The Differences Between Commercial and Residential Solar Panels

Solar energy has become the favorite choice in energy production for many in the last few years, not only regarding residential use but also for commercial situations. Mid-sized businesses and even huge companies are switching to solar systems for energy production, including business giants like Tesla, Walmart, and Apple.

Although we’re still talking about solar panels, there are some differences worth considering between commercial use solar panels and residential use solar panels.

In this article, we will consider the following differences:

  • Size
  • Installation Process
  • Costs
  • Efficiency
  • Color

Are Commercial and Residential Solar Panels Different in Size?

It’s easy to imagine that energy consumption will determine the size of the solar system required. But the difference between residential and commercial solar panels is not just in the installation size but also in the solar panel itself. In fact, a commercial solar panel usually has 96 cells, while a residential solar panel has 72, resulting in 65 x 39 and 78 x 39 inches panels, respectively.

The difference in size means that solar panels for commercial systems are wider, which translates into a more efficient solar system and more power production. Because of that, a homeowner can decide to install commercial solar panels if their roof is wide enough to accommodate the larger installation.

Are Residential or Commercial Solar Panel Easier to Install?

Although there’s more planning and paperwork involved with a commercial solar panel system, the installation is usually easier because most commercial units have flat roofs.

On the other hand, residential solar systems have to consider the roof’s inclination and space availability. However, they are a lot easier to project and design.

Are Residential Solar Systems Cheaper Than Commercial Solar Panel Systems?

Yes, residential solar systems are cheaper than commercial solar systems. The costs involved are another significant difference between residential and commercial solar projects. In fact, large-scale commercial solar panel systems are more expensive than simple residential solar panels.

When a business chooses to shift to solar power, this is usually due to its potentially huge savings. Similarly, residential solar projects, although often installed to save money, may also be chosen to reduce a household’s energetic footprint.

Are Commercial Solar Panels More Efficient Than Residential Solar Panels?

As mentioned above, efficiency comes with the total surface of the installation and the most efficient use of the area designed for the system. Some sources point to a 2% higher output in commercial panels. However, there is no tangible difference between commercial and residential solar panels when the calculation is made from the point of view of the energy cost per solar panel surface.

Are Solar Panels Available in Different Colors?

Yes, solar panels are available in different colors. Unexpectedly, there’s a difference in color between commercial solar panels and residential ones.

Commercial solar power systems use white backing solar panels, while residential solar panel systems usually have black backing. The darker color of a residential system prevents the sunlight from being absorbed by both sides of the panel. In contrast, the brighter shade of a commercial system improves the sunlight absorption on the side not directly exposed to the sun.

It is unclear how much difference there really is between white and black panels in terms of performance. It’s unlikely to have a noticeable impact on their energy output. In any case, both residential customers and commercial customers have the freedom to choose whether to install white or black panels.

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Whether you want to install solar panels on your home’s roof or at your place of business, we’ve got you covered! Explore our website to find local solar energy system installers in your area.

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