How much do solar panels weigh? A complete guide to solar panels weight

how much do solar panels weigh

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

How much do solar panels weigh?

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.

how much do solar panels weigh

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:

Solar Panel Model Rated Power Weight Weight per sq. ft
SunPower® X-Series 335-345 Watts 41 lbs (18.6 Kg) 2.33 lbs/ft²
LG NeON® R Series 365 – 380 Watts 38.6 lbs (17.5 Kg) 2.07 lbs/ft²
Q Cells Q.PEAK series 325 – 335 Watts 41.2 lbs (18.7 Kg) 2.27 lbs/ft²
Canadian Solar CS1H series 320 – 345 Watts 42.3 lbs (19.2 kg) 2.33 lbs/ft²
JinkoSolar’s JKM390M-72H 390 Watts 49.6 lbs(22.5 kg) 2.3 lbs/ft²
REC Twin Peak 4 Series 360-375 Watts 44.1 lbs (20.0 kg) 2.24 lbs/ft²
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.

Related: microinverters vs 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:

System Rating in kilo-Watts Number of solar panels Estimated System Weight
3.5 kW 12 panels 500-550 lbs
5 kW 16 panels 750-800 lbs
7 kW 22 panels 950-1000 lbs
8.5 kW 26 panels 1100-1200 lbs
10 kW 30 panels 1300-1400 lbs
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.

How much do RV solar panels weigh?

how much do solar panels weigh

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:

Solar Panel Model Rated Power Weight Weight per sq. ft.
Renogy 100 Watts 14.3 lbs (6.5Kg) 2.42 lbs/ft²

HQST

100 Watts 12.1 lbs (5.5 Kg) 2.03 lbs/ft²
Eco-Worthy 100 Watts 19 lbs (8.6 Kg) 3.4 lbs/ft²
WindyNation 100 Watts 18.7 lbs ( 8.5 Kg) 2.55 lbs/ft²
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.

how much do solar panels weigh

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:

Solar Panel Model Rated Power Weight Weight per sq. ft.
SunPower SPR-E-Flex-110 110 Watts 4.4 lbs (2 Kg) 0.63 lbs/ft²
Renogy 100W Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watts 4.2 lbs (1.9 Kg) 0.58 lbs/ft²
Rich Solar 100 Watts 3.2 lbs (1.45 Kg) 0.53 lbs/ft²
WindyNation 100 Watts 5.5 lbs (2.5 Kg) 0.9 lbs/ft²
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.

FAQs:

What is the weight of a 300 watt solar panel?

The average 300 watt solar panel weighs 40 lbs.

How much does a 350w solar panel weigh?

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.

Spread knowledge... It's FREE!!
Younes
Younes

Hi! My name is Younes. I'm an electrical engineer and a renewable energy enthusiast. I created renewablewise.com with a mission of delivering digestible content and information to the people who seek it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.