60-Cell Solar Panels vs 72-Cell Solar Panels – Which Is Right for You?
When it comes to harnessing solar energy for your home or business, choosing the right panel can significantly impact your system’s efficiency and overall performance. In this article, we’ll delve into the unique features and benefits of each – the 72 cell solar panel and the 60 cell solar panel – so you can make an informed decision that perfectly aligns with your specific energy needs and sustainability goals. Let’s shed some light on this critical aspect of your solar journey and help you determine which option is the best fit for you.
What Are 60-Cell and 72-Cell Solar Panels?
In solar energy systems, 60-cell and 72 cell solar panels are two popular varieties of photovoltaic modules. The 60 solar cells that make up a 60 cell solar panel are connected in a 6×10 matrix. For both residential and commercial installations, they are a common size in the solar industry.
A typical 60 cell solar panel measures about 39 inches wide by 65 inches tall, and each one can produce between 270 and 370 watts of power. 60-cell panels are frequently used in installations with constrained roof space or in situations where higher panel wattage is not a top priority due to their small size.
In contrast, 72 cell solar panels are made up of 72 solar cells arranged in a 6×12 matrix. These panels typically have dimensions of 39 inches in width and 77 inches in height. They also have a higher power output of 350 to 450 watts per panel.
72-cell panels are frequently used in utility-scale solar installations and for projects where maximizing the energy production per panel is critical due to their larger size and higher wattage capacity.
In order to convert sunlight into electricity, semiconductor materials like silicon are used in both 60-cell and 72 cell solar panels. The decision regarding which of these two types of panels to use is influenced by a number of variables, including the amount of roof space that is available, the amount of energy that is needed, the project’s budget, and its particular objectives.
Key Differences Between 60 vs 72-Cell Solar Panels
The key differences between 60-cell and 72 cell solar panels are as follows:
Size and Power Output
Smaller 60 cell solar panels typically measure 39 inches by 65 inches and have a surface area of 2,535 square inches. They are made up of 60 distinct solar cells arranged in a grid of 6×10.
They provide less power output than 72-cell panels because of their size, usually between 270 and 320 watts per panel. Because of their lower wattage, they are ideal for residential applications, especially when there is a lack of available space and smaller systems are sufficient to meet the household’s energy needs.
The size of 72 cell solar panels is generally larger, with a surface area of 3,120 square inches and dimensions of about 40 by 78 inches. In a 6×12 grid, they have 72 solar cells.
72-cell panels can produce up to 400 watts of power per panel thanks to their larger surface area, which increases their power output. A larger installation where maximizing energy production is a priority, such as a commercial project or ground-mounted solar array, may find them to be an appealing option due to their higher power capacity.
60-cell panels take up less space to install due to their smaller size. They are perfect for roofs with little surface area or where aesthetics matter a lot. The combined surface area of multiple 60-cell panels in residential settings can be as low as 100 square feet, making them appropriate for smaller roofs.
The larger size of 72-cell panels necessitates more installation space. They work best in large installations, like open fields or ground-mounted arrays. Larger power generation capacities can be accommodated by a typical 72-cell panel system, which may require 150–200 square feet of space per panel.
Depending on the manufacturer and technology used, these panels have an average efficiency range of 16% to 20%. Despite having respectable energy conversion rates, they are typically less efficient than their 72-cell equivalents.
Typically ranging from 18% to 22%, 72-cell panels are slightly more efficient than 60-cell panels. They are better suited for projects with limited installation space or in areas with lower solar irradiance due to the higher efficiency, which increases energy generation per square foot of the solar panel.
On a per-watt basis, 60-cell panels are typically less expensive than 72-cell panels. They are a cost-effective alternative for many residential solar projects due to their smaller size and simpler handling during manufacturing, which helps to reduce production costs. For 60-cell panels, the cost per watt can range from $0.50 to $0.70 on average.
Although 72-cell panels have a higher power output and efficiency than 60-cell panels, they might cost slightly more per watt. However, this difference can be balanced out by their increased efficiency and power output, making them more affordable for larger-scale installations where maximum energy generation is required. For 72-cell panels, the cost per watt can range from $0.60 to $0.80 on average.
60-cell panels are typically easier to handle and install due to their smaller size and weight, especially on rooftops where space may be at a premium.
They may be easier to integrate into pre-existing residential rooftops and require less sturdy mounting structures. In general, it takes 1 to 2 days to install a 60-cell panel system for a typical residential building.
The larger size and weight of 72-cell panels might necessitate more careful installation planning. To carry their weight and guarantee their long-term stability, they might require mounting systems with greater sturdiness.
With 72-cell panels, proper engineering and structural analysis are even more important to guarantee secure installations. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, installing a 72-cell panel system could take 2 to 4 days or longer.
Pros and Cons of 60-Cell and 72-Cell Solar Panels
Let’s explore the pros and cons of both 60-cell and 72 cell solar panels:
60-Cell Solar Panels Pros:
- Space Efficiency: Due to their smaller size and greater space efficiency, 60-cell panels are a great option for rooftop installations where aesthetics are important or there is a need to maximize roof space, such as on homes.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Generally speaking, 60-cell panels are more economical per watt than 72-cell panels. They are a popular option for residential solar projects because they provide a good balance between power output and affordability.
- Easier Installation: 60-cell panels are simpler to handle and install, especially in residential settings, due to their smaller size and lighter weight. They may require less sturdy mounting structures, which could result in cheaper installation.
- Widely Available: There are many 60 cell solar panels on the market, and there is a wide range of brands and models to choose from, giving customers a variety of options to meet their individual needs.
60-Cell Solar Panels Cons:
- Lower Power Output: The power output of 60-cell panels is lower than that of 72-cell panels because they are smaller in size. In order to produce the desired amount of energy, larger installations might need more panels.
- Lower Efficiency: When compared to 72-cell panels, 60-cell panels typically have slightly lower efficiency ratings, which could lead to a slightly lower overall energy yield.
72-Cell Solar Panels Pros:
- Higher Power Output: The power output per panel is higher for 72-cell panels because they have more solar cells and a larger surface area. They are therefore the perfect option for tasks where maximizing energy production is a top priority.
- Better Efficiency: Generally speaking, 72-cell panels are more efficient than 60-cell panels. They have better overall system performance because they can convert a greater portion of sunlight into electricity.
- Suitable for Large-Scale Installations: 72-cell panels are ideal for large-scale commercial installations or ground-mounted solar arrays due to their higher power output and efficiency.
72-Cell Solar Panels Cons:
- Space Requirement: 72-cell panels need more space to install because of their larger size. For projects with limited roof space or where aesthetics are important, this could be a drawback.
- Higher Cost: Compared to 60-cell panels, 72-cell panels may be more expensive per watt. In particular for residential installations with limited budgets, this may have an impact on the overall cost of the solar system.
- Complex Installation: 72-cell panels may need more sturdy mounting structures and careful planning during installation due to their larger size and weight. Longer installation times and slightly higher installation costs may result from this.
The decision between 60-cell and 72 cell solar panels ultimately comes down to the preferences and requirements of the individual project. In contrast to 72-cell panels, which are better suited to larger-scale commercial projects where maximizing energy output and efficiency are crucial, 60-cell panels are perfect for residential installations with limited space and budgetary constraints.
When to Choose 60-Cell or 72-Cell Solar Panels
There are a number of things to take into account when deciding between 60-cell and 72 cell solar panels so that you can make an informed choice based on the needs and objectives of your particular project. Each type of panel may be preferred in the following circumstances:
Choose 60-Cell Solar Panels When:
- Limited Roof Space: 60-cell panels are a better choice if your property has a small amount of roof space available for the installation of solar panels because of their smaller size and space-saving design. They enable you to maximize energy production in the space that is available.
- Residential Installations: 60-cell panels are a popular choice for residential applications where aesthetics and roof space are frequently important factors. They typically cost less for smaller-scale systems because of their smaller size, which blends better with residential rooftops.
- Budget Constraints: The cost per watt of 60-cell panels is typically lower than that of 72-cell panels, making them a good choice if you are on a tight budget and seeking a cost-effective solar solution.
- Ease of Installation: The smaller and lighter form factor of 60-cell panels makes them a better fit if you prioritize installation simplicity and are looking for a system that can be installed quickly and with less complicated mounting structures.
Choose 72-Cell Solar Panels When:
- Large-Scale Projects: The 72-cell solar panel is the preferred option for larger commercial installations or solar arrays that are mounted on the ground, where maximizing energy output is crucial. For large-scale energy generation, they are better suited due to their higher power output and efficiency.
- Open Spaces and Ground Mounting: 72-cell panels can effectively utilize the available space and produce more electricity per panel if you have a lot of open space on your property, such as wide-open fields or spacious rooftops.
- Higher Energy Demand: The higher wattage output per panel of 72-cell panels makes them more suitable if you have substantial energy needs and need a system with a higher power capacity.
- Higher Efficiency Goals: 72-cell panels typically have slightly higher efficiency ratings than 60-cell panels, allowing for improved energy conversion, if you want to achieve the highest possible efficiency and overall system performance.
Mixing 60-Cell and 72-Cell Solar Panels
It is generally not advised to combine solar panels with 60 and 72 cells in the same solar array because of the potential for mismatch problems and variations in electrical characteristics. To ensure optimum performance and efficiency, solar panels in an array should ideally have the same specifications, including wattage, voltage, and current.
The power outputs and electrical properties, such as voltage and current ratings, of 60-cell and 72-cell panels are different. Their incompatibility can result in power losses when used together in the same array. The array’s overall energy production will be impacted, and it might not operate to its full potential.
Especially at different times of the day or year, the shadowing problems on the array can be caused by the physical size difference between 60-cell and 72-cell panels. This shadowing may result in hotspots on the shaded panels, reducing their efficiency and increasing the risk of damage.
Based on their quality and usage, solar panels age and degrade at varying rates over time. Mixing panels with various ages and degrees of degradation can result in even more performance inconsistencies, which will reduce the output of the array as a whole.
Combining various solar panel types could void any manufacturer’s warranties. Additionally, when dealing with a variety of mismatched panels, maintenance and troubleshooting become more difficult.
It is typically advised to add a separate new array rather than mixing different panels in a single array if you are considering expanding an existing solar installation but are unable to obtain the same model or type of solar panels. By ensuring that each array runs independently, this method avoids mismatch losses and upholds the highest level of system performance.
In conclusion, choosing between 60-cell and 72 cell solar panels depends on specific project needs. 60-cell panels are the best option for residential installations with restricted space or finances. They provide space and financial efficiency.
On the other hand, 72-cell panels are better suited for bigger projects because they have a higher power output and efficiency. To ensure the best performance, don’t mix various panel types in the same array. For a future that is more sustainable and low-carbon, embrace solar energy.