heating and cooling.

Some businesses also use solar thermal systems to heat water or air. Solar thermal systems use mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a receiver, which heats the fluid inside. This heated fluid can then be used to heat water or air for use in the building.

Is There a Difference Between Commercial and Residential Solar Panels?

Commercial and residential solar panels’ primary function and design are the same. Both types of solar panels use photovoltaic cells to capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. 

However, there are some district differences between the two types of solar beyond their basic function. 

Commercial solar panels are much larger than residential solar panels, but they function in the same way. In fact, sometimes, commercial solar panels are used on residential projects. 

The installation of residential solar panels is more complex and time-consuming than commercial solar panels. The majority of commercial solar panels are mounted on a flat roof which is much easier to set up. 

Solar panels for residential use are more often installed on the roof of a house in a slanted position. 

Commercial solar installations tend to be more expensive than residential solar installations. The main reason for this is that commercial solar installations require more solar panels to produce the same amount of power as residential solar installations. 

Despite the differences between commercial and residential solar, both types of solar panels are great options for generating renewable energy. Solar panels have come a long way in the past few years, and they continue to get more efficient. 

General Solar Panel FAQ

What Problems Do Solar Panels Solve?

In environmental terms, solar panels can potentially solve a handful of problems, including;
1. Air pollution
2. Water pollution
3. Greenhouse gases
4. Reduction in fossil fuel use

For individuals, solar energy allows you to become completely self-sufficient when it comes to your electricity needs and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

What Are 3 Important Uses Of Solar Panels?

The three most important uses of solar panels are;
1. Solar electricity. This can be used to power almost any appliance in your home, including TVs, computers, and fridges.
2. Lighting. In addition to the use of low-power, LED lightbulbs, solar panels can provide an efficient, low-cost, and environmentally friendly way to provide lighting to homes. 
3. Portable solar. In our modern, always-connected lives, our phones, tablets, and computers are almost always with us, and all run on batteries. Portable PV chargers can help keep our batteries topped up no matter where we are, as long as there is some sun to charge them.

Do solar panels give you free electricity?

Once the cost of the array is paid in full, the energy it produces is free. There are ongoing maintenance costs, too, such as annual panel cleaning, etc. 

How much will my electric bill be with solar panels?

Suppose your solar array includes a solar battery backup system, and it is large enough to fully cover your energy usage per day. In that case, your monthly electric bill will be next to zero dollars, even with a grid-tied system. 

If your solar array does not include a solar battery backup system, then at night, your house or business will use grid electricity. That cost will vary but expect to pay from 1/3-2/3 of your average electric bill, and that cost will fluctuate seasonally. 

Do you save money with solar panels?

The simple answer is, Yes, you save money with solar panels. There is an initial upfront cost, but since solar panels are warrantied for 25 years, you will save money over time. You will also begin to see monthly savings in energy bills, but there are other ways that solar panels pay you back. Those include:
1. Adding value to your home or commercial building 
2. Monthly decreases in energy costs
3. The ability to add more energy appliances without increased monthly costs
4. The potential for tax credits for going solar

Can solar panels power a house 24-7?

Most definitely! Solar panels can certainly power a house 24-7, with the addition of a high-quality inverter and a suitable battery bank, of course. To power, a house under normal usage will require a massive solar array, though, and there will be a very expensive initial financial outlay.

Do I need to tell my energy supplier I have solar panels?

This depends on where you live, but in most cases, it’s not necessary to inform your energy supplier that you have solar panels. That said, you may be producing excess power with your solar system, in which case you may be able to sell that excess power back to energy companies.

In this case, you’ll naturally need to be in contact with them. 

What Are Solar Cells Known as and Why?

Solar cells are also called photovoltaic (PV) cells. They are called so because the term ‘photovoltaic’ literally means light i.e. photo and electricity i.e. voltaic.

These cells generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. This effect basically causes the generation of free electrons from the semiconducting silicon material of the solar panel when sunlight hits its surface.

What Type of Solar Panels Are Most Efficient and Why?

There are currently three types of solar panels available in the market that are:
1. Monocrystalline
2. Polycrystalline
3. Thin-filmed

Among these, monocrystalline solar panels are known to be the most efficient among all others.

Does heat enter your home through the roof?

Absolutely. Heat enters your home through your roof, and on a hot day your attic can get up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Through conduction, heat from the sun warms your roof which then warms your attic and the rest of your home.

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