What is the Size of a Solar Panel?

When adding a solar panel system to your roof, it is easy to get caught up in the costs and energy production levels. However, the physical properties of your solar panels are equally important to evaluate as the size of your solar panels can impact your system’s energy production, maintenance, and impact on your roof.


At Blue Raven Solar, we want to educate you about your solar panel system so you feel confident and comfortable in your investment. We’ll address the average size of a solar panel, hardware mounting, how the solar panel size impacts energy production, and how roof quality and stability can be make-or-break for your solar solution.

Solar Panel Sizes

The average size of a solar panel is approximately 65 inches long and 39 inches wide. This solar panel size comes with around 60 photovoltaic (PV) cells, a depth of 1.5 to 2 inches, and a square foot area of 17.62 feet.


However, there are three typical sizes of solar panels (measurements are approximate as they vary slightly based on brands and models):


  • 65” x 39” with a 60-cell layout
  • 77” x 39” with a 72-cell layout
  • 62.6” x 41.5” with a 96-cell layout


Solar cells and the desired wattage are the main factors solar experts use in determining which size of solar panel is best for you and your home.


The amount of energy produced by these three different panel sizes ranges from 250 watts to 400 watts. To put this into perspective, a 250-watt panel can reliably support a microwave or television’s worth of daily electricity; whereas, a 400-watt solar panel could power a hairdryer that is constantly running. 

Stack of monocrystalline solar panels, wrapped, in preparation to be installed

Solar Panel Size and Energy Production

When comparing solar panel sizes and overall production, it’s helpful to know what the average home uses and needs.


The average yearly electricity use of a home in the United States is 10,500 kilowatthours (kWh), which can be achieved by generating around 28.7 kWh per day. Assuming an average of 5 hours of peak sunlight per day, your home can be powered by a solar panel system capable of generating 5.75 kilowatts per hour.


For example, if you take into consideration 60-cell panels per panel, which generate between 250-300 watts, we know the system will need to include at least 20 panels. A 20-panel system, with a square footage of 17.62 ft per panel, requires a rooftop size of at least 352.4 square feet.


This basic breakdown does not include a number of factors including your geographic location, peak sunlight hours, seasonal shifts in light, or your rooftop quality. However, estimating the general size of the space required to add solar to your roof is still helpful.


Note: While the panels referenced above represent the average across the industry, Blue Raven Solar’s typical panel is a 72”x42” monocrystalline panel generating a common wattage between 400-410. This helps you maximize watts per square foot of roof space.

Blue Raven Solar installer, in safety equipment, carrying a panel on a roof

Physical Properties and Mounting Capacity

Another important aspect of your solar panels’ size is the weight they’ll add to your roof and the mounting hardware used to secure it in place.


Solar panels, made up of smaller photovoltaic cells, are sturdy but thin. The larger the panel, the heavier it becomes and the easier it is for it to bow and bend. There is an effect on efficiency as well, as your solar inverter may be capped at a certain energy rate to maintain and ensure safety. 


Most solar panels weigh between 35 to 50 pounds, on average. Each roof mount is typically manufactured to hold two panels and is built to hold and distribute those 70-100 pounds evenly across your roof. With the estimated example of a 20-panel solar panel system you can expect to add between 700 and 1,000 pounds—not including the necessary mounting hardware and other equipment—when going solar.


The system itself is also capable of holding more weight than the solar panels so your roof mounts and brackets are not buckling under the weight during extreme weather conditions like heavy snowfall. A single solar panel can typically handle about 200 pounds of additional weight


Although solar panels are durable, it is not recommended that additional weight—including body weight—be added to a solar panel or mount to avoid damaging the equipment.

Your Rooftop Safety

The next questions often include whether your roof can support the added weight of a solar system and whether it is in the right condition to install. 


Many homeowners refit older homes by installing solar panels. However, if your roof is already 10 to 15 years old, you may need to replace it before your solar system reaches the same point—which is much easier before you add a rooftop solar system. After installation, you will need to unmount and reinstall all the solar equipment to replace your roof. 


At Blue Raven Solar, our tier-1, monocrystalline solar panels come with a 25-year warranty, which guarantees you can reliably generate clean energy for the lifespan of the panels. Will your roof be capable of supporting your solar system for its entire lifespan? Blue Raven Solar can help you determine whether your roof is fit for a solar install—no matter the size of panels used or system installed.

The Right Solar Panel Size for Your Roof

When you’ve made the decision to add solar panels to your home, our Blue Raven Solar teams will check to ensure your roof is sound and then design a system ideal for your home, energy needs, and budget—or let you know if it would be wise to consider roof repairs or replacement first. 


If you have questions about our solar panel installation process, your roof’s eligibility as a solar system install site, or what solar panel size we recommend for your home, please feel free to contact us


Get your free solar quote today!

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