Are you wondering how large your solar panels need to be, what is available, and how this can impact the wattage? Here we explore the options.
This not only includes dimensions, but also wattage and weight.
In this guide, we will answer the most frequently asked questions so you know exactly what size panels you need for your solar PV system.
Your roof size and your household’s power demands will dictate the size of panels you require, as well as your budget.
Solar Panel Sizes UK Key Points:
- Solar panels come in different sizes, ranging from small ones used in portable devices to large ones used in commercial installations.
- The size of a solar panel is measured in watts, which indicates the amount of power it can generate.
- The most common solar panel sizes for residential installations are between 250W and 400W, while larger commercial installations may use panels up to 500W or more.
- The size of a solar panel affects its efficiency, with larger panels generally being more efficient but also more expensive and heavier.
- The size of a solar panel should be chosen based on factors such as available space, energy needs, and budget.
- Solar panels can be combined to create larger systems, and the size of the system will depend on the energy needs of the user.
- Choosing the right size of solar panel is important for maximizing energy production and cost savings.
How Big Are Solar Panels in the UK?
As you can imagine, you can get almost any size solar panel you desire, from single tiles to ones that cover the entire roof.
There are even companies that will craft custom and bespoke solar panels for your roof.
However, on average, residential solar panels in the UK are typically 2 metres long and 1 metre wide, with a thickness of 3cm to 5cm.
However, if you have a particularly small roof there’s no need to be too worried as you can still install solar PV and benefit from it, here’s why:
- Many solar panel companies make small solar panels designed specifically for small roofs.
- You can also opt for high efficiency solar panels that conversion rates as high as 23% (compared to the industry average of 18%).
Average Solar Panel Dimensions UK
Here is the average solar panel dimensions in the UK:
What is the average power of a solar panel?
The majority of solar panels for sale in the UK average around 350 watts (W) in power for residential units.
However, it’s quite easy to get your hands on more powerful solar panels, often all the way up to 500 W if you have an extra large house with a lot of power demands.
For example, if you want to install a 3kW solar system with 250W panels, you’ll need 12 panels.
Different Size of Domestic Solar Panels Systems
Below we have detailed some of the most common solar panel installations in the UK for domestic properties.
Please note that both the costs and final power outputs are rough estimates and its obviously not possible to know these as they are highly variable.
|Solar PV system||Cost||Number of 350W panels||Roof space||Annual energy output|
|1 kWp||£1,630||3||6 m²||790 kWh|
|2 kWp||£3,250||6||12 m²||1,590 kWh|
|3 kWp||£4,880||9||18 m²||2,380 kWh|
|4 kWp||£6,500||12||24 m²||3,170 kWh|
Small Solar Panels Guide
If you have a small home or want to power mobile vehicles like caravans and campervans, the good news is that there are many smaller sized systems available.
This includes small solar panels, as well as battery storage systems.
In particular, there are solar panel kits for caravans that come with solar panels that are around four times smaller than the average.
For example, instead of the typical 2 meter solar panel, they are around 0.5 metres.
Although, please note that they will not generate as much power as standard sized solar panels, but that goes without saying.
In terms of power, small solar panels typically start at around 50 watts, but can go all the way up to 150 watts.
Recommended reading: Are solar panels worth it in the UK?
What about large solar panels?
If you have a large roof or want to provide a significant amount of power to your property, then large solar panels are also available.
For domestic applications, solar panels can be purchased in sizes all the way up to 3.5 metres.
You also always have the option to have customer and bespoke panels made, but do bear in mind that these cost more and you will usually need to wait until they have been manufactured.
One such company that has become notorious for creating extra large solar panels is Risen Energy.
Risen Energy offer large solar panels at 3.1 metres that can provide 670W of power – for reference that is twice as much as standard sized panels.
Please note: large solar panels are not always necessary, they are certainly not always more efficient and may be more difficult to install.
How heavy are solar panels?
There is considerable weight differences depending on the exact brand and model of solar panel you buy, but on average they range from 16kg to 24kg.
This means that they are certainly not always lightweight and it’s often only safe to install them in pairs or by teams, hence why professional installation is always advised.
If you are not buying for a residence i.e. your home, but a vehicle like a caravan, then you may be best looking at flexible and lightweight solar panel options.
These are designed for their shock absorbing ability while travelling on the road and are much lighter, which is important in terms of fuel efficiency of the vehicle itself.
What size solar panels do you need for your solar PV system?
The number and size of your solar panels depends on the size of your property and energy demands.
A 4kW solar system is one of the most popular sizes for domestic solar systems, as it is typically appropriate for homes with 3 to 4 people.
So in this case, you’d need something like 10 solar panels installing on your roof, each at a power of 400 kW.
In terms of roof size, you will need a roof of around 20 square metres to install 10 panels on average. But please bear in mind that you will need to consult the assistance of a solar panel installer to get a more accurate idea.
Should you install small or large solar panels?
In terms of choosing small or large solar panels, the reality is that it shouldn’t be your priority.
The main goal is to create a system that meets your desired power needs and that the required number of panels fit on your roof.
In terms of solar panels for campervans and related, you will likely not be able to install large solar panels and so are going to be limited by the smaller options available.
So to conclude, when choosing the correct size solar panels for your domestic roof you should consider the size of your roof, your budget and your energy requirements.
Solar Panel Sizes UK Conclusion
Choosing solar panels for your property can be a difficult task, but it ultimately comes down to factors including:
- The size of your roof.
- Your budget.
- Your power demands.
It can be difficult to work all this out, which is why we always recommend consulting the help of an accredited solar installation expert.