Skip to content

Dimensions of photovoltaic panels: how to choose them correctly?

Photovoltaic panels are available in a variety of sizes, with the most common being 1m x 1.65m. The size of the panel you choose will depend on the amount of power you need to generate and the amount of space you have available.

In this article we will talk about the dimensions or size of solar panels, this is a very important variable that must be considered when buying.

The dimensions of the solar panel are varied and depend on the power and brand of the panel, below we will analyze the different sizes.

Dimensions of photovoltaic panels: how to choose them correctly?

The dimensions of the photovoltaic panels largely depend on the size of the roof surface or the place where we want to install them, as well as our electricity demand. The type of roof is also important. 

Do solar panels have a standard size?

The answer is no, there are no standard measurements for solar panels. It is true that it is common for them to have  similar dimensions  , but depending on the technology or the manufacturer, there may be differences in size.

The reason why the measurements are usually similar is because of the size of the solar cells that make up the panels, since the plates usually incorporate a similar number of them. But as we say this is only an approximation since there is no single size defined for the panels.

Common sizes of solar panels.

Among the most common sizes that we can find are the  1.7 x 1 meter panels  . These panels are made up of 60 or 120 cells and have a power that is between 285 and 400 W.

On the other hand, there are the  2 x 1 meter panels , made up of 72 or 144 cells and with powers between 350 and 490 W. Although these two measurements are the most common, there are other types of panel sizes that we can find.

Solar panel size cm

Approx. 200 cm x 100 cm x 40 mm
Weight of the photovoltaic panels
Approx. 21.00 kg
Number of cells: 72
Power of the photovoltaic panels
The power of the photovoltaic module is 380-400 W

Once we have made the decision to obtain cheap and ecological energy produced with the use of solar rays with the help of photovoltaic panels, it is time to ask ourselves more detailed questions. For the most general, that is, in the first place: why do we need photovoltaic energy? – is relatively easy to answer. Although you have to bear some investment costs up front, the goal is to save electricity in the years following the return on investment (usually after 6-8 years).

On the other hand, the problem arises when it is necessary to select the appropriate dimensions of the photovoltaic panels to, on the one hand, cover the domestic electricity demand, and on the other, not to overload the roof on which the panels are installed. most of the time (although this is not a rule).

Therefore, the best answer to the question posed in the title will be: wisely. In practice, it will be the result of the size and structure of the surfaces on which they are to be placed, as well as the power that we want to obtain.

Solar panel dimensions

Relsted:

Estimating your home’s energy needs

At the beginning of the adventure with photovoltaic panels, you need to answer the key question: what is the electricity demand of the home? According to statistics, a household in the 2 + 2 model (parents plus children) consumes an average of 1,900 kWh per year, and even 2,100 kWh in rural areas  . The next step to consider is whether the planned PV installation will ultimately cover all of the demand or only part of it. It does not always depend on our decision.

 It will also be greatly influenced by the surface and construction possibilities of the roof or well-sunny areas of the floor. After determining the   annual demand for  electricity.  You can start calculations related to the power of the photovoltaic panels that we will need and the area that they will occupy.

Dimensions of photovoltaic panels

The dimensions of photovoltaic panels  have been gradually standardized over the years, in contrast to the initial period, when their size was highly dependent on a certain manufacturer. Photovoltaic panels are made up of photovoltaic cells (60 or 72, depending on the type of equipment). At present, the dimensions of the panels are similar, their width is about 100 cm and the length is about 165-170 cm (the thickness is about 40 mm), with a power of about 280 W.

It is extremely important, when checking the dimensions of the individual PV panels, to ensure that they are provided together with the mounting clearances. However, when it comes to weight, the average photovoltaic panel weighs approximately 19 kilograms (most of the time, although it is not a rule). In turn, the efficiency of the photovoltaic modules ranges between 15 and 17 percent, which is a very satisfactory result.

Roof area and photovoltaic installation

We already have more or less specific dimensions of the photovoltaic panels and the annual electricity demand of a certain home. Now we can begin to calculate the area of ​​the ceiling that will be needed for installation. It is not uncommon for photovoltaic modules to cover the entire available roof area, in other cases only a part. It is also important if the panels are placed in special structures on a flat roof or if it will be a sloping roof. We have to answer the following questions: How many windows? How are they distributed? With or without “swallows”? etc. In the first case, it is necessary to maintain the appropriate distance between the modules related to the width of the shadow area. If installed on a sloping ceiling, the modules can be placed very close to each other, filling almost the entire ceiling surface.

The method of calculating the required roof area for the structure is very simple. Assuming that we need a photovoltaic generator of 5 kW of power,  with modules of 102 cm x 165 cm and 250 W of power, we need about 35 square meters of roof surface  . We divide the dimensions of the module by the power of the module and multiply it by the power of the generator. So actually, it comes out a bit more. Rectangular PV modules rarely fill the roof perfectly, especially if it is cut with windows or “swallows.”

The decision is up to us

In the end, the  size of a photovoltaic micro installation will depend on what type of energy we want to get  . In the case of small or medium-sized companies, they will necessarily occupy a slightly larger area. In the case of households, the demand for electricity is often easily met with installations mounted on the ceiling or on the floor. Interestingly, these ground facilities are also becoming increasingly popular. For example, on farms (sometimes even replacing agricultural activities), but not only. In any case, we can make preliminary calculations of how much space a possible photovoltaic installation will occupy. It is enough to collect basic data on the power, the dimensions of the panels and the surface on which they will be installed.

Dimensions of photovoltaic panels: choosing the right size

There are many types of photovoltaic modules available on the market , which should be selected so that their total power covers the needs of the household in the dimension selected by the future prosumer.

In this article you will learn:

  • How much do these standard solar panels measure and weigh?
  • What determines the size of a PV installation?
  • How to estimate the energy demand of a house?

and finally:

  • Which installation is better: on the ground or on the roof?

What determines the size of a photovoltaic installation?

The size of a PV installation depends primarily on the power that the installation is to generate.

The future prosumer must therefore decide whether the photovoltaics should cover the entire energy demand of the household or only part of it and what power will be discussed. When the required power is known, it is time to take a closer look at the size of the roof slope and the accessories available on the market.

How much space does a solar installation take?

A photovoltaic installation can take up exactly as much space as the investor wants it to take, but to achieve the intended goal, it is necessary to select the appropriate equipment. Due to their structure, monocrystalline half-cut panels have a significantly greater number of cells and have much greater power and efficiency than polycrystalline panels. What is the dimension of photovoltaic panels? Their standard size usually oscillates around 1776 mm in length, 1052 mm in width and 32 mm in thickness.

Weight is 20 kg. How much space will ultimately be taken by PV depends on the power of the planned installation and whether the prosumer decides to install more panels with less power or does the exact opposite and installs fewer panels with more power. With roofs with a small area, the latter option is more often used. The first option, i.e. more panels with less power, is worth considering, among others. in case the roof can be oriented east-west or east-west and south. This makes it possible to fully use the potential of these azimuths. And sometimes you can also save on equipment costs.

Roof area and photovoltaic installation

Solar panels can be installed on virtually any roofing material. The only obstacle here is the poor technical condition of the roof or the entire structure of the building, as well as too much shading and too little area of ​​the surface in general. In case of insufficient space, the modules are also placed on the roofs of other buildings, or if the investor has adequate space around the house, on the ground. Shading is a bigger problem. The panel on which the shadow falls does not produce electricity, and because the modules are connected in series, it affects the efficiency of the entire installation. When shading is low and occurs for short periods of time throughout the day, power optimizers may provide a solution. If the shading is permanent and / or over a large area of ​​the roof, it is not possible to locate the photovoltaics there.

How much do solar panels weigh?

The roof load capacity should always be recalculated, and it is best to entrust such a task to specialists. The weight of the installed system can be crucial for the safety and integrity of the building

The panel usually weighs between 18 and 25 kg. However, the weight increases with size – for example, the average weight of a panel with 72 cells is approx. 22.5 kg. Panels with a slightly different structure will also be heavier than the standard ones. Glass-glass photovoltaic panels are also heavier, because they are secured with toughened glass on both sides. One module of this type is heavier than the standard one by 3 or even 6 kg.

How to choose the size of photovoltaic panels?

This point has already been described in part above. When planning the size of the installation and selecting the appropriate modules, the number of modules should always be multiplied by the dimensions of photovoltaic panels and the weight. All this to carefully analyze the weight that will rest on the roof of the building and the area of ​​the roof covering that the panels will take. Today’s availability of various models of photovoltaic panels , that virtually every investor is able to calculate an installation of the required power and size, without bearing the risk of overloading the roof structure and struggling with the issue of shading.

Estimating your home’s energy needs

The actual energy requirement of a building can be calculated in several ways. Nothing stands in the way of connecting them together.

First of all, the building’s energy demand is included in its design documentation and is certainly an important source of information in the case of photovoltaic installations in newly built houses.

Secondly, an invaluable help can be an energy audit of the building performed by professionals who will help to estimate the demand, for example on the basis of devices used at home, planned purchases of household appliances or, finally, technical details regarding the insulation of the building structure and the technologies used in its partitions, joinery or windows.

Third, electricity bills from previous years. This source will certainly not disappoint those investors who have been living in their property for several years. There, they will find out exactly how much electricity was used in previous years.

Installation on the ground or on the roof – what is better to choose?

There are situations where the future prosumer has both a large roof in good technical condition and a large plot of land or access to agricultural wasteland, which the photovoltaic installation can finally help to develop. What to choose if the investor has the so-called free hand. Both options have their undeniable advantages. By choosing to install on the ground, you can optimize the installation even better and get higher yields from it. It is also easier to clean and perform maintenance work. Installation on the roof requires no additional space. Today’s panels do not disfigure the building, and the angle of inclination most often allows for optimization of production. Therefore, it is difficult to indicate a better option. The decision should always depend on the individual situation of the investor.