How to Choose Solar PV Panel Size

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1. Standard solar panel size

Conventional solar panels are available in two common configurations: 60 and 72 cells.
The corresponding dimensions are:

60 PV modules: 1.635 m² (1.65 m x 0.991 m)

72 PV modules: 1.938 m² (1.956 m x 0.991 m)

Note: Larger areas, larger sizes, and higher efficiency modules are now available in the market. In this article, we only talk about 60 and 72-piece modules as an example.

One of the first questions people ask when choosing to install PV is, “Where do I want to build my system?” Solar panels take up quite a bit of space, and not every roof has enough room to accommodate them.

This article will cover standard solar panel sizes and explain how to determine how many solar panels you will need for your PV system. From there, you can calculate the PV capacity size to estimate the annual power production and revenue.

Solar cells are the smallest unit of photovoltaic conversion and are typically 156 mm x 156 mm in common size. Solar cells operate at a voltage of about 0.5V and generally cannot be used alone. When solar cells are packaged in series and parallel, they become photovoltaic modules.

A single solar cell is 156 mm x 156 mm square. 60-cell face plates are arranged in a 6 x 10 grid. 72 cell plates are arranged in a 6 x 12 grid and they are about 3 to 4 cm high.

Note: The mainstream cell sizes in the market now are 166, 182, 210, and other specifications.

60 PV modules: 1.635 m² (1.65 m x 0.991 m)

72 photovoltaic modules: 1.938 m² (1.956 m x 0.991 m)

These are the standard solar panel sizes for most residential and commercial and industrial project installations, leaving a few tens of millimeters of space on each side of the module. (There is some variation because manufacturers use different frame sizes.)

2. How many modules can I fit on my roof?

At present, the household PV market generally uses high-power modules, such as 490W, 535W, 550W, and other models. The use of high-power modules on a limited roof space improves the utilization rate and increases the power generation revenue per unit area.

The roof area determines the maximum capacity of the PV power plant you can install, according to the current power of photovoltaic modules, the installation of 1KW is about 8 square meters; if you want to install a 15KW PV power plant, you need about 100 square meters of roof area.

If we install a 15KW household PV power station, the number of high-power components and low-power components used.

15000W/490W≈30 pieces

15000W/330W≈45 pieces

Here we compare the small power module (330W) with the high power module (490W) to understand the roof space occupied by the PV square.

330W panel size: 1855*1092*40mm

490W panel size: 2187*1102*35mm

In total, a standard residential solar system will occupy 100 to 200 square meters of roof space. The system can be installed on your roof or on a ground stand somewhere on your property (e.g. on a bungalow, on a carport). The exact size will depend on the module wattage and the layout of the array.

3. How big are the portable/RV solar panels?

Choosing the right panel for your future boat or RV purchase will greatly extend your leisure time. While there are some standard-size panels that are installed on individual vehicles or boats, most vehicles and boats do not have the space to install them and therefore require smaller panels to fit. Typically, these panels have a standard 12 or 24-volt output.

4. What is the weight of the solar panel?

In addition to module size, people often ask us about the weight of solar panels. Because photovoltaic panels can be heavy and lifting them onto the roof can be a challenge. Especially if you are working alone. As a rule of thumb, full-size panels weigh between 18-35 KG, and it varies depending on the product used by the manufacturer.

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