A Beginner’s Guide To Solar Panels: Size and Dimensions

solar panels in a field

There’s a lot of buzz about solar energy here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and that’s a beautiful thing! More buzz means more people are joining the solar power movement and making a difference for the planet and for their pocketbooks. 

solar panels in a field

If you’re interested in this eco-friendly power source for your home and are trying to learn more about it, the amount of information on the subject can seem a little bit overwhelming at first. We’ve created this beginner’s guide to help you learn about one of the most important factors in designing your solar system: solar panel size. 

How Big is a Solar Panel?

Is the size and dimension of a solar panel just a matter of preference, or is it an essential aspect? Are they sized differently? How do you know which size is right for your home?

There are several smaller sized panels used for a solar-powered entry gate, solar-powered road construction signs, and backpacks with built-in solar panels to power small devices. Solar energy applications are everywhere. Of course, larger panels are needed for bigger demand such as a house or building. The size corresponds to the quantity of energy needed. 

There are a variety of solar panel sizes, but there are also different types of solar panels.

While there are several solar panel manufacturers with different quality solar panels, residential product dimensions are according to standard solar panel size.

The difference in dimension and sizing of solar panels is really a matter of residential or commercial solar panels. Each residential panel is made up of 60 individual solar photovoltaic (PV) cells. The standard size of a PV panel is 156 mm by 156 mm, which is approximately 6 inches long and 6 inches wide. So residential solar panel dimensions are 5ft long and 3ft wide. =

The size of a typical solar panel used for commercial purposes is 72 PV cells (can go up to 98 cells or more) which makes the standard commercial solar panel about 13 inches longer compared to residential. 

How Much Do Solar Panels Weigh?

Knowing the size of a residential solar panel, you may wonder how much a solar panel weighs. Will your roof be strong enough to support a solar system big enough to power your house? 

A residential solar panel weighs an average of 40lbs. These weigh between 33lbs and 50lbs depending on the manufacturer. A 6kw solar system takes about 20 average-sized panels, which translates to 800lbs added to a roof. 

What Size Solar System Do I Need?

The number of solar panels you’ll need depends on the orientation of your roof and how many hours of sunlight the roof gets per day. 

You can calculate this by dividing your average hourly wattage requirement by the number of daily peak hours in your area. This tells you the amount of energy your panels need to produce every hour. For instance, the average U.S. home (900kWh/month) is in an area that sees five peak sunlight hours per day. So, this residence would require 6,250 watts.

Contact the Solartime Experts for Dallas Solar Questions and Installation

If you’re not a fan of math, Solartime USA will do these calculations for you and take the guesswork out of your quest to go solar. We calculate the system size according to your expectations and energy needs. 

Choosing which Dallas solar panel company to go with should be a well-informed decision. Take the opportunity to learn more about how long solar panels last and how many solar panels it takes to power a house.

We have the expertise to determine which Dallas solar solution is best for your specific needs. We’re happy to help you with optimal solar panel placement, financing options, and so much more. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to answer all of your questions. Call us at (972) 675-7725.

Are Solar Panels Worth it in Texas?

house with solar panels on roof

So you are pondering the question of whether or not solar panels are worth it in Texas. After all, it’s a big investment and you want to make sure that your hard earned money is well spent. So, are solar panels worth it in Texas?

house with solar panels on roof

There’s a lot of sunshine in the great state of Texas. But, with North Texas being a little cooler than the southern parts of the state at times, it can make you wonder if solar panels are worth it. The short answer is: yes! Solar panels are absolutely worth it in Texas! 

Truth be told, solar panels are worth it just about anywhere, since the sun shines everywhere. However, having solar panels in a sunny state like Texas, California, or Florida makes it that much better as we are able to convert that much more sun into electricity. 

In Texas, we have an average of 234 sunny days. That is the perfect setting for solar panels! Solar panels are good for the environment, they don’t emit any carbon, and help reduce our carbon footprint. If you are worried about your impact on the environment, then solar panels are definitely worth it for you.

Benefits of Solar Panels

More and more people in Texas, the US, and around the world have come to understand the great benefits of having solar panels, and demand is steadily rising. 

Some of the many benefits of solar panels include:

  1. Renewable Energy – Going solar is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Since solar panels don’t rely on fossil fuels to create the energy that powers your home, they don’t create harmful emissions and are better for the environment. 
  2. Huge Cost Savings – Kick those monthly electric bills to the curb for good! Because solar panels use the sun to produce energy, there’s no need for you to continue paying for non-renewable energy for your home. 
  3. Return on Investment – There are many variables that go into determining how long it will take to pay off your solar system but, with tax credits and other incentives, it’s not unusual to break even long before the lifetime of your solar panels ends. Solar panels can also make you money! Not only can you sell back your unused excess solar energy, but solar panels also increase the resale value of your home!
  4. Solar Tax Credit – The state of Texas has made a great effort to help promote the benefits of using renewable energy for our electricity needs by offering a 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit for installing solar panels. Find out more about this below.

Here in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, we have seen a steady interest in solar panels. Everyday, more people are finding out that with solar panels, they can control their energy costs, become energy independent, and even sell their unused solar energy back to the electric company. Even with all the benefits, are solar panels worth it in Texas based on the cost?

Cost of Solar Panels in Texas

Before factoring in cost-saving incentives, the average cost of solar panels in Texas breaks down to about $17,700, based on a cost of $2.95 per Watt for a typical 6 kilowatt solar system. However, this is an average and not every solar system is the same. Your cost may differ depending on your unique solar needs. 

Factors that Affect the Size and Cost of Your Solar System

Solar panels aren’t right for everyone, and before installing solar panels, it’s important that each homeowner’s needs are taken into consideration to make sure that a solar system makes financial sense for each individual homeowner. 

  1. Energy Consumption – To determine if going solar is right for you, Solartime USA looks at your overall energy consumption as well as your energy needs and costs. During this process, we look at your energy bills to see what the average cost of your electricity is to determine how big of a system you would need. We also take into account how much your energy provider charges for the electricity they provide for you, and if they have any incentives for going solar. We also consider whether you want to off-set part or all of your energy consumption with solar and what your ideas are for your solar system. 
  2. Cost Saving Incentives – Something else to consider is whether or not your city or county has any incentives that can bring the cost of your solar system down even more than the 26% Federal Tax Credit.
  3. Location – Your home’s location and where on your property would be the best place for the solar panels can also affect the size and location of your solar system.
  4. What You Plan to Power – We also take into consideration any other things that you want to power with your solar system such as a solar pool heater, or an electric car. 
  5. Financing vs Cash Payment – Were you looking to finance your system or pay for it in cash? Would you prefer to pay for part of it upfront or would you rather get your solar system with zero out of pocket costs?

So, are solar panels worth it in Texas? As you weigh out the pros and cons of the cost of solar panels, don’t forget to also factor in the effect they will have on the value of your home.

Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value in Texas?

Owning solar panels actually increases the value of your home! According to an article in Money Magazine, home value increased by an average of 4.1% with solar panels. Considering the cost of an average home, that is a lot of money!

Texas Solar Incentives – The Solar Tax Credit

In an effort to encourage the use of solar energy, the federal government is currently offering a 26% Solar Tax Credit through December 31st, 2020. In January 2021, this tax credit will drop to 22%. 

There are also different solar incentives offered by some cities and energy providers in Texas. The professionals here at our Dallas solar company know all of the Texas solar incentives available and will make sure that you benefit from as many as possible. 

We’ve Helped Homeowners All Over TX Convert to Solar Energy – Are You Next?

Are solar panels worth it in Texas? We certainly think so! Now is the perfect time to schedule a free consultation! We offer consultations via phone or video and we’re happy to help you find out if solar panels are the right choice for you. Call us at (972) 675-7725 or contact us online today! We look forward to hearing from you!

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

solar panels on house

solar panels on house

Solar panels are a long term investment, so it’s normal to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether or not they are worth it. One of the first questions many curious homeowners ask when they come to Solartime USA is how long will their new solar panels last. Will they last 2,5, 10 or even 15 to 20 years? That last estimate would get you excited, right? That would certainly make your investment well worth it. So how long do solar panels last? Below, we’ll delve into the lifespan of solar panels and how they degrade over time.

Average Lifetime of Solar Panels

We have fantastic news for you! Most solar panels have a 25-year warranty and, even better than that, 4 out of 5 panels are known to last well past their 25-year warranty. The long lifespan of solar panels makes investing in them here in North Texas even more attractive. In fact, there are not many other add-ons or appliances for your home as durable as solar panels. While there are a few solar panels that carry only a 10 or 15 year warranty, even those are likely to last well past the warranty end date and you always have the option to choose one of the many solar panels that do have the 25 year warranty. 

Solar Panel Degradation Rate

There is such a thing as a degradation rate for solar panels, which just means that as time goes on, your solar panels start to produce less energy. However, this should not happen before their warranty ends. Even then, it’s important to realize that, according to a study done by the National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, the average solar panel energy output only falls by about .8% each year.

Standard Solar Panel Warranties

The standard warranty period for solar panels is 25 years and, during this time, the manufacturer guarantees that the solar panels will work at peak efficiency. The warranties that are attached to solar panels give buyers an expectancy of their solar panel lifespan based on how much it is expected to degrade each year. So, in essence, the warranty attached to a solar panel matches its life expectancy. 

What Types of Solar Panels Last the Longest?

Of course, as with so many products you purchase, quality makes a big difference. High-quality equipment solar panels can make a huge difference in the performance and longevity of your solar panels. 

Here are some of the solar panels that are known to be high quality:

  • SunPower                             
  • Canadian Solar
  • JinkoSolar
  • Trina Solar
  • REC Solar
  • LG
  • Panasonic
  • Silfab

Out of these solar panels, SunPower, LG, and Panasonic make the best solar panels in 2020 due to their high efficiency, competitive pricing, and the great 25-year warranty offered by each brand. These companies’ solar panels provide durability and reliability with premium protection and fair prices, making them the brands with the best solar panels available.

How to Make Your Solar Panels Last Longer

There are no moving parts involved in operating your solar system, which means there is nothing that will break down from wear and tear. The likelihood of your solar panels getting damaged by hail or other storms is slim to none, however,  solar panels do deteriorate slightly over time. Though they do experience some deterioration over time, our panels will continue to function very well and you most likely won’t even notice the slight decrease in production. But is there something you can do to make sure your solar panels last longer?

Have Solar Provider Come for Regular Checks

Just like you take your car in to get the oil changed in regular intervals, it’s a great idea to have your solar panel installer come on a routine schedule to check up on your solar system. Our experts here at Solartime USA perform an inspection of all connections between the main service and inverter as well as all connections between the solar panels and inverter. We also clean the inverter and perform an analysis of systems compliance with current building and fire code. A routine checkup like this can ensure that your solar system is running at peak performance.

Replace Central Inverters After 10 Years

It is important to point out that while your solar panels have a 25 year warranty and are expected to last well past that time, the average inverter warranty given to homeowners is about 10 years. The average inverter lasts 10-15 years which means you may have to replace your inverter at least once before your solar panel warranty ends. So you may want to consider investing in a warranty extension for your inverter. Another option is to invest in a micro inverter. A micro inverter is a new alternative to the common central inverters and they have a lifespan of about 25 years, which lines up with the lifespan of your solar panels. 

Keep Solar Panels Free from Debris and Other Materials

Some simple maintenance you can perform yourself is keeping your solar panels free from debris and other materials. When you first install your solar panels, your installer should be sure not to put your solar panels under large trees that cast shade or drop branches on top of the panels, so this shouldn’t be a huge concern in the beginning. There are some homeowners who also invest in solar panel critter guards to keep animals from damaging the panels.

Ready to Go Solar? We’re Here to Help!

Our solar consultants here at Solartime USA are specialists in their field. We have the expertise to offer you solar panels that we know will last the course of their warranty and beyond and the experience to back up our choices for you. Solartime USA has been a Dallas solar company for a little over four years, however, our parent company has been in the business of installing solar panels in Europe for well over 12 years. In that time we have helped over 21,000 families and businesses to go solar. 

Give us a call at (972) 675-7725 to schedule a free consultation and get a free quote or fill out the online contact form. We are happy to meet with you however you feel comfortable. We can meet virtually via Facetime or Zoom, we can meet over the phone, or we can even meet in your front yard to stay safe.

How to Save on Electric Bill During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Family in living room

So much has changed over the last several months. To adjust to a new normal, we look to creative solutions to new challenges – especially the economic ones. 

Higher utility costs have families seeking ways to reduce expenses including how to save on the electric bill.

Family in living room

How Will Coronavirus Change Our Lives?

Due to the public health concerns of the current situation, most companies have decided to have their employees work remotely. 

This is a responsible way to handle the workforce as a preventative measure to protect people in our efforts to contain and isolate the spread of the virus. 

With schools, stores, restaurants, and offices closed, whole families spend entire days at home on their electronic devices. This means an increase in electricity bill costs.

Will The Coronavirus Epidemic Have An Impact On Higher Electricity Bills? 

These days working from home is the most reasonable accommodation an employer can offer to his or her employees. Thankfully, companies across the country are able to continue to work as usual – only the work location has changed. 

Some may love working from home and some may not, but the reality for everyone working full-time from home instead of at the workplace is higher energy consumption that leads to higher electricity bills. 

Because we spend more time in our homes, we consume more energy with the increased use of electric appliances, lights, cooling, or heating. 

On top of this, children are consuming more energy. Distance learning means that kids rely on information technology and the internet more than ever. Studying, working, or watching movies means heavy use of electronics such as laptops, computers, and handheld devices. This significantly contributes to an increase in energy costs.

Seeing a sharp increase in utility expenses causes families to look into how to save on electric bills.

How to Save Money on Energy Bills

Those who have their own solar system installed enjoy energy independence. Because they produce their own electricity, they don’t have to be concerned about higher electricity bills. This is particularly helpful now that families are at home more and consuming more energy.

Solar panel systems allow us to reap the benefits of the best renewable energy source – the sun. It’s one of the top ways to save money on energy bills.

Watch this fun video made by one of our customers! It shows how solar energy is a part of their everyday family life spent mostly at home and also how they save energy costs.

In these uncertain times, abrupt changes and restrictions have caused many goods to be in short supply. Rest assured that we have all the necessary tools and parts on hand to install your new solar energy system. 

We offer contactless consultations by phone or video. After the consultation is complete, we will design a system specifically for you. Our entire installation process is safe. There’s never been a better time to go green and save money on energy bills! 

For more information, call us at (972) 675-7725 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today!

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Solar Panel Damage?

Solar Panels on House

Does homeowners insurance cover solar panels? This is a common question among prospective solar panel buyers, and if you yourself are looking into the solar panel market and are interested in installing panels to your home, you’ve likely had this question cross your mind. Luckily, we’re here to answer. 

The average cost of a 10KWh system is about $28K (before your 26% Federal Tax Credit), which is a hefty price tag for most homeowners. The cost of repairing or replacing damaged solar panels can add unwelcome financial strain for homeowners, so it’s only natural to worry about potential damage to your solar panels caused by hail or other weather conditions. You know that protecting your investment is important, but how do you go about insuring your solar panels? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you navigate the waters of solar panel insurance.


Solar Panels on House

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Good news! Solar panel insurance coverage is actually included in most homeowner’s insurance plans and policies. Most homeowners insurance policies cover the solar panels themselves and, because the rooftop mounts are considered a permanent structure on the house, they are also covered. If you find out that your insurance company doesn’t cover solar panels, it may be time to shop around for a new policy.

If you live in Texas or an area known for hailstorms, you might be wondering whether your current insurance policy will cover hail damage to your solar panels.

We can put your mind at ease for two reasons: most insurance policies do hail-damaged solar panels. The second reason you shouldn’t be too concerned is that solar panels are actually extremely durable and difficult to dent or break. Solar panels are very sturdy, and the likelihood of them getting damaged during a storm by hail falling from the sky is slim to none.  

The news a day after a hail storm hits will likely show an endless cycle of situations where hail knocked out car windows, house windows, damaged roofs – but believe it or not, solar panels are often left completely intact.  In fact, when Solartime USA gets called to remove the solar panels from a hail-damaged roof while the roof is being replaced, the panels usually end up being unharmed and reinstalled later. You can rest easy knowing that this prized addition to your house is safe and covered by homeowners insurance in the event they do get damaged in a storm. Solartime USA’s solar panels are monitored 24/7 so chances are we would most likely know of any damage to your panels before you are even aware. Our solar panels also come with a 25 year warranty on the off chance anything does damage your panels. 

While your solar panels are probably covered by your homeowners insurance for damages related to hail, most insurance plans won’t cover a defective inverter that has stopped working. Luckily, the inverters and solar panels are covered by manufacturer’s warranties, which will take care of repairing or exchanging your inverter in case of malfunction. So, now that you know that your solar panels are most likely covered by homeowner’s insurance, you’re probably wondering whether this will drive up your premiums.


Do Solar Panels Increase Home Insurance Premiums?

It’s important to check with your homeowners insurance policy but, generally speaking, your premium shouldn’t go up after installing solar panels. If you end up getting a ground mount or installing your solar panels on a car port or other structure, your policy may increase. Depending on the size of your solar system, you may need to increase your policy limits; however, the increase is usually minimal. In fact, Solartime USA’s customers with ground mounts have reported that their homeowners insurance only increased between $3 and $5 a month!

Because we are local to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, our knowledgeable Solartime USA consultants can give you more detailed information about solar panel insurance coverage in the area. Once you are ready to install your solar panels, we will check with your insurance company and provide the necessary paperwork to add them to your policy. However, it’s always a good idea to inquire with your insurance company ahead of time. 

Solartime USA is your One-Stop-Shop for Solar Panels

The professionals at Solartime USA are happy to assist you with the entire solar system process, from the original free quote and personal design, to coordinating the entire process with all trade professionals, inspectors, electric companies, to getting all your permits. Solartime USA is your complete “one-stop-shop” for solar panels. We are a family owned and operated company serving Dallas/Ft Worth with the ability to service your solar panel purchase from beginning to end and well beyond. We aim to have you become part of our Solartime USA family. Give us a call at (972) 675-7725 or fill out the contact from and we will call you within 24 hours to set up an appointment that is convenient for you.