Solar Power for Sheds: What You Need to Know
The Oxford dictionary defines a shed as a ‘simple roofed structure used for garden storage, to shelter animals, or as a workshop.’ But the truth is for many people; sheds are much more than that. They are sanctuaries, safe spaces, and carefully crafted out chill spots and hideaways. This is why sheds are usually built and outfitted with all the features needed to make it comfortable.
However, because of these features, the shed draws a lot of power which usually results in a higher power bill and can become unsustainable over time. For many shed owners, this poses a major problem.
However, thanks to the advancements that have taken place in the power industry, multiple viable alternatives can help solve this problem. From solar panels to wind fans and natural gas-powered inverters, there is a long list of alternatives one can try.
Among the aforementioned options, few alternatives offer the benefits that solar power offer. This article is reviewing everything you need to know to fit your shed with a solar power installation.
Check the Roof
A better way to put this is to ask yourself, is my roof panel compliant? Most people who install solar panels choose to place them on the roof because it is a great location for attracting sunlight and it does not mess with the aesthetics of the interior. However, it is important to note that the installation of panels on your roof is akin to placing a new set of shingles on your standard asphalt roof.
When it comes to traditional rooftops, panel installers begin their process by conducting an engineering review to determine if the roof is sturdy enough to withstand the extra solar panel weight. The conclusion to this review usually determines if your roof is panel ready or not.
In addition to this, engineers advise that the spacing of the shed is another important factor to consider when deciding to install solar in your shed. The size of the shed usually determines the number of panels that can be installed. A small shed, for example, may be able to take about 3 – 7 panels of a standard 15 ft panel.
Another important thing to be considered is the amount of sunshine the shed is being exposedto. Consider the direction where your shed’s roof is facing. If you have a sunny, southward facing roof, you have the optimal positioning,and you are clear to proceed.
For eastern and western facing roofs, care must be taken to ensure it is entirely clear of the shade of any kind.
DIY or Professional Help
Today, multiple DIY kits can be purchased and installed yourself. For example, Grape Solar has a wide range of kits that can be considered. However, before you choose this, you need to be comfortable and certified to undergo this level of electrical work lest you end up hurting yourself or worse.
Regardless of your expertise with electricity, using a solar kit for a DIY project is only advisable if you are working with a small, off the grid solar system. If the shed you intend to work on is not fastened to the electric grid and you wish to have power for the few appliances and outlets in the shed, the solar kit is a viable option. Some kits could integrate with the grid as well,but those are usually complicated and require being connected to your power company.
Most DIY systems have a low overall cost compared to using a professional, but there are clear and undoubted advantages to using a professional when installing your panels. To begin listing these advantages, they will help save time as you would not need to spend a ton of time researching the system and the steps needed to install it. Professionals also usually help with filing the necessary permits and applications required by the government in order to get the system running.
is it worth it to purchase a shed to put a solar panel on it?
The short answer is yes. It is clear that not everyone might have a shed on their property at the time of reading this post. But the benefits of having solar installed on your property are immense and should be encouraged.
If you wish to begin your journey by constructing or purchasing a shed for the first time, ensure the construction of the shed makes it a very conducive space for solar. Ensure your construction manager and the team put enough space on the roof to fit as many solar panels as you want, and it is facing the right side in order to maximize the use of your panels.
Can sheds be purchased with an inbuilt solar panel?
Yes, multiple sheds are available for purchase with solar collectors included. However, it is important to note that most of these sheds have passive solar collectors installed (same thing with skylights) instead of solar electricity panels.
This does not mean that these sheds are completely useless. Depending on your needs, they could be found to be aesthetically pleasing and somewhat helpful.
Do I need a solar shed?
The decision to install solar panels on your shed should be taken only if you decide to provide electricity for your shed or you are about to develop a new shed that is solar powered. The type of system installed is heavily dependent on what you want to achieve with the panels. If your goal is to save heavily on power over the next few years, a huge solar system would be needed to cater to all the electricity needs.
Solar technology is currently progressing in leaps and bounds, and it is projected to be cheaper than electricity provided by the grid. Installing a solar system in your shed is simple to achieve, great for the environment, and has the potential to save you thousands in the long term.