How Much Do Solar Panels Weigh? Dimensions & Weight of Main 11 Types

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Solar Panels | April 1, 2024

Confused man scratching his head and looking at a solar panel on a scale wonders how much does a solar panel weigh and does solar panel dimension and solar panel size and wattage impact how much do solar panels weigh?

The question “how much does a solar panel weigh?” does not have a simple, easy answer. However, the weight of a panel can be crucial for safe installation.

This is because most fully-functioning photovoltaic systems consist of enough parts of varying materials to provide wild variations in solar panel size, solar panel efficiency, and solar panel cost.

It is even possible for two solar panels with congruent weights and sizes to have different amounts of energy captured, even when they absorb the same amount of light.

However, since weight can be a major factor when choosing solar panels, the best answer to “how much do solar panels weigh” is to ask the manufacturer.

Plenty of internet sites offer tables and guidelines for popular manufacturers and models, but retrieving the information directly from the manufacturer is often the best way to get accurate solar panel spec data.

Wikipedia’s page on solar panels has additional information on solar panel construction and production,15 which can influence a solar panel’s weight.

This complete guide can help answer, how much does a solar panel weigh, and delivers important considerations about how to choose the best, most practical solution for your specific needs.

How Much Do Residential Solar Panels Weigh?

The manufacturer, model, and quality of the solar panel are prime factors when calculating how much do residential solar panels weigh.

A general estimated weight range is between 38 and 51 pounds per solar panel.10

This typically means that most frame roofs will be able to carry the weight. However, it’s essential when figureing up the weight of the panels (if they will be placed on the roof), to also include the weight of any inclement weather.

For example, if you live in an area that gets a certain amount of snowfall every year, you’ll need to factor that weight into the equation when measuring how many solar panels can fit on your roof safely.

Types of Solar Panels and How the Types Influence How Much Does a Solar Panel Weigh

The most common division regarding types of solar panels is not by their size but by their solar cells. Due to different manufacturers and energy needs (i.e. industries needing more power than an individual charging an RV battery), the type of solar cell is a more informative classification than more arbitrary characteristics such as size and weight.

Amorphous silicon type of solar cell used on solar panels mounted on steel stand situated on dry soil.

(Image: ecoenergiafutura16)

Solar cell types currently in use include, but are not limited to:

Type of Solar Cell How the Cell is Made General Energy Efficiency
Amorphous Silicon Placing non-crystalline silicon onto flexible substrates to form a thin silicon film 13.6%1
Cadmium Telluride Converting cadmium telluride into a semiconductor layer that captures and converts solar energy into electricity 22.1%2
Copper Indium Gallium Selenide Placing copper indium gallium selenide on glass or plastic to form a thin film. 13.8% to 21.7%3
Float-Zone Silicon Applying vertical zone melting to convert silicon into a crystal, then processing the crystal into thin wafers 21.6%4
Dye-Sensitized Placing an anode on a glass plate, treating the back with titanium dioxide, then applying photosensitive dye to the entire plate 11% to 15%5
Monocrystalline Silicon Melting silicon into a single crystal, then processing the crystal to form small wafers 26.7%6
Multi-Junction Applying industrial fabrication techniques to create a multi-layered cell where each layer captures a different light wavelength 30% to 40%7
Perovskite Applying wet chemistry techniques to create cells made from lead halides and organic halides Up to 33%8
Polycrystalline Silicon Processing silicon into several small crystals which are then processed into thin wafers Up to 20%9

In addition to varying ranges of energy efficiency, different types of solar cells have different financial and ecological costs due to the materials and processes required to create them.

Though these factors don’t greatly influence solar panel size or solar panel weight, they do have repercussions such as their upfront costs and the environmental impact they have during their creation and installation.

Polycrystalline silicon type of solar cell used on rows of solar panels mounted on steel stand situated on grassy plain.

(Image: Zbynek Burival17)

When discussing how much does a solar panel weigh, the type of solar cell is a vital factor due to the solar cells’ efficiency and the materials made to use them.

Solar panels made with numerically more cells of low energy efficiency will be larger and heavier than a solar panel that achieves similar energy equivalency with fewer solar cells.

Solar Panel Dimensions

In the United States, the average solar panel dimensions for a 60-cell solar panel are 65 inches long, 39 inches wide, and between 1.5 and 2 inches deep.

The average size of a solar panel for a 72-cell solar panel are 78 inches long, 39 inches wide, and 1.5 and 2 inches deep.10

It must be noted that “average” is the key word. Also, residential owners with space restrictions may have to seek smaller solar panels in response to smaller roofs or less land on which to place ground-mounted solar panels.

Solar Panel Size and Its Effects on How Much Do Solar Panels Weigh

Though the United States has a general solar panel size as discussed above, how big are solar panels relies upon the manufacturer and the wattage that a solar panel produces.

A solar panel whose purpose is to charge a single battery will be much smaller than a solar panel that is part of an industrial photovoltaic system.

A house with a solar panel system with five solar panels to power a portion of the house.

(Image: Vivint Solar18)

Because of this, there is no such thing as “size of standard solar panel.”

Deciding on a manufacturer can help in reaching a more useful answer or range to answer for questions like “how much does a solar panel weigh?” and “What is the size of the solar panel being sold?” Manufacturer literature such as websites and instruction manuals can include helpful information such as a table or a solar panel size chart for their solar panels and related equipment.

When discussing solar panel size, one common metric is to discuss the watts or kilowatts that the solar panel will generate.

Though this is a useful metric for calculating when a photovoltaic system will have a positive ROI and how many solar panels a photovoltaic system requires, it can be confusing for potential solar energy system owners trying to determine if they have enough space to have the solar panel installed.

Solar Panel Size and Wattage: How Much Do Solar Panels Weigh?

As discussed above, different solar cell types have different energy efficiencies. A solar panel made from multi-junction cells will have a higher energy efficiency than a solar panel made from polycrystalline silicon cells.

Even if there were a typical solar panel size, the size alone would not give meaningful implications on the solar panel’s specific efficiency.

Because of this – as well as other factors such as differences in supporting materials, quality, and solar panel placement – it is possible for two solar panels with the exact same dimensions to produce different wattage, even when they’re both exposed to the exact same amount of direct sunlight. This means that there is no solid link between solar panel size and wattage.

The manufacturer’s documentation includes the solar panel’s wattage. Manufacturers often attach cards or metal placards on the back of the solar panel, and these attachments provide solar panel spec data such as their wattage, their size, and their physical dimensions.

In addition, it’s common for modern photovoltaic systems to have monitoring tools such as smartphone apps that can provide solar energy system owners with the precise wattage of a solar panel. One method of manually calculating a solar panel’s wattage involves using a multimeter to measure its voltage and amps, then multiplying the two values.

A more important question for residence owners to ask is “How many solar panels do I need?” Online calculators and estimates from certified solar companies are among the resources that potential photovoltaic system owners have at their disposal to ensure that their new solar energy system meets or exceeds their energy needs.

The best way to answer how much does a solar panel weigh is to reach out to the manufacturer. The manufacturer’s website should have technical details on their products on their website; when this is not the case, an email or a phone call can lead to an answer.

This is a vital step for residential owners planning on how to install solar panels on roof.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology explains how the benefits of photovoltaic systems can outweigh the costs associated with a photovoltaic system.13 And the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and EnergyStar provide helpful FAQs and guidelines for homeowners considering installing a photovoltaic system on their property.11,12

What Is the Average Weight of a Solar Panel? (How Much Does a Solar Panel Weigh?)

When contemplating what is the average weight of a solar panel, the manufacturer is the most vital factor. The United States does not have specific standards that require solar panels to have specific weight.

The manufacturer determines how much does a solar panel weigh by choosing the materials used to create the solar panel. How many models of solar panel a manufacturer sell can can also sway the average weight of their solar panels.

Complicating matters further is that solar panels have multiple parts. Though they are easy to maintain, small changes to a single part can lead to significant changes in the solar panel’s weight.

A solar panel technician wearing gloves, mounting a solar panel on a steel frame using bolt.

(Image: Los Muertos Crew19)

Some of the most common parts of a solar panel include:

  • Solar cells: though their weight is infinitesimal on an individual scope, the difference between 50 cells and 75 cells on a surface of the same area can make a difference. Also, thin-cell solar cells are generally lighter than wafer solar cells due to their physical nature.
  • Wires: the wires that connect the solar cells to the rest of the solar panel and the wires that connect the solar panel to the rest of the photovoltaic system add to the solar panel’s weight.
  • Surfaces and coatings: Laminations, coatings, and other protective and/or reflective surfaces can discretely affect a solar panel’s weight.
  • Mounts: the machinery that physically supports the solar panel – and, in the case of automatic mounts, tracks the sun to absorb peak sunlight – can have a significant impact on the solar panel’s weight because of the mount’s size and the materials used to create it.

How Much Does a Pallet of Solar Panels Weigh?

Like solar panels, there are no universal standards for pallet sizes. Pallets used to transport solar panels can be metallic or wooden, so two pallets of the same size can have different weights and strengths, which influence how many solar panels can be safely placed on the pallet.

And since two solar panels with the same size and different manufacturers can have different weights, there is no singular answer to how much does a pallet of solar panels weigh.

A stack of wooden pallets used to transport and protect solar panels.

(Image: Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition20)

The weight of a pallet carrying solar panels can be estimated prior to shipping, however.

It is a safe assumption that companies that ship solar panels keep solar panels with the same manufacturer and model together. With that assumption, estimating the weight of a solar-panel-carrying pallet involves multiplying the weight of a single solar panel by the number of solar panels on the pallet, adding the weight of the pallet itself, and adding the weight of damage-preventing devices such as buffers and modules.

USAID provides additional information on solar panel standards in the United States.14

One frustrating aspect of solar energy is that what appear to be simple questions such as “Is solar energy bad for the environment?” and “how much does a solar panel weigh?” do not have simple answers. That is because solar energy systems are complex both in their theory and in their executions.

Complicating matters further is that solar energy is but one part of what must be a multi-front solution to the climate change crisis; neither solar energy nor any other singular action will reduce the global carbon footprint.

Closeup of solar panel system mounted in an angle with the sunlight hitting its upper left solar panels.

(Image: PublicDomainPictures21)

And since potential solar energy systems have different energy needs, amounts of available space, financial constraints, and climates, solar panels do not – and should not – have universally established standards and properties.

Readers seeking to understand this should consider providing a singular answer to “How much does a car weigh?” or explaining to shipping companies that a fleet of compact cars can be as effective at shipping as their fleet of trucks.

On the bright side, getting answers to questions such as “how much does a solar panel weigh?” or “What is the solar panel size and wattage of this solar panel?” can be as accessing a website, sending an email, or making a phone call. However, this simplicity requires a potential photovoltaic system to settle on a manufacturer or at least have a shortlist of manufacturers whose products can meet or exceed the potential photovoltaic system owner’s needs.

Solar energy is a topic with no easy answers.

  • There are no ways to get free solar panels. Con artists and fraudulent groups can use solar energy’s complexities to prey upon unsuspecting victims seeking cheap and easy solutions.
  • Solar panels aren’t entirely beneficial if they’re not planned, installed, and used properly. Solar panels aren’t harmful to the environment if they’re carefully planned, properly operated, and safely decommissioned.
  • As is the case with any other topic on the internet, solar energy is plagued with misinformation and misleading talking points. Separating facts from fibs is as important as ensuring that a location for a photovoltaic system has adequate direct sunlight.
  • The theories and equipment associated with solar energy are constantly improving and evolving. As the world makes new breakthroughs, the physical components of photovoltaic systems will change… as will their sizes and weights.

Regardless of how much does a solar panel weigh, it can figuratively carry its environmental and financial weight as long as it’s installed, maintained, and disposed of properly.


1Wikipedia. (2023, March 16). Amorphous silicon. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from <>

2Wikipedia. (2023, March 1). Cadmium telluride photovoltaics. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from <>

3Wikipedia. (2023, March 10). Copper indium gallium selenide solar cell. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from <>

4Jooß, W. (2019, December 13). Photovoltaics: Efficient solar cells developed from float-zone silicon. Strom-Forschung. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from <>

5Wikipedia. (2023, March 1). Dye-sensitized solar cell. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from <>

6Wikipedia. (2023, February 26). Monocrystalline silicon. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from <>

7Wikipedia. (2023, March 5). Multi-junction solar cell. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from <>

8Wikipedia. (2023, March 15). Perovskite solar cell. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from <>

9Marsh, J. (2022, September 29). Monocystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels: which is the best for you? Energy Sage. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from <>

10Matasci, S. (2022, June 1). Solar panel size and weight explained: how big are solar panels? EnergySage. Retrieved March 19, 2023, from <>

11EnergyStar. (2023). Rooftop Solar. EnergyStar. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from <>

12Solar Energy Technologies Office. (2023). Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar. Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from <>

13Stauffer, N. W. (2020, June 23). Researchers find benefits of solar photovoltaics outweigh costs. MIT News. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from <>

14United States Agency for International Development. (2023). Photovoltaic System Standards. USAID. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from <>

15Wikipedia. (2023, March 21). Solar panel. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from <>

16Photo by ecoenergiafutura. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

17Photo by Zbynek Burival. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

18Photo by Vivint Solar. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

19Photo by Los Muertos Crew. Pexels. Retrieved from <>

20Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

21Photo by PublicDomainPictures. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>