With the depleting resources in our world and increasing utility bills, it’s no wonder that more and more people are considering pursuing a more sustainable way of living. The awareness that this type of living will help us ecologically by reducing carbon footprint, and guaranteed savings in the long run, are only some of the reasons why it has piqued the interest of many households. One piece of evidence is the growing number of people pushing for solar panel installations in their residences and even in businesses too.
Though the market for solar panel installation is continuously rising, many people are not aware that there are a lot of considerations before the actual installation process. One of which is the importance of knowing about solar panel size and how it will overall affect the performance of your set up.
You could say that the concept of using solar panels at home is still a relatively new concept for many. If you are interested to pursue having a solar panel, proper due diligence is in order. Some common questions to explore as a good start are:
Does size really matter when it comes to solar panels?
When it comes to solar panel size, is this referring to physical dimensions and the number of PV cells? Is there a standard size in solar panels?
What are the factors affecting the size of solar panels?
In this article, we’ll share with you some important things to know about your solar panel, particularly about its size, and some helpful tips. We’ll also definitely answer the questions above to help decide what product type fits your requirement.
Continue reading to learn more…
Solar Panel Basic: Composition and Standard Sizes
Before moving to sizes, let’s have a quick brush-up regarding the component of a solar panel. A solar panel is basically made up of smaller, individual photovoltaic (PV) cells that are wired together and mounted on a frame for easy installation. These cells are responsible for converting light into electricity. Each PV cell comes in at approximately 6 inches in height and 6 inches in width or 156 mm x 156 mm.
So how big is a solar panel?
There are 3 common sizes when it comes to solar panels, 96-cell, 72-cell, and 60-cell. Or sometimes the manufacturer will cut the cell into half and make 192-half-cell, 144-half-cell or 120-half-cell.
For the exact measurement, there will be slight variations depending on the manufacturer. The space between the cells and the aluminum frame will dictate the size, but roughly, the width of the solar panel is within 45 inches and the height might vary from 5 to 6 ft. But do note that there are smaller-size solar panels e.g., the ones built for on-the-go setup.
If this is your first run with solar panels, you’ll soon realize that the number of solar cells in a panel will directly affect the power that your system could harness. More cells = more electricity produced.
If you are fully decided to purchase a solar panel, take note of the physical dimensions of the solar panels, as this will greatly affect the installation. As a tip, make sure that you have enough space in your roof area that will allow you to have the right number of panels that will cover the amount of your energy requirement. For example, the average residential solar installation in the US is 5.6 kilowatts (kW), so you will need about 20-21 panels to cover this. To stress, the number of solar panels will depend on your usage (e.g. would you want to be able to power up the whole house or just a particular section or appliances).
Tip: If you want to know how many panels you need, simply determine your energy requirement and how much of that power demand you want to be met by solar energy vs using a public electricity provider.
What are the factors affecting solar panel size?
We will be highlighting two major factors that affect the size of your solar panel – it’s the solar panel wattage and solar panel type.
Solar Panel Wattage
When we say solar panel wattage, this is just how much electricity can your panel produce. The higher the watts of your panel, the higher the energy requirement it could meet, which also means that the size will be affected (with consideration of the efficiency of the panel). For homes and businesses, solar panel wattage ranges from 100W to 600W.
If you are concerned with space, you could also opt to choose higher panel wattage so that fewer panels will be required.
Suggested product to explore:
Nature's Generator Elite Platinum – PE System –This product is a state-of-the-art electronics that converts 12-Volt power to 120-Volt everyday household electricity. It has a Monocrystalline solar panel that provides up to 100-Watt of recharging power.
Nature’s Generator Powerhouse Platinum PE System – if you want a home eco-power solution, then this product is the one for you. It has a maximum power output of 240V/7200 Watt split phase that can power almost anything. In terms of solar power wattage, its 410W has a higher conversion efficiency (up to 20.38%), benefitting from a half-cell structure.
Solar Panel Material
The kind of material your solar panel has will directly affect its size. In general, there are four main types of solar panels available in terms of material – monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film, and PERC.
If you are looking for energy-efficient panels while at the same time occupying less space, then consider choosing panels made of mono-crystalline and PERC.
Tip: Aside from panel size, if you are looking at permanent installations, efficiency, and guaranteed weather resiliency, add to your list rigid solar panels. Though we have flexible solar panels in the market, the industry-standard rigid panels, which are usually made of monocrystalline solar cells should be high on your list.
Before taking the plunge when it comes to solar panel installations, it’s best to explore different products that could match your requirements. Hopefully, you have learned about one of the basics of solar panels, which is the size and the factors influencing it.
You could also browse through our products here and check out comprehensive descriptions to guide you. Or connect with our customer support to assist you with your product requirements and answer your queries.
* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Michelle Gamana, contributed research and content to this blog titled: Does Size Matter in Solar Panels? Thank you, Michelle, for your contributions!