If you live in an older home and your roof hasn’t been inspected recently, you may be wondering if your roof is capable of supporting the weight of a solar system. It’s a perfectly reasonable thing to ask. You may also want to know how much weight a typical solar panel will add to your roof and how much space they will require.
Solar panels vary in size and weight by manufacturer, however, most panels sold in consumer markets have comparable proportions. Read on to find out how much a typical residential panel weighs compared to a commercial-sized panel, and how to determine if your roof can support the weight of a complete system.
Dimensions of a solar panel
A single solar panel typically found on a residential property measures 65 x 39 inches, or 5.4 feet by 3.25 feet. There are 60 solar cells in each of these modules. Commercial photovoltaic modules, on the other hand, are larger, with each panel measuring approximately 78 × 39 inches, or 6.5 feet by 3.25 feet. They have 72 solar cells per panel due to their larger size.
The output power of the photovoltaic panels can be understood according to their size, the difference in dimensions however reveals the purpose of each system. To maximize roof space, it is recommended to choose the smaller scale panels for a home system. Longer panels are ideal for commercial buildings with much larger roof space.
Weight of a Typical Residential Solar Panel
When buying a photovoltaic system, it is important to know how much the solar panels weigh. The easiest way to know if your roof is strong enough to support the total weight of the system without compromising your roof warranty is to determine the weight of the PV modules.
As stated earlier, depending on the manufacturer, each solar panel may weigh a slightly different weight. However, on average, each 60-cell module weighs about 40 pounds. The weight of a solar power system can therefore be calculated by multiplying the number of panels needed to meet your home’s energy needs by the weight of each individual panel. This will give you a good idea of the weight that will be added to your roof once you install your new system.
Will your roof support the weight of a solar system?
More than 90% of the existing roofs of individual houses are able to support the additional weight of the solar panels. If you live in an older home, you might still want to make sure yours is in the majority.
One way to establish the strength of your roof is to hire a professional to inspect it. You can share with them the estimated weight of the solar system you’re considering, and if the roof is strong enough to support the system, they’ll let you know. In some cases, they will also provide a certificate of approval. If the specialist concludes that your roof is not strong enough to support the solar system, he will advise you on what you need to do to improve it.
Take advantage of the DIY Solar Power site survey
Our Services includes a site survey which requires an expert to examine the physical condition of your home, with particular attention to your roof. Make sure your home is ready to install by adding DIY Solar Power’s solar services to complete your project. Not only will this help you feel confident about the condition of your roof, but the solar service package also includes design and engineering, permits, and utility interconnection.
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