How Much Do Solar Panels Weigh?
Using solar panels is becoming increasingly common for most people around the world, especially in the U.S.
Our roofs aren’t only useful for protecting us from atmospheric changes like rain, snow, or heat. In fact, we can use them to install solar panels that help us generate the necessary power for our buildings and constructions.
With that being said, the first thing asked when installing solar panels is can my roof handle solar panels?
Luckily, in this article, we are going to answer all the questions that come to your mind if you are interested in installing a solar system on your roof.
How much do solar panels weigh?
Most solar panels weigh around 20 to 50 pounds depending on the size and type.
They are distributed evenly using a racking system to support them. Solar panels add about 2.3 to 2.8 pounds per square foot depending on the type.
The second question is how big can solar panels be?.
On average, the size of solar panels can be about 65 inches long by 39 inches by width for most of the residential solar panels.
For more information about the weight, size, and how much they affect the roof of different types of solar panels, you can check the following table.
Solar Panel Brand & Size
Total Weight of Panel
Weight per Sq. Ft.
|Renogy 320 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel||40.8 lbs.||0.44 lbs./sq. ft.|
|Legion 150 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel||25.65 lbs.||0.42 lbs./sq. ft.|
|Nature Power 110 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel||18.30 lbs.||0.41 lbs./sq. ft.|
|Nature Power 22 Watt Amorphous Solar Panel||5.1 lbs.||0.52 lbs./sq. ft.|
What makes a solar panel heavy?
To answer this question we have to take a look at the components of the solar panel.
- Aluminum frame
- Tempered glass
- Stringed solar cells
- Junction box
- Encapsulation foil 1
- Encapsulation foil 2
- Back sheet
Solar cells only weigh a few hundred grams, however, most of the weight of the solar panel is from the aluminum frame and glass. The material of the solar panel is also a very crucial point in the weight of the solar panel.
What are the types of solar panels?
With all that we have discussed, there is a question that comes to our mind instantly. So, what are the types of solar panels?. In brief, there are 2 different types that we are going to talk about in this article.
This type is known to be a little heavyweight as it’s mostly used for commercial buildings.
These panels weigh about 50 pounds but generate tons of energy that’s why it’s mostly used in commercial buildings. However, it can be used and seen in some residential places too.
At its first appearance, it didn’t make that change in the market, but many improvements through the years and the cheap price made it a common choice for households.
These panels have an average weight of 42 pounds and although they are not as energy efficient as the monocrystalline panels, they are very affordable and have more than great performance.
How many panels are necessary?
The number of panels used can vary depending on one’s use of energy and the overall power needs. The first thing to do is to consider the daily electric needs like lights, fans, appliances, etc. then use a very simple method to determine how many watts you need to power up your house.
All you have to do is to find out the number of watts you use and multiply this number by the number of hours you use these devices and you will get the number of watts you need for your daily use.
By knowing how many watts you use, then it’s very easy to figure out how many panels will be used.
Generally talking, around 11,000 kWh of electricity is generated for home uses annually in the U.S. In other words, that is equal to using 250 kW solar panels which is roughly 28-34 panels per household.
Is your roof suitable for installing solar panels? ( can it handle the weight of the panels? )
This is probably the most important question you are asking yourself after deciding to install solar panels. To answer this question, all you have to do is to make some simple calculations with all the information you got from this article like the weight and size of solar panels.
For example, in the case of a 6kW solar installation, which consists of 20 solar panels, that’s about 700 to 800 pounds depending on the type of the solar panels. This translates to 2.3 to 3 pounds per square foot.
Most of the houses nowadays like 95% of them can handle over 3 pounds per square foot of weight easily. If you have an old roof, then the first thing to do is to consult roofing companies or solar panels providers to make adjustments to your roof to make it suitable.
As a matter of fact, the most important thing you should do is to ask an architect or a structural engineer to examine your roof first to decide whether it’s suitable or needs some adjustments. If these adjustments don't bother your goals and you are comfortable with them then you are good to go and install your solar system.
Will the weight of snow affect the solar panels on the roof?
This is another very common question for people living in heavy snowing areas. The answer to this question is already answered as we recommended consulting an engineer or the providing company first as they put this matter in their consideration. They will make sure that you don’t face any problem as it’s a very serious situation that should have a lot of attention. However, generally speaking, the weight of the snow won’t affect the solar panels except in extreme conditions where the engineer will make sure to take care of it and provide you with the necessary support for your roof.
With all the benefits solar energy provides, more people are moving in this direction.
It has been proven that the solar system helps you and others to save a lot of money by reducing power bills and increasing the value of your home.
Not only that, but also you are contributing to protecting your environment by reducing your carbon footprint and using a more clean source of energy.
You now have all the information you need to know about solar panels' weight and how they affect your house. In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth it or not, but we really recommend it if you are capable of installing it and you will see the difference with a few years of use. Hope we answered all your questions and inquiries about this topic.