Solar Panel Size and Wattage Chart: Standard Sizes & Uses for Each

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

Solar Panels | April 1, 2024

Man scratching his head is confused while looking at a solar panel size chart showing solar panel size and wattage and wonders what is the standard size of solar panels for home?

Using a solar panel size chart can help you choose the best types of solar panels for your home or application.

Because the size of a standard solar panel can vary, a chart that outlines the wattage capabilities of each can be crucial when asking, how many solar panels do I need?

In order to avoid a loss of function from an insufficient power supply, understanding the use for each size can also be a huge help.

The size of your roof or the land available for installation can determine the size needed for your energy requirements.

Panels that are too big can be just as problematic as those that are too small.

This complete guide outlines the standard solar panel size chart options available, and the optimal use for each.

Solar Panel Size and Wattage

Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, and Thin-film are the three main types of solar panels used on the market today.

They are all produced to exacting standards under different processes, but what they do have in common are their sizes.

Monocrystalline panels, one of the three types of silicon solar cell materials, installed on the roof of a residence.

(Image: AS_Appendorf11)

What they don’t have in common are their power potential and their wattage, and this solar panel size chart will reveal the slight differences between them.

Specifications Monocrystalline Polycrystalline Thin-Film
Description Manufactured from a single silicon ingot sliced into paper-thin wafers. These are then sandwiched together to form the cells Manufactured from fragmented silicon crystals. These are melted together and then sliced into wafers and assembled into cells Made of amorphous silicon (copper indium gallium selenide – CIGS),1 by a method called  co-evaporation or co-deposition
Size Residential 3 ft x 5.5 ft 3 ft x 5.5 ft 3 ft x 5.5 ft
Size Commercial 3 ft x 6.5 ft 3 ft x 6.5 ft 3 ft x 6.5 ft
Weight 15-28 kilograms/square meter 15-23 kilograms/square meter 500 grams/square meter
Shape Octagonal Square Square but can be formed into other shapes
Color Black or Dark blue Light blue Black or blue
Wattage 136-200 watts per square meter 120-180 watts per square meter 60-80 watts per square meter

Solar panel power rating by size bar graph showing the solar panel watts on the x-xis and the solar panel size on the y-axis.

The next generation of solar panels has been taking energy outputs and even panel sizes to the next level.

Industry leaders have made panels that can produce energy outputs above 600W and even higher as technology improves the efficiencies of the cells.

But why the drive to increase the power ratings and size of solar panels?

This is because many studies show that the current options available cannot generate the current energy needs for the planet.

Residential Solar Panel Sizes: Solar Power Calculations and How To Determine Solar Panel Size

Selecting solar panels to be installed on your roof is not just as easy as flicking through a solar panel size chart and choosing the cheapest one with the lowest wattage.

In that process, you probably won’t get as much power from them to power a cell phone never mind the fridge.

Calculating what items in your home will be powered by the panels is a major consideration, especially if you have an electric vehicle.

Related Reading: Charging Tesla With Solar Panels

Another aspect that will decide the type of solar panel suitable for your requirements, will be the daily hours of sunlight in your area. Each region gets an average amount of sunlight each day.


State Approximate Daily Sunshine Hours
Alabama 7 Hours
Alaska 6 Hours
Arizona 10.5 Hours
Arkansas 7.8 Hours
California 8.6 Hours
Colorado 9 Hours
Connecticut 7 Hours
Delaware 7 Hours
Florida 8 Hours
Georgia 8 Hours
Hawaii 8.5 Hours
Idaho 8.4 Hours
Illinois 7 Hours
Indiana 6.8 Hours
Iowa 7.5 Hours
Kansas 8 Hours
Kentucky 7 Hours
Louisiana 7.4 Hours
Maine 7 Hours
Maryland 7 Hours
Massachusetts 7.4 Hours
Michigan 6.7 Hours
Minnesota 7.6 Hours
Mississippi 7.6 Hours
Missouri 7.5 Hours
Montana 7.5 Hours
Nebraska 7.7 Hours
Nevada 10.2 Hours
New Hampshire 7 Hours
New Jersey 7 Hours
New Mexico 9.6 Hours
New York 6 Hours
North Carolina 7.5 Hours
North Dakota 7.7 Hours
Ohio 6 Hours
Oklahoma 8.7 Hours
Oregon 6.5 Hours
Pennsylvania 7.3 Hours
Rhode Island 7.3 Hours
South Carolina 8 Hours
South Dakota 8 Hours
Tennessee 7 Hours
Texas 8 Hours
Utah 8.5 Hours
Vermont 6.5 Hours
Virginia 8 Hours
Washington 6 Hours
West Virginia 6 Hours
Wisconsin 6.8 Hours
Wyoming 8.6 Hours

Solar Panel Size Chart Use

If you are fortunate enough to have unlimited space on your rooftop or acres upon acres of unused land available to install solar panels, then the wattage capability of the solar panels is not so important if the energy is just to power your house.2

If those surface areas are finite, then selecting a solar panel with a higher wattage will serve you better.

A large number of solar panel systems installed on the rooftop of a building.

(Image: VoltaroEnergy8)

First, calculate your yearly electricity consumption by either multiplying your bill by 6 if it is calculated bi-monthly or by 12 if you’re charged monthly, and factor in the number of peak hours of sunshine there is in your location.

Now let’s refer to this solar panel size chart to find out how many panels would be needed for your home.

Yearly Average Household Consumption Panel Size Number of Solar Panels Required
1500 kWh 400W 4 panels
2500 kWh 400W 6 panels
4000 kWh 400W 10 panels
5000 kWh 400W 12 panels
6000 kWh 400W 14 panels
7000 kWh 400W 16 panels
8000 kWh 400W 18 panels
9000 kWh 400W 20 panels
10,000 kWh 400W 24 panels

Solar panels based on energy needs bar graph showing the number of solar panels on the x-axis needed and the average yearly household electric consumption on the y-axis.

There are other factors that would determine the number of solar panels. Fewer would be required if the power of the cells was rated higher than 400W, or the storage capacity of the batteries was significant.

Even the inclination of the roof can affect the number of solar panels on your rooftop if it is angled to capture the maximum amount of sunshine hours to be converted into usable electricity.

Standard Size of Solar Panels

The solar panel size chart can be a valuable tool in estimating the amount of standard-sized solar panels required for an average residential dwelling. At the present time that figure is between 17-21 due to the wattage of the solar panels.

Industry experts are striving to design more powerful solar panels to reduce the number of panels required for residential and commercial properties. These improvements will also maximize the energy output potential from the limited land space allocated to solar farms.

Many landowners and farmers across the United States have ventured into the solar farm income per acre business, lured by the potential profits. Income for landowners and investors is gained from how many kilowatts are generated per acre, and this energy is then sold to the local energy grid at a set price.

The income has a variance because some landowners have opted to rent their land to an investment group rather than invest their own funds in setting up the solar farm.3 In this scenario, they receive an agreed-upon percentage of the buy-back amount from the local energy company, and the balance goes to the investors.

Once every square foot of the land is accounted for, there is no way for the landowner to increase his income under the limitations of the size and power of the solar panels – as he has literally run out of space to position more panels. The solution is large and higher-wattage cells.

So even if the solar panels themselves remained the same size, the output could increase from 400W per panel up to 700W. In monetary terms that would be an increase from $21,250 – $42,500 per acre to $37,180 to $74,375.

That’s a significant increase in income considering that the same amount of land would be utilized and that the infrastructure to replace the old panels with the upgraded versions would already be in place.

There would be a cost, of course, to the change-over in terms of purchasing the new panels and labor costs, but nowhere near the $1M spent on setting up some of the larger commercial enterprises.

Another benefit of the increase in production would be the reduction in electricity bills for businesses and householders, as well as lessening the reliance on fossil fuels.

Related Reading: How Much Do Solar Panels Cost

Tesla Solar Panel Sizes and Systems

Since Tesla entered the solar panel market, they have introduced a new range of solar panels that have excited homeowners, businesses, and investors alike.

They have done this by studying the market.

A white Tesla attached to a solar panel charging station via cable.

(Image: Kindel Media9)

Recognizing that the clunky appearance and the seemingly complicated task of calculating the square footage of a roof could be off-putting to many people, they decided to streamline the whole process.

Tesla has designed sleek panels that can match a wide range of colored roofs, and made them low-profile, unobtrusive, with no visible grids on the surface. An integrated battery system called the Powerwall is supplied as part of a package that has more than enough capacity to store energy for days in the case of an outage.

By logging onto their website, you can enter details of your yearly energy consumption to immediately find out which system you will need without having to refer to a solar panel size chart.

All the systems can be controlled and monitored from the Tesla App remotely, are affordably priced from $9,000 to $36,000, and come with a 25-year warranty.

The solar panels are monocrystalline with sizes of 3.4 ft x 6.8 ft, rated at 425W, and with the information submitted into the online form,4 an appointment can be made quickly to capitalize on the summer sun and to get your home fully solar-powered.

Which system is right for your needs will depend on which brand-new Tesla EV is parked in your driveway.

Solar Panel Batteries Chart

Any solar panel size chart has to show how to connect the solar panel to a solar battery to store the captured energy.

That means selecting the correct batteries is just as important as selecting the right solar panels.

An image showing a large-scale solar farm battery energy storage systems.

The batteries’ power ratings, efficiency, and depth of charge must be considered at purchase. But what do they mean exactly and why are they important?

Factors Description
Power Rating How many KW a battery is determined by how much energy it can provide at any one time. A battery with a high capacity and a high KW rating can store a lot of power and deliver large amounts of energy at once.

Meaning that it can power more appliances and devices at the same time.

Capacity This is how much power the battery can hold before it can no longer be charged before it’s full. The higher the capacity the bigger the load it can hold
Stackable Most batteries for solar use are designed so that they can be linked – stacked – to deliver energy as if it was one unit
Depth of Discharge (DoD) This refers to how low a battery can be run down before its performance is reduced significantly. The higher the rating the longer the battery can be used
Round-Trip Efficiency If a battery is 100% charged you would expect to be able to use 100% of that energy. Not so.

A high round-trip efficiency rating will mean that more of a percentage can be utilized, like 90%, for example. A low rating would mean a fully charged battery might have as little as 70% of usable power.

In real terms, that would mean having to buy more of these types of batteries to have the same efficiency as a higher-rated battery, which means more space and more costs.

Battery Life Just like your cell phone’s battery, solar batteries have a finite charge and drain cycle that decreases over time. Always purchase a battery for your solar energy system that has a long life cycle rating and the cell’s capacity to hold a higher percentage of its charge will last at least until the warranty runs out.5

RV Solar Panel Sizes

The idea of having an RV is that you have the freedom and the ability to travel where and when you want, off-grid and with no ties. Even if it is just for a few weeks.

Batteries used to be the power source that kept the appliances working inside these mobile homes, with recharging done at RV parking areas with shore power plug-in points available. Which could mean a lot of stopping.

When planning a road trip, these recharging areas would have to be planned into the route to prevent running out of energy unexpectedly. But these stop-off points don’t come without a problem or two.

Due to the variety of camper vans, RV sizes, and trailers, sometimes the hookups were not fully compatible either because of the output levels of the AMPs or the incompatibility between AC and DC power.

A white RV using solar panels to power it up.

(Image: Newpowa10)

To offset that problem, many drivers carry an inverter and a converter compliant with their vehicle’s specs just in case they are ever needed. Solar panels mounted on the roof will now eliminate all of these issues.

Years ago, solar panels were impractical to use on RVs due to their size, prices, and installation costs, and were not very effective. Now, technology has caught up to the road warrior.

With new advances, solar panels as thin as a piece of paper can now be integrated into old RVs to run the electrical systems along with suitable batteries for storage.

Larger solar panel kits can be purchased and set up to run all of the onboard appliances, allowing bigger flat-screen televisions, fridges, and more gadgets for the kids to be set up in your home away from home.

The sizes of these panels are smaller than the residential ones which are getting bigger and more powerful as shown in the chart below, measuring 2 ft x 3 ft and weighing about 6 kg.

Panel Rating Panel Sizes
50 W 1.75 ft x 2.2 ft
100 W 1.75 ft x 3.9 ft
160 W 2.2 ft x 4.8 ft
200 W 2.4 ft x 5.5 ft
250 W 3.25 ft x 5.4 ft
350 W 3.25 ft x 6.4 ft
400 W 3.25 x 6.6 ft
500 W 3.72 ft x 7.4 ft
600 W 4.27 x 7.87 ft

Consulting a solar panel size chart can help to estimate the number of solar panels required for your RV by calculating the energy requirements of the electricity-hungry items on board.6

RV manufacturers have noticed the move towards greater independence from the grid and the desire for a cleaner energy source, and have started pre-installing some new RV models with solar panels.

Brief History of Solar Panels

Solar energy has been around for well over a century, the first registered patent being filed in the 1860s by a French Mathematician, Augustin Mouchot. He studied the earlier work from Edmond Becquerel and expanded on his theories and since then inventors all over the world have investigated the possibilities of solar energy.

Selenium was the main component back then in solar panels for harnessing the power of the sun but proved too expensive for mass commercialization due to affordability.

It was when silicon replaced selenium in the 1950s that solar panels became more efficient at energy conversion, but the price was still too high for mass consumption and the methods of storing that energy were sorely lagging behind in terms of technology.

It was the push for cleaner energy because of climate change that drove governments and large private enterprises to invest in research and development departments to seriously improved solar cell efficiencies and the storage capabilities of batteries.

They also had to redesign the panels to make them appeal more to consumers and, of course, to make them more affordable. The 21st Century has seen incredible advancements within the industry and in the next few decades, the solar transformation from fossil fuels will be complete.

Solar performance and efficiency ratings are advancing so rapidly that soon entire rooftops will be made from discreet-looking solar tiles,7 soon cars will be running from solar energy siphoned directly from solar panel systems integrated directly into the roof, and very soon plug-in chargers will be a thing of the past, consigned to history.

Around the world, millions of homeowners are turning green and clean, consulting solar panel size charts to calculate how many solar panels would be needed to power their homes in order to reduce their dependence on an increasingly limited energy grid.

Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Panel Size Chart

How Much Do Solar Panels Weigh?

The standard weight of a solar panel is 18 kg.

Is It Easy To Learn How to Wire Solar Panels by Using a Solar Panel Size Chart?

For those asking, how to wire solar panels? With a solar panel size chart, it is possible to wire solar panels in a series, but if in doubt get the professionals out.

How Many Years Do Solar Panels Last?

If well-maintained, solar panels can last from 25 to 40 years.

How Long Before a Solar Panel Pays for Itself?

This payback period can take between 9 to 12 years before the cost of purchasing and installing solar panels can be recouped through energy bill savings.


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2Center for Sustainable System, University of Michigan. (2023). Photovoltaic Energy Factsheet. Center for Sustainable System, University of Michigan. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from <>

3Brockett, D. (2023, March 9). Landowner Leasing for Utility Scale Solar Farms. PennState Extension. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from <>

4Australian National University. (2023). Mono-crystalline Solar Cells. Australian National University. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from <>

5Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. (2021, November 22). Should I Get Battery Storage for My Solar Energy System? Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from <>

6The National Academies of Sciences- Engineering- Medicine. (2023). Solar. The National Academies of Sciences- Engineering- Medicine. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from <>

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