How Much Do Solar Panels Weigh?

Solar panel systems are an increasingly common sight on rooftops all across the U.S., but unless you climb up onto a roof, it can be difficult to figure out how big solar panels are and how much they weigh.

In this article, we’ll help you understand solar panel size, solar panel weight, and whether your roof can support a solar panel system that produces enough wattage to meet the daily energy needs of your household.

Key takeaways about the size of solar panelsSolar panels are roughly 5 feet long and 3 feet wide, with some small variation by manufacturerSolar panels usually weigh about 40 pounds eachProfessional solar installers on the EnergySage Marketplace are experts at designing and installing a system for your unique propertyWhat’s in this article?How big is a solar panel?Types of solar panelsHow much do solar panels weigh?Can your roof support a solar panel system?Frequently asked questions about solar sizeFinding the right solar panel for your home with the EnergySage Solar Marketplace.How big is a solar panel?For residential solar panels, the standard dimensions are 66×40 inches for the panel, about 1.25×1.6 inches for the frame, and each panel usually weighs about 42 pounds.

While this may vary from brand to brand, it’s typically the same for all residential solar panels.

The smaller size makes them ideal for rooftop residential installations.

Read our article to learn more about how many solar panels you’ll need to power your home.What is the area of a solar panel?While residential solar panels tend to be around 5.5 feet long and a little over 3 feet wide for an area of around 15 feet, the dimensions of commercial panels are typically larger at around 6.5 feet long, and they usually weigh 50 pounds or more.

Like residential solar panels, size can vary depending on the manufacturer and how the solar panel is made.

Commercial solar systems tend to produce more power than residential systems.Types of solar panelsSolar panels can also be composed of different materials–either monocrystalline, polycrystalline or thin-film.

The main difference between the technologies is the type of silicon solar cell they use: monocrystalline solar panels have solar cells made from a single crystal of silicon, while polycrystalline solar panels have solar cells made from many silicon fragments melted together.

While their composition doesn’t inherently affect their size or weight, monocrystalline cells are more efficient overall so less of them will need to be used for the same overall output.Regardless of its application, residential and commercial solar panels are made the same way.

Each solar panel is made up of individual solar photovoltaic (PV) cells.

PV solar cells come in a standard size of 156 mm by 156 mm, which is approximately 6 inches long and 6 inches wide.

Most solar panels for rooftop solar installations are made up of 60 solar cells, while the standard for commercial solar installations is 72 cells (and can go up to 98 cells or more).

Learn more about solar cells in this article.

For example, the most popular solar panel on the EnergySage Marketplace, the Panasonic EverVolt WBS EVPV370 WBS which is made from monocrystalline cells, is 1721.0 mm (5.6 ft) long  and 1016.0 mm (3.3 ft) wide for an area of 18.5 ft2 and weighs roughly 45 lbs.Solar panel size and weight, residential and commercial panelsFeatureResidential panelsCommercial panels# of Solar Cells6072Average Length (inches)6578Average Width (inches)3939Average Depth (inches)1.5 – 21.5 – 2The number of solar cells on one panel is directly related to its length.

72-cell commercial solar panels are approximately 13 inches longer than 60-cell residential panels.If an average solar panel measures at 65 inches by 39 inches, how does that translate to a full-sized rooftop solar panel system?Take a system size of 6 kilowatts (kW).

If you install a 6 kW system with 20 average-sized panels, your system will likely measure approximately 27 feet wide by 13 feet long – 352 square feet in all.

This assumes that your panels can be placed close together and that there are no obstructions on your roof–in reality, you’ll usually need a little more space than that to accommodate for the unique shape and orientation of your roof.Importantly, the way your solar panel system is designed impacts the price you’ll pay for solar – a simpler, more compact setup will almost always cost less than a more complex installation.How much do solar panels weigh?Understanding how much solar panels weigh is another important factor to keep in mind if you’re planning on installing a rooftop solar system.

Knowing a solar panel’s weight is the best way to be certain that your roof can support a full installation.EnergySage reviewed product specifications for the top 10 solar panel brands most frequently offered to homeowners in the EnergySage Solar Marketplace and compared the weight of their standard 60-cell residential solar panels.

While there is some variation from brand to brand, most panels weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 pounds.Of the top brands that we compared, the lightest was SunPower, with some panels weighing as little as 33 pounds.

The heaviest was Canadian Solar, which has panels that weigh as much as 50 pounds.

Click here to see our full breakdown of the best solar panels, including panel efficiency and cost per watt.Solar panel weight by manufacturerSolar panel manufacturerSolar panel weight (60-cell residential panels)SolarWorld40 – 47 lbsLG38 lbsCanadian Solar40 – 51 lbsHyundai38 – 41 lbsHanwha SolarOne40 – 42 lbsHanwha Q CELLS41 lbsTrina41 – 50 lbsSunPower33 – 41 lbsAxitec39 – 41 lbsKyocera42 – 44 lbsCan your roof support a solar panel system?

Armed with the knowledge of solar panel size and solar panel weight, we can make a calculation about how much a whole solar panel system weighs – which in turn can help you understand whether your roof can support a new solar panel system or not.In a 6 kilowatt solar installation made up of 20 solar panels, the panels alone will weigh approximately 800 pounds (20 panels x 40 lbs).

Based on our calculation above, we know that this same system measures at 352 square feet, which works out to a weight of 2.3 pounds per square foot (800 pounds ÷ 352 sq ft).

When you include the mounting hardware and other equipment for your panels, the total weight will be closer to 3-4 pounds per square foot.The roofs on most newer homes can handle significantly more than 3 pounds per square foot of weight.

However, if you have an older roof or are in any way concerned about whether your roof can support the additional weight of solar panels, talk to a roofing company.

A straightforward roof inspection can help you determine whether the additional weight of solar panels are a viable option for your home.Frequently asked questions about solar panel sizeWhat is a standard solar panel size?A residential solar panel is typically around 5.5 feet long and just over 3 feet wide.

Commercial solar panels, on the other hand, are typically 78 by 39 inches.How big is a 300W solar panel?Many residential solar panels, which are around 5.5 feet long and 3 feet wide, are rated for 300W per panel.

The actual power produced by a panel varies depending on a few factors, such as geographical location and the tilt of the panels.What is the best size of solar panels?This depends largely on the space you have available.

Large panels are more suitable for commercial installations, houses with large roofs, or any other area with a lot of open space.

On the other hand, small solar panels are best if you have a small or otherwise complicated rooftop.How big is a 500W solar panel?In the past, the rule of thumb with solar panels was that a bigger size equaled higher wattage.

Recently, however, many manufacturers have increased their efficiency, meaning there isn’t a hard and fast rule regarding size.

Read our article about 500W solar panels to learn more.

Are there multiple sizes of solar panels?Solar panels vary in size, largely based on project type – i.e., commercial or residential.

However, solar panels are typically built with either 60 or 72 cells, the two most common configurations.

There are smaller sizes though, such as 100W solar panels for RVs, that are designed to fit in a smaller area or be used on the go.What can a 400W solar panel run?Appliances such as air conditioner window units can be run off of a 400W solar panel.

What a solar panel of this size can run depends on the specific energy requirements of the appliance you’re trying to power.

What can a 100W solar panel run?100W solar panels aren’t designed to run a household, but they are ideal for smaller setups like appliances in an RV, for example.

A single 100W solar panel isn’t designed to run larger appliances, but might be a good option for on-the-go power.Find the solar option that’s best for your home by comparing multiple quotesSolar installers are used to customizing their system designs to meet the specific needs of each individual property.

However, if you are considering installing solar panels on your roof, finding an installer that’s the right fit for your home may take a little shopping around.

You can use the EnergySage Solar Marketplace to easily solicit and compare multiple offers from installers near you.

If you have any questions or concerns about your roof, simply add a note in your profile when you register.

More reading on EnergySage2023 expert guide to solar panels for homesWhat are the most efficient solar panels?

Top brands in 2023Solar shingles: what you need to knowBest solar panels in 2023: top products comparedAre solar panels worth it in 2023?

In this article, you’ll find all the information you need about the weights of different types of solar panels.

Solar panels come in different types and sizes, which allows their use for different applications.

Bigger solar panels will generally be heavier, but they’ll also produce more power.

In general, a 60 cell residential solar panel weighs between 35lbs and 50 lbs (16-22 kg) and can produce between 300 and 400 watts of power.

However, a 36 cell flexible (thin-film) solar panel which can produce around 100 watts, can weigh as low as 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg).

Rigid-type solar panels weigh more per square foot because they are equipped with a metal frame and a glass sheet.

Which generally ensures better durability, but also adds to the weight.

For example, while a 100W rigid solar panel weighs around 15 lbs, a 100W flexible solar panel weighs around 4.5 lbs on average.

The following sections dig deeper into the different types of solar panels and their weights.

How much do residential solar panels weigh?

Residential solar panels are generally the biggest of non-commercial solar panels and are the heaviest.

They generally consist of 60 or 72 solar cells (or 120-144 half-cut solar cells) and can produce 300 to 400 watts of power.

In general, residential solar panels can weigh as low as 35 lbs (kg) and as high as 50 lbs (in kg).

On average, most residential solar panels weigh around 40 lbs.

The exact weight of a residential solar panel generally depends on its model and manufacturer.

The following table shows some of the most popular solar panels used in home installations, and how much they weigh:

Q Cells Q.PEAK series

Canadian Solar CS1H series

Weight of different residential solar panels.

In terms of weight per area, the average weight/area of a residential solar panel is around 2.25 pounds per square foot (24.3lbs/m² or 11Kg/m²).

Please note that the overall weight of a solar energy system also includes the weight of mounting equipment, and in some cases the weight of MLPEs (Mictoinverters or Power optimizers).

How much weight do solar panels add to a roof?

In the U.S., the average home solar installation is rated at 5kW (5000 Watts).

A system of this size, using 330W solar panels, would consist of 16 solar panels.

Since residential panels weigh – on average – 40 lbs each, 5kW of solar panels weighs around 700 lbs.

Including the weight of the mounting equipment, the overall weight that the system would add to the roof is 750 to 800 pounds.

Please note that the size of this installation is generally not enough to offset 100% of the energy usage of the average American household.

To learn more about the grid-tied solar system sizing, check out this article: how many solar panels do I need for my home

Furthermore, some systems use MLPEs (Module Level Power Electronics) instead of string inverters.

Which means additional weight on the roof.

For example, Enphase microinverters weigh about 2.4 lbs (1.08 kg) each.

Since MLPEs are installed on each panel, this weight will be added per panel.

For example, a 16 solar panel system with microinverters will be 40lbs heavier than it would have been with traditional string inverters.

Power optimizers are slightly lighter than microinverters, for example, Solaredge’s power optimizers weigh about 1.6 (0.7kg) each.

16 of these would add about 25 lbs to the system.

The following table shows the weight of solar installations with different sizes:

Estimated System Weight

Weight of different sizes of residential solar installations.

Are solar panels too heavy for your roof?

The general answer is no.

While residential solar installations weigh about 3 lbs per square foot, the average roof in the U.S. is designed to hold up to 20 lbs per square foot.

A professional solar installer will check if your roof structure is adequate before proceeding with the installation.

RV solar panels are generally rated at 100-150 watts and are smaller and lighter than residential solar panels.

In general, the average rigid solar panel used in RV solar systems is rated at 100 Watts and weighs about 15lbs.

The following table compares the weight of some of the most popular RV solar panels:

Difference models of RV solar panels and their weights.

On average, RV solar panels weigh about 2.5 lbs per square foot.

How many solar panels can I fit on my RV?

The amount of weight an RV roof can handle depends on the size, brand, and roof material of the RV.

However, in general, the average RV roof can support up to 200 lbs.

The roof of your RV is generally capable of comfortably holding the weight of 8 (100W) solar panels.

But if you’re still skeptical, you can always go with flexible solar panels.

Flexible solar panels take up the same area and produce the same amount of power as rigid RV solar panels, but they weigh much less.

However, the size of the system that would fit on your RV roof will mainly depend on the available space on the roof.

For example, while a Class A RV can generally fit up to 15 standard 100W RV solar panels, a Class C RV can only fit up to 6.

To read up more on solar panel sizes and how many you can fit on your RV roof, click here.

The article in the link contains a table with different RV classifications and an estimate of how big of a system their roofs could fit.

How much do flexible solar panels weigh?

While rigid solar panels are equipped with a metal frame and a glass sheet and use much thicker solar cells, flexible (thin film) solar panels consist of much thinner solar cells attached to a lightweight and flexible substrate.

Compared to rigid solar panels, flexible solar panels are lighter.

In general, a 100W flexible solar panel weighs – on average – 4.5 lbs.

The following table compares the weight of different flexible solar panels:

Rated Power

Rated Power

Rated Power

Weight per sq.

Weight per sq.

Weight per sq.

Weight per sq.

Weight per sq.

Weight per sq.

Renogy 100W Flexible Solar Panel

weight of different flexible solar panels

In terms of weight per area, flexible solar panels weigh 0.65 lbs per sq ft on average.

Which is about a quarter of what a rigid solar panel weighs.

However, the lightweight and flexibility of thin-film solar panels come at a price.

Flexible solar panels don’t usually last as long as rigid solar panels and their efficiency decreases relatively fast.

While the warranty on rigid solar panels is usually 25 years, flexible solar panel manufacturers only offer up to 5 years of warranty.

What is the weight of a 300 watt solar panel?

The average 300 watt solar panel weighs 40 lbs.

The average 350w solar panel weighs 42 to 46 lbs.

How much does a 72 cell solar panel weight?

72 cell solar panels are can weigh up to 50 lbs.

On average, a 72 cell solar panel weighs 45 lbs.

If you want to cut electricity costs while making a difference for the environment, consider going solar.

You can harness the power of sunlight to power your home by installing solar panels.

While the upfront costs may be high, this form of inexhaustible energy is getting less expensive and more popular by the year.

You may be thinking about the logistics of installing them, though, and wondering, how heavy are solar panels?

Will they fit on any type of roof?

What Does a Solar Panel Weigh?

What Does a Solar Panel Weigh?

What Does a Solar Panel Weigh?

What Does a Solar Panel Weigh?

According to Forbes, in general, residential solar panels weigh around 40 pounds—including mounting equipment—and are 65 by 39 inches in size with an average depth of 1.5-2 inches.

Commercial solar panels are heavier, weighing an average of 50 pounds with the same materials and are 77 by 39 inches in size with an average depth of 1.5-2 inches.

Different brands vary in their weight and dimensions.

However, this is an industry average.

Will They Be Too Heavy for My Roof?

If your roof needs major repairs, you should get it fixed before placing anything on it—you don’t want anyone to fall through, after all.

However, a roof is designed to hold a lot of weight, including hundreds of pounds in a single spot, since people have to walk on it during installation and repair.

If you have an older home (like, 19th-century old), you’ll want to speak with a professional installer or engineer.

Roofs that old aren’t built to contemporary codes, which doesn’t mean they’re unsafe but it does mean that the rafters could be spread more widely apart than solar panels are designed to work with.

Wood and slate shingles are typically a poor choice for installing solar panels on due to the brittleness of these materials, but these are less common roofing materials in the first place.

If your roof is in good repair and made with more common materials like asphalt and metal, you can install solar panels without affecting your roof’s integrity.

They’ll spread out in a single layer and your roof can hold them without any risk of collapsing under their weight.

Solar panels are composed of solar cells, also called photovoltaic cells.

These are the squares that form the grid on a solar panel, which is where the magic happens.

The cells convert sunlight into electricity via the photovoltaic effect.

Commercial solar panels have 72 cells, while residential types have 60.

There are three types of solar panels with photovoltaic cells made of different materials:

Monocrystalline panels: These are the most efficient type of solar panels and take up less space than thin-film panels.

Polycrystalline panels: Also called multicrystalline panels, they are moderately efficient and less expensive than their monocrystalline counterparts.

Thin-film panels: With a lower cost than either type of crystalline panel, thin-film solar panels are the least expensive option and have a short life span.

They’re not very efficient, so they require much more space than crystalline panels.

In general, more efficient solar panels are pricier, but they take up less space on the roof and are lighter in weight.

Which Type Do I Need?

Choosing the right type of solar panel depends on your budget and aesthetic tastes, as well as the location of the panels.

Monocrystalline is the most expensive type of solar panel with a high power capacity.

They have an average efficiency of 25% and can last up to 40 years.

These solar panels come in a glossy, dark black shade that blends well with many color schemes and designs.

You’ve probably seen polycrystalline panels on rooftops.

These blue panels fall into a moderate price range, average around 20% efficiency and have a low heat tolerance.

Their average life span is 25-35 years.

Thin-film panels are most commonly found on solar farms or as a window covering.

These are rarely used on homes since their low efficiency makes them impractical for rooftops.

You would need a lot more of them to generate the same amount of energy as the other types of panels.

They last 10-20 years, come in multiple sizes to fit specific needs and are solid black.

Solar panels last an average of 30 years.

It will gradually slow down and produce less electricity over time and after around 30 years, it will make so little electricity that it’s essentially doing nothing.

This is when people typically replace their solar panels.

The good news is, if you buy the same type of panels as the ones you’re replacing, you may be able to use the same mounting hardware that’s already on your roof.

One of the most significant benefits of solar panels is that they lower your electric bill in the long run.

If you live somewhere that gets a lot of sunny days, you will likely save money by installing solar panels.

Depending on whether your region has net metering, you might even make money by selling the power back to the grid and getting a credit.

The exact savings will depend on how much energy you use, whether you purchase or lease the solar panels, how many direct hours of daily sunlight you get and local energy rates.

Solar panels can also increase the value of your home, so if you ever want to sell it, going solar can be a wise investment.

The upfront cost of solar panels prohibits some people from installing them, but the price continues to fall, making them more accessible to the general public every year.

Will They Fit on My Roof?

Unless you live in a tiny shed, your roof is likely more than big enough to accommodate as many solar panels as you need to power your residence.

The number of panels that will fit on your roof is based on its size, tilt, shading, location and construction type.

You can use numerous tools to calculate how many panels will fit on your roof.

And, remember—solar panels only weigh 40-50 pounds, so they’re not too heavy to install up there.

Why Should I Install Solar Panels?

A solar panel produces no emissions, greenhouse gases or fossil fuels as it generates power, unlike traditional energy that comes from coal and natural gas.

This is one reason solar power continues to grow in popularity, especially among people interested in sustainable living and green energy.

People indeed have to use fossil fuels to build solar panels.

However, over the course of a panel’s lifetime, it will more than make up for the energy it took to produce, install and recycle it.

Solar panels are heavy, weighing around 40-50 pounds, but except in rare instances, you can install them without damaging your roof.

They vary in price and material types and last an average of 30 years.

As a source of renewable energy, solar panels are an excellent investment for anyone who wants to reduce their environmental impact and lower their energy bill.

Scroll to Top