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Solar Sheds, are they right for you?

If your property has a shed for storage, a workshop, or a greenhouse, you might be wondering if you can make more use of the space it takes up. One option is by using it as a potential spot for installing solar panels to generate electricity. There are several reasons why you might consider having a solar shed. But before getting one, there are some considerations to make when installing solar on your shed.

Why would you want a solar shed?

You first want to consider the purpose of your solar shed. While this may seem obvious at first, it also dictates the type of solar system your shed will have. If you are looking to generate electricity solely for your shed. Installing a solar energy system for your shed or constructing a solar-ready one is a good option. Although if you’re looking to power your home with the solar-generated by your shed, it wouldn’t be enough.

Homes require more energy than a shed and would need a suitable amount of solar panels to do so. This is why solar panel installations for homes utilize the space available on the rooftop or ground mounts, as they would provide enough clear space for the solar panels to be mounted and aligned to capture the most sunlight. Even with high-efficiency solar panels that take up less space, your shed’s roof may not be large enough to power your home. If you’re looking to still utilize your shed for your home’s solar, it would be a good idea to use your shed’s roof for a solar array that supplements one installed on your rooftop or ground mounts. Although adding additional solar panels has its caveats as well.

Is my shed suitable for solar panels?

Much like installing solar panels on your home, you would need to check if your shed is also suitable for installing solar panels. Solar panels add additional weight to your shed’s roof. When installing a rooftop solar energy system. We inspect your property and roof to make sure it is structurally sound and capable of holding up the weight of your solar panels. When considering solar for your shed, you will have to know how your shed was constructed, the materials used, and if the roof can withstand the weight of your solar panels.

Next to the structure and materials, is the available space on the roof of your shed. As sheds tend to be small and don’t have as much roof space as a home. A standard residential solar panel can take up roughly 15 square feet of space. So a small shed may only be able to fit a few panels.

There is also the position of your shed relative to the sun. Solar panels favor a southern-facing installation to get the most sunlight, although east and west-facing installations can work too. Shading is another major consideration, as shade directly affects the energy production of your solar panels. You will have to identify any sources of shade surrounding your shed. Whether it would be trees, surrounding buildings, or even your own home. If there is too much shade on your shed, it wouldn’t be ideal to install solar panels on them.

How much energy do you need?

A solar energy system for a home will be configured to generate nearly 100% of the home’s electricity usage. This is how solar energy systems save money on your electricity bills. A shed wouldn’t be able to match a home’s electricity needs, but rather complement an existing solar energy system. This would require additional installation and wiring, and is another complex process. If your shed happens to be large enough and your home requires less electricity. You could consider powering your home with a solar shed. However, this would require properly calculating your energy usage and calculating the number of solar panels you will need for your home.

Although, if you’re looking to power your shed only, a smaller installation should be enough to cover your shed’s needs. If you use your shed as a workshop, this can help offset the power it would normally draw from your home. It would also lighten the load on your home’s solar energy system. Lowering the total amount of power it would need to produce. It would also have a lower upfront cost than a residential installation. Because of its smaller size, and lower number of solar panels.

Should I install a solar kit on my shed?

One method of making your shed solar is by purchasing and installing a solar DIY kit. This is an option if you are comfortable if you are capable of doing some electrical work to power your shed. This is feasible if you’re planning to make your shed a standalone system that isn’t interconnected to the electrical grid. While there are DIY solar kits for systems with grid interconnection, they are much more complicated. As they require an interconnection process with your utility company.

While it is enticing to choose a DIY system with a lower cost, we still recommend having professionals install a solar energy system. Even if you are an experienced electrician, we will be able to help you configure our system and install it. We will also help you through the process of filing permits and applications, along with helping you make the most of any solar incentives available for your system.

Is purchasing a new shed a good option?

You may consider purchasing a new shed for a few different reasons. Maybe your main roof isn’t a good fit for solar panels. Your existing shed isn’t suited for solar, or you might not even have a shed. If you choose to purchase a solar shed, you will be able to customize the construction and placement to best fit your needs. Consult with your builder when constructing your shed. The sizing of the shed’s roof and its position will be important for your solar panels.

Are solar sheds with integrated panels worth it?

Another option is to purchase a shed with integrated solar panels built into them. These are available at home improvement stores, and they typically come with solar collectors included. Although, these solar collectors are passive solar thermal collectors, rather than photovoltaic solar panels. While these collectors have their uses, they aren’t meant to generate electricity for your home. They more or less function better if your shed works like a greenhouse.

Get started with solar energy today

If you are looking to start your transition to solar energy, we are here to help. Our website also has a free online estimate tool that generates a personalized report for you from a simplified questionnaire. That report will contain the potential savings you can net, and the cost of a solar energy system installed on your property. You can also contact us directly via phone at +1 (602) 363-8919 or via email at Scott@elitesolarenergy.org for more information regarding solar energy for your property.