Why Are Solar Panels Square?

If you look around the rooftops of your neighborhood you’ll quickly find a house with solar panels plastered across it.

Look a little closer and you’ll notice that they’re all square or rectangle.

You’re probably only just starting to wonder why all solar panels are this shape.

Well, there is a very good reason.

It is because all monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar cells are manufactured in a square. These solar cells are the main surface of a solar panel that absorbs the sunlight.

The manufacturing of these solar cells is complex and takes great care. They are made up of silicon crystal sheets which are cut by machine. The easiest and most effective way to cut them is in a square with straight edges.

In addition, a straight-edged shape like a square or rectangle allows you to use roof space more efficiently compared to something like a circle.

Simply put, square solar panels are easier to cut and make optimal use of space.


Do Solar Panels Have to be Square?

square solar panel

Although a square has its benefits, a solar panel doesn’t have to be formed into this shape. There are several examples of odd shaped solar panels which have been custom made for specific uses. Usually, this is for aesthetic reasons.

One thing to note is that the solar cells will always be square no matter the shape of the whole panel. The small cells are simply arranged into a different shape, for example, to form a triangle or polygon. What you will notice up close is the flat or jagged edges of the close-knit cells.