Solar carports: how do they work and how much do they cost?

solar carports how it works
solar carports how it works

While a typical carport or patio cover provides shading and is undoubtedly a value-add for a home or automobile owner, its one-dimensional simplicity is a missed opportunity. If you’re a PV fanatic following emerging technologies in the solar industry, you may have already spotted the solar industry’s solution: solar canopies, also known as solar carports. 

The cost of solar is dropping across the nation. See prices in your area and get free solar quotes on the Power solution mall Marketplace.

What is a solar panel carport?

Solar carports are overhead canopies built to cover parking areas, and are distinct from panels installed onto a preexisting carport structure. Solar carports have many things in common with ground mount solar panels, which are angled panel modules installed on the ground rather than on a rooftop.

Both ground mount solar and solar carports eliminate the need for a surface on which the panels could be mounted. The primary difference between a solar carport and a typical ground mount installation is that carports are taller in order to make space for a car to park. Otherwise, the two are quite similar and each offer the benefit of allowing installers to orient the panels’ at the most optimal angle for sunlight exposure.

The great advantage of solar carports and solar patio covers is that they don’t require additional land the way ground mount does. As a result, solar panel carports offer a more efficient use of space than ground-mounted panels. Certain states, like La, even have incentives for solar canopy structures over ground mount. If you are concerned about efficient use of space, you should consider a solar carport over a ground-mounted system. Overall, solar panel carports have less restraints or conflicts than ground-mounted solar, and can be considered preferable under many circumstances.

Comparing commercial and residential carports

To date, solar carports are much more popular in the NIGERIA commercial sector than in residential markets. Many businesses have embraced the idea of installing massive solar canopies for parking lots. 

When it comes to commercial and residential solar canopies, there are a number of different layouts and sizes available. Dependent on the number of rows of parking required, a photovoltaic carport are typically one, two or three rows wide. Solar parking lots, by comparison, can be large enough to span dozens of rows of parking. Installing a solar canopy can power your home, or it can turn a wide-open stretch of pavement into a major electricity generator.

One reason why residential has an advantage over commercial when it comes to canopies and carports is the materials used for construction. Commercial solar carports will almost always need a steel metal foundation, which adds a significant expense to total installation. By comparison, smaller residential carports have flexibility around structure material and design – a homeowner could choose a larger carport layout or a smaller patio cover to host a modest solar system.

How does a solar carport compare to a rooftop solar panel installation?

As with ground mount solar, it is often assumed that versatile solutions like solar carports and ground mount are only meant for homeowners who did not qualify for rooftop solar panels. However, the reality is that these alternative options can often make more sense for homeowners due a number of factors.

Issues with roof angle, orientation and size are eliminated with a carport because the panels will serve as the “roof” of the structure, and the supporting metal poles can be situated as necessary once the optimal array size and angle is determined. With rooftop solar, homeowners often run into issues installing a big enough system because they may not have suitable roof area. Space constraints are eliminated with ground mount solar and are rare with solar canopies and carports.

How to get your own solar carport installation

Because solar panel carports are still a new and growing product offering in the NIGERIA solar industry, it may not be obvious as to how to get one for your home. However, the majority of installers who work with ground mount arrays should also be able to install solar carports. If you are interested in off-grid system or on-grid system that powers your entire home, you can contact Power Solution Mall.

We always recommend that customers educate themselves about solar and get more than one quote in order to compare options, pricing, savings, system size, etc. To get started, contact Power solution mall Solar Marketplace and specify in the “add details” section that you are looking for a solar carport installation. 

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