How Big Are Solar Panels? Shedding Light on the Matter

how big are solar panels

People usually don’t ask, “how big are solar panels?” unless they’re looking to purchase them. Since installing such systems in households is getting increasingly popular, prospective buyers must make the right choice when it comes to their size. Otherwise, they might either overspend or not get enough panels to meet their energy needs. Read on to avoid the common pitfalls on the road to going solar.

Solar Panel Dimensions in Australia

What are solar panels made of?

Solar panels are made of tiny cells of silicon crystal slices, a polymer backing, glass, and an aluminium frame. While their sizes, shapes, and colours may vary, these are the components you’ll find in the typical panels mounted on the roofs of residential and commercial buildings.

How big are solar panels?

When it comes to solar panel size, it varies by brand. Of course, the larger the panel, the more power it can generate. So, your solar system sizing will mainly depend on the amount of electricity you need and the number of appliances that will be powered by it. 

However, the standard solar panel size found on many houses is 1.7m x 1m, i.e. around 1.7m² per panel. 

Another factor to consider is the wattage, which also depends on the type and brand of panel you’re using. Typical ones can generate between 250W and 360W of electricity.

Types of solar panels

In addition to the varied solar panel sizes and wattage as well as efficiency, there are different types of panels. 

For instance, the three main types of cells that are widely used are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells are composed of silicon wafers arranged in rows across the panel. 

As the name implies, monocrystalline solar cells are cut out of pure silicon crystal. In contrast, polycrystalline solar cells are made of multiple fragments of silicon crystals that have been melted and moulded before being cut into wafers.

On the other hand, thin-film solar panels are manufactured through an entirely different process. While there are many types of materials that are used in cell technology in place of silicon crystals, some of the most common ones are cadmium telluride and amorphous silicon. This layer is placed between conducting transparent ones, which helps to capture sunlight and charge the batteries.

Standard Solar Panel Dimensions

The typical solar panel systems found in homes and offices come in two main sizes: 60-cell and 72-cell ones.

In lieu of a complicated solar panel size chart, the dimensions of 60-cell ones are 3.25 ft x 5.5 ft or 39” x 66”, while those of 72-cell ones are 3.25 ft x 6.42 ft or 39” x 77”.

How to Choose the Solar Panel for You

When it comes to choosing the right solar module fit, you have to ask yourself a handful of essential questions, such as, “how big of a solar system do I need,” “what is the most powerful solar panel,” and, of course, “how much is it going to cost?”

Factors to Consider Before Making a Decision

  • The solar panel’s efficiency—When purchasing a solar array, many people make the mistake of wanting to buy the biggest one from a major brand. That isn’t always advisable since these aspects don’t always determine its quality or the solar power it’s able to generate. If you’re asking yourself, “how many solar panels do I need,” you might want to look up a calculator for Australia first. There are many compact ones that are incredibly efficient, as well as decent new makers that offer them at a much lower cost.
  • Hours of sunlight—The amount of direct sunlight you get is another important consideration. Naturally, even if you invest in a bunch of solar panels for your home or office, it won’t make a difference if the area doesn’t get much sun. However, if you live in a place that enjoys year-round sunshine, then photovoltaic modules are the way to go to cut energy costs.
  • The expense—Speaking of costs, a solar panel’s price tag can also be a deal-breaker. But you don’t always have to go with expensive ones to get top quality. Thanks to their growing popularity, there are many manufacturers nowadays that design high-quality, efficient solar modules available for much lower sums than those of the premium brands. You can even purchase used ones. To be safe, it’s always advisable to use a solar panel cost calculator and compare makers before splurging.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bigger Solar Panels

While one of the advantages of having bigger panels is that they’re able to absorb more of the sun’s energy and generate more solar power, they usually take up a lot of space and maintaining them can become a hassle.

Large solar panels are also going to be dependent on sunlight, so if you happen to live in an area that gets a limited amount of it, the solar panels’ size isn’t really going to matter.

Before We Run Out of Daylight

While installing solar panels might be a costly affair, the long-term benefits from them are incalculable, both to your wallet and the environment. So, whether you’re putting up just a few or decking out your entire roof with them, make sure that you’re making an informed decision and choosing from among the best solar panels in Australia. 

FAQs

1. What size solar system do I need?

When deciding on the size, visit your local vendor and give them information on your annual electricity costs, consumption patterns, and the number of appliances you have, and they’ll guide you in the right direction. For example, to get an idea of how much power you might need your panels to generate, if your household uses 12,000 kWh of energy per year, you’ll need a system that can generate around 9.2kW.

2. How do I calculate what size solar system I need?

To find the right-sized solar array for you, tally your daily kWh requirements, then divide that number by the peak sun hours to get the precise kW output you’ll need. You can then divide the kW output by the solar panel’s efficiency to find out just how many of them you’ll need to install to match your consumption.

3. Is 6.6 kW solar enough?

If people are asking, “how big are solar panels,” they usually also want to know if 6.6 If people are asking, “how big are solar panels,” they usually also want to know if 6.6 kW would be sufficient. The short answer is yes. A 6.6 kW solar system can generate an ample amount of electricity and cover all of the energy needs of an average-sized household.

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