Thinking about building a new shed? Among other design considerations and decisions to be made, it might be good to consider adding solar panels to your shed roof.
We’ll go through some of the reasons and benefits of incorporating solar panels, some design considerations you should think about to make the most of your shed’s roof area, and how you should position your shed on your site to ensure you’ll get enough light to make the solar panels as efficient as possible.
Why Add Solar Panels To Your Shed?
With fluctuating electricity prices and climate uncertainty, adding solar panels to your shed roof may prove to be a wise investment. You could choose to use the electricity generated to power your shed, and feed the excess back into the grid to reduce your electricity bills. If your shed is a farm shed, close to your home, you might also choose to use the solar energy generated on the shed’s roof to power your home. This will help to buffer you against fluctuating electricity prices and give you some energy independence. Energy storage via battery systems, and running your shed completely off-grid are also options to consider.
But why on a shed? Sheds often provide a lot of unused roof space, clear of obstructions, which allow for larger solar panel arrays than the roof of your home. With some pre-planning of your shed design, you can maximise this even further.
If you’re planning on adding a large solar array to your shed roof, there are a few things you can do to maximise its electricity output.
Firstly, consider the pitch of the roof. We can help you to design a shed with a suitable pitch for the best solar efficiency in your area. You could also consider a skillion (single pitch) roof, which will allow for the maximum amount of solar panels to be facing the optimal direction.
That brings us to the next consideration: direction. To make the most of the sun in Australia, It’s best to angle your roof towards to north or the west. While this isn’t always possible on every site, it is the optimal position for solar electricity generation.
It’s also worth considering any possible obstructions that may block the sun from the roof for part or all of the day. Large trees close to the shed or other structures may reduce the efficiency of your solar panels. Obstructions that partially shade your roof will also increase the cost of solar installation, as you may require micro-inverters so each solar panel can generate electricity individually. Without micro-inverters, if one panel is shaded and not generating electricity, the whole system stops.
If you do decide to incorporate a solar panel array into your new shed design, there are a few other things to consider, and include in the design process. Firstly, is the extra weight of the solar panels on the shed roof. It’s a good idea to factor in the weight of the panels while engineering your shed to ensure they won’t put any unnecessary strain on the structure. This is especially important if you’re planning a very large group of solar panels.
It’s also worthwhile making sure you choose a reputable installer for your solar panels, so that rain and debris can continue to run off your shed roof without any obstruction from the panels, and that the panel racking doesn’t compromise the integrity of your shed roof.
Considering building a new shed and want to plan ahead to include solar panels?
Get in touch with our expert team to see how we can help design a shed suitable for your solar electricity generation needs.
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