Saturday, September 4, 2021

The Differences Between Commercial and Residential Solar Panels

There are many differences between residential and commercial solar energy systems. Commercial-sized solar panels are typically bigger in size and produce more power than residential solar panels. When you choose renewable energy, especially solar power for your home or business, take a look at the key differences between residential & commercial solar panels.

Solar Panels
A solar energy panel

5 Key Differences Between Commercial and Residential Solar Power

In the world of solar power, there are two important categories to be aware of. These are commercial solar power and resident solar power. As businesses and homeowners switch to solar in the US at unprecedented rates, it is more important than ever to be aware of the difference between the two.

Although many people may think that there is no functional difference between the solar energy systems used for private residences versus those used for large businesses or industrial structures, this is not the case. Read on to find out exactly what the differences are between residential solar power and commercial solar power. 


1. Commercial vs Residential Solar Power Construction

One of the key differences within the booming solar industry concerns how residential vs commercial solar panels are actually constructed. For one, commercial solar panels are, as a rule, significantly larger than residential solar panels.

Residential solar panels typically measure 65 inches by 39 inches and contain 72 cells; whereas commercial solar panels are usually 78 inches by 39 inches and contain 96 cells.

This is because commercial solar panels often need to provide significantly greater amounts of energy, while commercial properties tend to have a greater amount of space for this purpose. 


2. Incentives and Tax Breaks

Did you know that you can get paid for going solar? As a resident, you are entitled to a Federal Solar Tax Credit in exchange for installing panels on your home. This is a rebate that will reimburse you for much of the cost of the panels and the installation.

In addition, those seeking residential solar installation in certain states, such as Kentucky, can receive state government tax breaks as an additional incentive. 


3. Color

The color of commercial panels is nearly always different from residential ones. Typically, residential solar panels are black, while commercial ones might be white or silver. There is no real practical reason behind this - just an aesthetic one.

For homeowners, black solar panels can easily be camouflaged to blend in with a house roof, meaning that you do not have to deal with unsightly panels on your home. For commercial properties, this is less of a concern. 


4. Installation 

On the face of things, installing commercial and residential systems via a local solar company is a very similar process for both. Both use a bolted racking system that is globally recognized as the safety and efficiency standard.

However, there is an important difference. Since homes usually have pitched roofs, while commercial properties are more likely to have a flat roof, a different approach is required. Homes will usually require a penetrating racking to mount the panels and secure them to the roof. This is not necessary with commercial properties. 


5. Cost

Finally, there is the question of up-front costs. On a panel-by-panel basis, commercial panels will always be more expensive, since they are larger and usually have greater energy storage capacity. However, when it comes to the cost of energy production per watt, the amount you pay is identical for commercial and residential panels. 


Stay Ahead of the Curve 

Understanding the difference between commercial and residential solar power is essential for grasping the profound shifts that are reshaping how we consume energy. For more handy explainers on the megatrends that matter, we have got you covered. Make sure to check out our Scientific Society for expert insights on the changes that affect everyone.  

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