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How much does a solar panel weigh and how big is it?

If you are interested in installing a photovoltaic system, it is important that you know how much a solar panel weighs and measures.

How much does a solar panel weigh and how big is it?

We have talked on many occasions about how the photovoltaic effect works, as well as about the different types of solar panels, however, it is also important to highlight what the  physical characteristics of solar panels are , since it can be very useful to calculate the space that we have available for them, as well as the total weight per square meter and if the surface on which it is installed can support it. For this reason, we answer the questions of how long a solar panel is and how much a solar panel weighs. Read on to find out!

How big is a solar panel?

The length, as well as the width of the solar panels can vary between some devices or others. In fact, there are usually differences in terms of dimensions if we focus on solar panels for homes and those that are intended for companies. And it is that solar panels tend to vary depending on the space available or necessary for installation, so that solutions adapted to each case and for each house or company can be found. In general, the measurements of a solar panel for the home are usually around  1.67 by 1.016 meters , this means that each solar panel usually measures one and a half meters by one and a half meters. These are the panels that include a total of 60 photovoltaic cells, the standard size for a home. 

In any case, keep in mind that  we can distinguish various types of solar panels  based on the number of cells and that this affects the size, but also the thickness. If we analyze the measurements of a solar panel based on them, we find the following result:

  • 60 cell solar panel : They are six cells wide and ten cells long. The dimensions of these solar panels are usually 1.016 x 1.67 meters. We can also find them in 992 x 1640 millimeters.
  • 72 cell solar panel : They are six cells wide and twelve cells long. The measurements of a solar panel with these characteristics are usually 992 x 1956 millimeters.

The thickness, on the other hand, is usually standard in relation to the measurements of a solar panel. And it is that what is sought is to manufacture compact and robust devices that are capable of resisting inclement weather, as well as possible shocks. In general,  the thickness is around 32 and 40 millimeters .

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How much does a solar panel weigh?

The weight of the solar panels is usually 19.05 kilos for each device. Now, it  all depends on the number of cells contained  in the device —or what is the same, its size—. Solar panels with 60 cells usually weigh  18 kg , while the weight of a solar panel with 72 cells is usually  22.5 kg . Of course, we can also find lighter panels, such as those used for garden lighting or for very specific cases that have a quantity of 36 cells. And on the contrary, like those with a quantity of 144 cells —those used in factories and in industry in general—. Obviously these are larger and the weight of a solar panel of this type is higher.

Debes tener en cuenta que la elección de un panel solar para un hogar o para una vivienda no solo depende de la productividad. Por supuesto, una placa de 72 o una de 144 células es capaz de producir mayor cantidad de Kw/h. Ahora bien, es posible que tu tejado no soporte el peso de la instalación, en cuyo caso te arriesgas a que el panel solar se caiga y se estropee. A la hora de determinar cuál es el peso de una placa solar más adecuada para ti es aconsejable consultar con un experto. Por lo general, las Normas Básicas de la Edificación (NBE) establecen en sus bases que una sobrecarga de uso para viviendas es de 200 kg/m2 (no obstante, las medidas en un tejado pueden variar).

¿Qué otros aspectos influyen en el peso de una placa solar y las dimensiones?

Tanto el peso de una placa solar como sus medidas pueden verse incrementados dependiendo de los materiales utilizados, así como de los soportes y estructuras. Ten en cuenta que en función de la forma, la pendiente y otros factores físicos del soporte, más pesado puede ser el conjunto. Por lo general, el soporte suele estar entre los 0,90 y 1,84 kg —una cantidad que se encuentra dentro de los límites aceptables para tejados normales—. Otro de los aspectos que debes tener en cuenta es que los avances tecnológicos actuales cada vez están permitiendo unificar el tamaño de los paneles solares, además de incrementar la potencia del dispositivo. Es decir, cada vez podemos encontrarnos con equipos más pequeños, pero con una potencia superior, lo que está haciendo que el peso, así como las dimensiones sean más adecuadas tanto para los tejados y azoteas del hogar, así como para las fábricas y la industria en general.

¿Qué es un estudio de viabilidad de un proyecto fotovoltaico y por qué lo necesito?

The feasibility study is carried out  by professionals in the photovoltaic sector . This is used to analyze the feasibility of the project, as its name suggests. The final objective is to verify if a project is technically feasible, as well as economically viable. The technical part includes the number of solar panels needed, as well as their orientation and arrangement on the roof and the qualities related to space or dimensions, but also the weight that the surface can support. The economic part analyzes whether the project is worthwhile for the user based on the amount of energy it will produce and comparing it with the investment costs.

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