Commercial And Residential Solar: Differences?

Commercial and Residential Solar

In the world of solar energy and power systems, 90 per cent of the market is covered by commercial solar equipment and residential solar equipment. Both of these sections are extremely important in the solar industry. Residential solar, also known as small-scale solar, is designed to be installed on residential properties in order to power households. On the other hand, commercial solar is designed for commercial properties in order to power businesses, offices, and so on. 

Solar power systems are essential to make sure that the world reduces the dependency on the electricity imported from the mains electricity. This is important for the majority of homeowners and business owners in order to save money on electricity bills and also reduce the effects of climate change. 

While both of these solar power system types generate electricity by absorbing energy from the sun, there are a few differences that make them different from each other. In this guide, we will have a detailed discussion about the factors that set these two types apart. 

Key differences between commercial solar and residential solar

  • Size 

One of the major differences between commercial solar power systems and residential solar power systems is the size of the solar panels and other solar components. As seen in the Australian solar market and in solar markets all over the world, commercial solar panels are larger in size compared to residential solar panels. 

If we discuss the measurements of the solar panels, residential solar panels usually come at a size of 65 inches by 39 inches (165 cm x 99 cm). On the other hand, commercial solar panels typically come at a size of 78 inches x 39 inches (198 cm x 99 cm). Residential solar panels typically feature 72 solar panels whereas the commercial panels come with 96 solar cells. 

Not only solar panels, other solar components such as solar inverters, solar batteries, and so on also differ in sizes and capacity. 

  • Energy Generation

Both commercial and residential solar panels absorb energy from the sunlight to generate electricity. Even though the technology of energy generation is the same, the difference is in the amount of energy generated by the solar panels. 

Due to the difference in size and number of solar cells present in a solar panel, the amount of energy generated by the panel is also different. As the commercials are bigger and contain a larger number of solar cells, the amount of solar electricity generated by one solar panel is greater compared to the electricity generated by one residential solar panel. 

  • Colour 

Even though it is not technically a key difference between commercial solar panels and residential solar panels, it is a common one. Residential solar panels are typically available in the colour black or blue. If you take a look at the solar panels installed on the rooftop of households located in Australia or any part of the world, you will notice that the solar panels are all either black or blue in colour. 

On the other hand, if you take a look at the solar panels installed in commercial properties all over Australia and the other parts of the world, you will see that all of these panels are either white or silver. While there is no technical reasoning behind this change in colour, it is mainly for aesthetic reasons. 

  • Installation Process

When it comes to installing solar panels, both residential and commercial solar panels are installed in almost the same way by the solar installers. The solar panels are installed on the roof with the help of mounting brackets in order to secure the panels in place. 

However, there is one small difference and this is due to the style of the roof. The majority of Australian households come with a tilted roof and in order to secure the solar panels in place, the use of mounting brackets is absolutely necessary. On the other hand, the majority of commercial properties such as factories, office buildings, and so on come with flat roofs. Thus, the use of mounting brackets to secure the solar panels is not compulsory. 

  • Cost

The cost of solar panels and other solar components has always been an important factor when it comes to solar power system installation. The cost of commercial solar panels will always be higher compared to residential solar panels due to the difference in size and the number of solar cells present. The price also differs due to the high energy generation capacity of the solar panels. 

Not only that, but the cost also differs when it comes to solar components like solar inverters, solar batteries, and so on. The reason behind this is that commercial solar components come with a high capacity and so on. 

  • Solar Rebate and Incentives

Solar rebate and solar incentives refer to the money offered by the state, federal, and local governments of Australia on the installation of solar power systems. These solar rebates and incentives are available for both commercial and residential solar power system installations. The main purpose of these incentives is to encourage more Australian businesses and households to switch to solar. 

Solar rebates and incentives reduce the cost of solar power systems by a significant amount. The amount of solar rebate or incentive offered for commercial solar power systems in Australia is greater than that offered for residential solar panels. This is because commercial solar power systems are more expensive compared to residential solar power systems. 


As we discussed above, there is not much difference when it comes to commercial and residential solar power systems. But there are a few key differences that allow people to understand solar power systems better. Both of these types have been introduced in order to help people to save money on electricity bills while reducing the effects of climate change and global warming.

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