Not all solar panels are created equal. In fact, residential and commercial solar systems may be more different than you think.
Here are three important differences between residential and commercial solar panels so that you have a better understanding of the systems and installation process before you dive into renewable energy for your home or business.
1. They’re Different Sizes
This is a small but important distinction. The average size of a commercial solar panel is 96 cells, while the average size of a residential panel is 72. Although the difference measures out to about one foot per panel, it has a big effect on efficiency.
Energy Sage reports that that the most efficient commercial solar system has a rating of 22.5%. Unfortunately, residential solar lags behind just a bit, coming in between 14% and 20%.
The same publication continued to say, “for two solar panels of the same physical size, if one has a 21% efficiency rating and the other has a 14% efficiency rating, the 21% efficiency panel will produce 50% more kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity under the same conditions.”
Over the course of the solar system’s lifetime, that equals big savings for commercial companies.
2. Commercial Systems Are Easier To Install
This statement may be surprising, but it’s true. Commercial systems are usually much larger than residential ones, so why is the installation process so much easier? The answer is simple; the slope of the roof makes all the difference.
Commercial solar systems are often installed on flat roofs, meaning they can use a mounting system that doesn’t penetrate the roof and is much simpler to set up.
Residential homes require the panels to lay flush against the shingles, which requires a much slower and more careful process for installation. However, if you’re a homeowner that doesn’t mind having the solar panels on your roof raised up, it IS possible to save on installation fees and get a commercial system for your house instead.
3. Commercial Systems Have More Options
When businesses start researching solar panel systems, they may be surprised by how many options they have to get off the grid.
Companies can install solar panel systems on their roofs just like residential buildings, but they can also expand more creatively. Solar paneled parking lots are another choice, as are ground installations in the surrounding land.
Residential solar systems usually don’t have this freedom because home size and neighborhood restrictions often make roof installation the only option.
Residential And Commercial Solar Systems Are Similar But Not Identical
Commercial solar systems are not just residential panels installed on a larger scale. There are a few more differences between the two options, including the size and efficiency, installation methods, and availability of options for both.
If you’re considering a solar panel installation for your home or business, make sure you clearly understand both options before you start the process!