If you’re thinking about installing solar panels in your home or property, you’re likely wondering “How big is a solar panel, exactly?” After all, solar panels are large and clumsy enough to be tricky to install and their dimensions need to be carefully considered in regards to your own roof so that the installation is as easy and as effective as possible.
So, what is the standard solar panel size? As with any other product, it does depend on the manufacturer and the design, not to mention that a lot of manufacturers have experts that specialize in designing and installing solar panels for any roof type and size. However, the rough averages for most solar panels are ~5 feet long, ~3 feet wide, and ~40 pounds of weight per panel.
Solar panel dimensions
To be a bit more precise, the exact dimensions of an average solar panel are 65 inches by 39 inches or 5.4 feet by 3.25 feet. There are variations between brands, of course, but they all tend to fall somewhere around these measurements. There are large-scale solar panels designed for warehouses and municipal buildings as well, and those tend to be closer to 6 feet long but that still falls close to the mean averages.
The reason most solar panels are similar in size is that these dimensions have been figured out as the most practical ones for these devices. Solar panels are made up of multiple individual solar photovoltaic cells or PV cells, each of which has a standard size of 156mm by 156mm or 6 by 6 inches. Most residential solar panels will be made up of 60 PV cells, most commercial solar panels consist of 72 PV cells, and some of the bigger exceptions go up to 98 cells and above but those are rare comparatively.
Solar panel weight
The second big question for residential solar panel use, in particular, is how much does each panel weigh? That’s crucial as you not only want to fit the panels on your roof but you want them to stay there securely with no risk of damaging the roof even in harsh weather.
So, standard 60-cell solar panels for residential use tend to weigh around 40 pounds each. Some are a bit lighter around 33 pounds like the lightest models of SunPower and some are heavier such as the heaviest models of Canadian Solar which reach 50 pounds. Almost all other models of both these and other brands tend to fall in the 38-42 pound range, however.
So, if your roof can handle the addition of 40 more pounds of weight over 5×3 feet of space (not 40 in total, 40 in addition), then installing solar panels should be perfectly safe. You should also keep in mind the total weight of your solar panel installation since you likely won’t be installing just a single solar panel. An installation of ~20 panels, for example, can add up to a total of ~800 pounds which are not an insignificant number.