You’re standing in the driveway looking up at your house. You’ve decided to go solar but have no clue on how large a system your roof can support. Questions are myriad: Where should I put the panels? How many kilowatt-hours will the system generate? How many solar panels do I need? Why type of panels should I buy?
Before we answer these queries, let’s start with the basics: Solar, or photovoltaic (PV) cells, are electrical devices (usually 6 inches by 6 inches) that convert the sun’s energy into electricity. In order to do this in any meaningful way, 60 to 72 cells have to be connected to one another in a solar panel. These panels come in different lengths, widths and weights. For residential use, the most common panel is 65 inches by 39 inches, while depth can fluctuate between 1.4 inches to 1.8 inches. You can see the specifications for all residential panels available in the US in 2018 on SolarRviews and you can even compare the specifications and efficiency of solar panels for homes side by side.