A solar technician working on a solar panel array

Solar Panel Size Guide

When it comes to solar panel size, learn about the basics (including average sizes) and what to consider for your own home or business.

When you’re ready to switch to a commercial solar installation or home solar installation with solar panels, size matters. 

You’ll save money with solar power regardless, but you want to ensure you save the most money possible! The size of solar panels — along with their brand, material and wattage — certainly plays a role.

So, what size are solar panels? The answer’s fairly straightforward, but the implications are a bit complex.

Let’s get into the basics, look at what you’ll want to consider and check out average solar panel sizes.

[Related: What To Know Before Installing Solar Panels]

The Basics: What Size Are Solar Panels?

Here are the fundamentals.

First, solar cells comprise solar panels. Solar cells measure about 6 inches by 6 inches. No matter your solar panel size, those powerful little photovoltaic (PV) cells stay basically the same.

Next, a standard home generally needs solar panels with 60 or 72 solar PV cells. Meanwhile, a business usually needs solar panels with 72 or 96 solar PV cells

Finally, here are the average solar panel sizes:

  • Residential 60-cell panel = 39 inches by 65 inches 
  • Residential or commercial 72-cell panel = 39 inches by 78 inches
  • Commercial 96-cell panel = 41.5 inches by 63 inches

At the core, the size of solar panels depends on whether you’re installing panels on a home or business.

Nonetheless, that’s the first of many factors. The other most important are your panels’ brand (e.g., SunPower) and material (i.e., monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon or thin film). 

Your necessary solar panel size also depends on your roof’s area and how much power you use daily. Other facts — like where you place panels and how much sunlight your property sees — contribute as well. 

[Related: The Best Roof for Solar Panels: A Guide]

Solar Panel Size Chart

Let’s summarize with a solar panel size chart. We’ve included a few more details, so you’ll have key info together. The data is average for solar panels on most U.S. homes and businesses.

Average Dimensions/DataResidentialResidential orCommercialCommercial
Width (in.)393940-41.5
Length (in.)657863-72
Depth (in.)1.5-21.5-21.5-2
Solar cells (No.)607296
Solar cell size (in.)6 x 66 x 66 x 6
Area (sq. ft)17.6221.1317.5-26.0
Weight (lbs.)405040-55
Energy produced (W, range)270-440270-440315-550+

Note: This data is courtesy of solar panel company Freedom Solar, SunPower, EnergySage and Forbes. Dimensions and measurements vary by manufacturer, and 96-cell solar panel dimensions tend to vary more than those of 60- and 72-cell panels.

Please remember that you’ll find outliers, from small portable panels to 128-cell industrial panels. Brand and material also may alter the exact numbers, especially in terms of solar panel sizes and wattage. 

For example, SunPower solar panels are 61.3 by 51.2 inches on average. Some models can produce up to 420-440 watts (W) — a whopper of a number — and others may weigh as little as 33 pounds

[Related: Solar Panel Placement: A Handy Guide]

Selecting the Right Solar Panel Size 

Keep in mind that most people don’t set out to find the perfect solar panel size. 

Instead, they find a solar panel brand and solar power installers that they trust. Then, that installer recommends the best panels for their needs based on the available offerings — as well as how many total solar panels will be necessary to cover their energy requirements.

But in case you’d like to take size into account, here are matters to mull over.

Finding Solar Panel Sizes

To begin, ask yourself a few questions.

  • Are you equipping a home or business?
  • How much power do you need?
    • Note: Solar panel sizes and wattage produced vary, particularly per panel manufacturer. 
  • How much room does your roof have, and would solar panels suit it?
  • What brand and material are your solar panels?
  • How much sunlight does your property see?
    • Note: Consider other external factors, like annual number of cloudy days and amount of shading (e.g., from trees, outcroppings).

Remember that your solar panel size will affect your energy output and number of required panels. In a nutshell, here’s how to calculate the number of panels you need:

Hourly energy needs ✕ Area’s peak sunlight hours ➗ Panel W

Now, finding your property’s hourly energy requirements, peak sun hours and necessary wattage is tiring. At the risk of repeating ourselves, it’s smart to speak with energy consultants — they can get down to brass tacks.

But to circle back, you usually see 39-inch by 65-inch or 39-inch by 78-inch solar panels on a home solar installation. You frequently spot 39-inch by 78-inch or 41.5-inch by 63-inch solar panels on a commercial solar installation. You occasionally see large 96-cell panels on homes, but most simply don’t have the roof space.

[Related: Choosing the Right Panels and Determining the True Cost]

A Note on Solar Panel Sizes and Wattage

We know wattage is important when it comes to what solar panel size you need. If your property consumes many kilowatt-hours (kWh), you’ll need more small to mid-sized panels or fewer large panels.

For example, one home-sized solar panel often produces 370-400 W. It thus produces 8.88-9.6 kWh daily. A 2,500-square-foot home uses roughly 29 kWh per day and 886 kWh per month

Knowing how many kWh your property needs goes a long way. For one, it helps energy consultants determine your ideal solar panels’ size and number. Then, you can discuss your roof, local weather conditions and more. 

Depending on your circumstances, wall-mounted or ground-mounted panels may work best!

[Related: How Do Solar Panels Work?]

Contact Freedom Solar for Solar Panel Size Guidance and Painstaking Installation

Selecting solar panel sizes can mean wading through data, especially considering the number of options and influential factors.

At solar panel company Freedom Solar, we’re happy to walk you through it (and do the calculations). We’re an authorized SunPower Master Dealer, which means you get only the best when you work with us. See how much you can save today. 

When you’re ready to start, give us a call at (800) 504-2337 or fill out our inquiry form. An expert energy consultant will get back to you quickly for a free consultation!

Featured image via Pexels