For the most part, solar panels measure about the same size across different manufacturers. Their weight, however, can vary from brand to brand.
And when it comes to installing solar panels on your home’s roof, weight is everything. Investing in solar panels that are too heavy can cause the structure of your roof to buckle under the weight over time.
Unless you are attempting to install the solar panels by yourself, you shouldn’t have to worry about this too much, as your installation company will make sure that your roof can adequately support the panels.
In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the different types of solar panels and how much they weigh. If you’re going at it alone, this will give you a better understanding of what to expect from the different models.
Photovoltaic Panels (Thin-Film)
The most common type of solar panel used in residential settings is that of the photovoltaic panel or thin-film panel.
On average, photovoltaic panels weigh around 40 pounds per panel. With that being said, some manufacturers produce solar panels that weigh anywhere from 33 to 50 pounds.
Since most residential solar panels have the same measurements, weight is typically the only thing that needs to be taken into consideration when planning for residential solar panel installation.
If it is determined that your roof is incapable of adequately and safely supporting the weight of the panel or panels, your installation company may tell you that you need to have your roof restructured.
By and large, the total weight that will be loaded onto your roof comes out to around 4 pounds for every square foot.
Most modern homes are designed with roofs that can support much more than that. But if you live in an older house, you may need to perform updates to your roof to ensure that it up to the task of supporting solar panels.
The next type of solar panel we want to look at is the monocrystalline panel. On average, these solar panels weigh about 50 pounds each.
While monocrystalline panels are used in residential settings, their weight makes them a safer option for commercial buildings.
Still, their energy output is hard to beat. If you have a more modern home and your roof is up to the task, this may be a beneficial option for you.
As the oldest of common panel types, monocrystalline panels are also the most developed. This has allowed manufacturers to find the best ways to reduce their weight over the years while maximizing their energy efficiency.
One of the newer panel types to hit the market, polycrystalline was once thought to be inferior to the monocrystalline panel type.
However, they have seen improvements over the years. Additionally, they are the cheapest type of solar panel to produce, making them a popular choice in residential use.
On average, polycrystalline panels weigh around 42 pounds per panel. While it’s true that they aren’t as energy-efficient as monocrystalline panels, their lower cost helps to offset their output difference.
It’s important to note that in recent years, manufacturers have discovered ways to make the performance of polycrystalline panels more closely match monocrystalline panels.
Thanks to better efficiency and lower production costs, polycrystalline panels are now a big hit among homeowners.
Things to Consider
Regardless of which type of solar panel you want to go with, you must contact someone to perform an inspection on your roof.
While many solar panel installation companies might be able to advise on your roof’s integrity, it’s important to remember that roofs aren’t their area of expertise.
You should hire a professional who can evaluate your roof structure and tell you what changes need to be made if any.
This will ensure that your solar panel installation goes smoothly and without any damage to your roof.
It’s also important to remember that just because your roof can safely hold solar panels, it may not be the best place for them.
If there are trees in the way, for example, that could cause shading issues with your solar panels, another location makes more sense.
You want your solar panels to get as much sunlight as they possibly can. You may find that a ground-mounted solar system is better suited to your home’s surroundings.
By thoroughly researching your options, your solar panels can serve to provide you with optimal energy-saving performance year-round.
Before you invest in solar panels of any kind, you must hire a professional to survey your property. They will be able to tell you where the best placement is for solar panels based on your landscape.
If you’re planning on installing a solar panel system on your own, you should get as much input from experienced installers as you can. This will ensure that your installation goes safely and smoothly.