Residential solar panel systems are popping up on rooftops all over Idaho — some of your friends and neighbors may even have solar arrays powering their properties. But have you ever examined one up close?
If not, you may not have a clear idea of how big residential solar panels are or if the roof of your Idaho home can support a system large enough to meet your daily energy needs. Here’s what you need to know before you make plans for photovoltaic installation.
Solar Panel Dimensions
While the dimensions of a residential solar panel can vary depending upon the manufacturer, most measure about 66 inches by 39 inches. This is a bit smaller than the typical commercial panel, which is roughly 78 inches by 39 inches.
Why the size difference? Residential solar modules are smaller to better fit the available space on a home rooftop. For commercial projects involving dozens or even hundreds of photovoltaic modules, the larger size – which is capable of producing a greater amount of power –makes more sense.
Solar Panel Weight
When it comes to determining if the roof of your Idaho home can handle a solar array, weight is of more concern than module dimensions. Most panels weigh approximate 40 pounds each – but there is quite a bit of variation from brand to brand.
Some residential solar modules weigh as little as 33 pounds, and some manufacturers produce panels that weigh in at 50 pounds each. When you begin planning your project, you can ask your professional contractor about the weight of the photovoltaic modules they use for residential photovoltaic installations.
Can Your Rooftop Support a Solar Panel System?
To figure out if your rooftop has the structural integrity to support enough solar modules to power your Idaho home, you’ll need to consider the total weight load of an array – meaning the photovoltaic panels, the mounting racks and the other equipment.
According to EnergySage, an online information marketplace for people interested in renewable energy solutions, the weight load of a typical residential solar array is about 3 to 4 pounds per square foot. Most rooftops are designed to support at least five times that amount of weight, but not all are suited for photovoltaic installation.
If your rooftop is rather old or has sustained any sort of damage, it may not have the necessary structural support for a solar array. To know for sure, you’ll need to have a professional roofer inspect the surface. Or, you could simply call Nationwide Solar.
We’re not only experts in photovoltaic installation – we have GAF-certified roofers on our team, and that means they’re the best roofers you can find. We can determine if your rooftop is capable of supporting a solar array, and if not, we’re your source for roof repair or roof replacement.
Ready to learn more? For a free consultation to discuss residential solar panel installation, contact us today!