We Give You Complete Control Over Customizing Your Solar Carport
Our ability to supply pv carports puts us at the forefront of our industry. Not only that, but our cost effective sun-powered canopy prices give us an advantage over our competitors.
Travel anywhere in California and you’re likely to see both residential and commercial solar carports. The solar industry is expected to continue growing, but not only because pv panels help reduce energy costs; it’s also because of their practicality.
Our solar powered carports are a prime example of that. And, combined with our extensive carport customization options, you’ll be able to design a solar canopy for any application.
Keep reading to learn about the advantages solar carports offer other types of metal shelters, and to find out what you need to take into consideration when buying one.
Benefits of Solar Canopies vs. Other Styles of Metal Carports
Carports with pv panels offer several advantages over metal carports. And — in most cases — it’s a better investment than adding solar panels to an existing structure.
First off, photovoltaic panels that are installed on the roof of a carport is a more efficient use of space than ground mount panels simply because the area underneath the shelter can still be utilized.
But, possibly the biggest reason customers opt for a solar carport versus other types of carports is the fact it reduces how much you need to spend on electricity.
Depending on the size of your home and the cost of energy where you’re located, your electricity bill can easily cost you hundreds of dollars a month.
But installing solar panels can significantly cut those costs or recoup your pv carport costs entirely.
Not only that, but you can use your sun-powered canopy for powering or charging other devices, such as plug-in hybrid vehicles. There’s nothing more convenient for electronic car owners than to be able to park their cars underneath a solar carport with an electric vehicle charging station.
And, although you could add solar panels to your home or business, existing structures often pose a few challenges. For one, a lot of rooftops don’t have a large enough flat surface to install as many pv panels as you could fit onto the roof of a solar carport.
A rooftop may also not have the correct slope to support solar panels. And even if it does, the panels may be at a less effective tilt angle than they would be on a solar panel canopy roof.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Solar Carport
There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re looking to buy a solar canopy — many of which you don’t have to consider for other types of carport designs.
How Weather Affects Solar Panels
The first, and possibly most important factor, is your location. Although this is something you’ll have to consider whether you’re buying a metal carport, a utility shed or any other kind of outdoor structure, it’s especially true for solar canopies.
Generally, areas with warmer weather — like the Southeast and the Southwest — receive more sunlight. And the more sun you get, the more power you can produce.
However, many states in the Midwest and the Northeast don’t receive as much sunlight as western states that are at the same latitude. Utah and Idaho, for example, have very cold winters, but they also receive a lot more sunlight than states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Areas that experience extremely cold winters are also often heavily affected by snow, which will block solar panels from the sun and prevent them from gathering electricity.
To ensure your solar carport is able to do its job, you’ll need to have a plan for keeping the panels clear of snow. Although it can be dangerous to remove snow from rooftop solar panels, there are some things you can do to make removing snow easier — and safer.
First, in order to gain access to the roof, you’ll need a ladder. But, you also could affix a permanent ladder that reaches the roof of your solar carport. If you are able to reach the roof, you may be able to use a squeegee to rake the snow off without actually walking on the roof.
And the closer to the edge of the roof your solar panels are, the easier it will be to reach them with a squeegee. Some people also will use a hose to spray water on the panels and melt the snow, but this only is effective if it’s not too cold. Otherwise, you could damage the panels.
Know How Much Power You Need to Generate
Although it makes sense to think a solar carport that’s higher off the ground would generate more electricity than ground mounted photovoltaic panels, that’s not the case. So don’t worry about trying to design a carport with higher legs than what you require.
However, you will need to think about how much power you want to produce in order to determine the dimensions of your solar powered carport. The more panels you have, the more electricity you’ll be able to generate, and a larger carport will support more panels.
This may be based on how you plan to use the clean energy you produce. For example, if you’re going to use for electricity in your home, you’ll need to know how much electricity you use.
But it’s not only the number of solar carport panels that determines how much electricity you can produce; it’s also the tilt angle of the panels. Generally, solar canopies are made with tilt angles ranging between 5 and 15 degrees, but the optimal angle varies based on where you’re located.
Think About How You’re Going to Use Your Solar Carport When You Design It
If you’re looking for a solar panel canopy to cover your vehicles, we provide a ton of flexibility in regards to how you can design your sun-powered canopy.
For example, we offer two different solar carport frames: a 12-gauge and a 14-gauge. The 12-gauge is approximately 20 percent stronger and includes our rust-through warranty.
We also allow you to pick one of three roof styles, including a standard horizontal, an A-frame horizontal and an A-frame vertical. The standard horizontal roof is our most cost-effective option, and the A-frame vertical is the most stylish; it has a ridge cap and trim on all four sides.
We recommend the following sizes for one-, two- and three-car garages:
- One-car garages: 12 feet wide
- Two-car garages: 18-26 feet wide
- Three-car garages: 26-40 feet wide
Keep in mind, however, that the average panel for residential solar carports measures 65×39 inches and panels for commercial solar carport applications measure 77×39 inches.
In order to maximize the number of panels you can fit on the roof, you may want to add a couple feet to the length and width of your sun-powered carport. For example, if you want to buy a one-car garage, you may want to design it to be 13×22 feet, which will fit 16 panels.
If you’re going to use your solar canopy for storage instead of a car cover, it may make more sense to enclose it. We allow you to add a variety of side walls and end walls, including partial sides and gable ends, as well as doors and windows to your solar-powered canopy.
We offer roll-up doors up to 10-feet wide and walk-in doors that are 72-inches and 80-inches tall. If you require larger roll-up doors, we can add frameouts to your solar carport up to 20-feet wide. All our windows and frameouts for windows measure 30×30 inches.
Solar powered carports aren’t only useful for residential applications; you can also design a commercial solar panel canopy. If there are unsheltered parking areas at your office space, you can install one to help generate electricity and cut down the electricity consumption of the office.
Solar parking lots are becoming a more common investment for businesses as solar technology improves and renewable energy production becomes more cost effective. In fact, solar power is expected to be more affordable than fossil fuels as soon as 2020.
And, if you are looking to add some outdoor storage space for your business, it’s definitely worth considering the upfront solar carport cost versus paying more for your electricity long term. Farmers, car dealerships and marinas are a few businesses that usually need outdoor canopies.
Carports and More’s Sun-powered Canopy Payment Options
We offer multiple payment options, including long-term payment plans, for our solar canopies.
If you pay for your solar carport up front, you’ll owe only 10 percent of the total order cost the day you place your order. You’ll pay the remaining cost once your carport arrives.
However, if you’re trying to limit your upfront solar carport costs, we’ll work with you to create a monthly payment plan that aligns with your budget. Not only that, but we work closely with financers to ensure you receive the lowest interest rate possible on your solar canopy.
Our third and final payment plan is renting to own. This option provides the most flexibility because it allows you to use a solar-powered carport without committing to ownership.
That means if at any time during your rental agreement you decide you no longer want your solar canopy, you can return it without owing anything. It also means that if you want to revise your design and switch out your solar carport with another one, you can do that as well.
If you go with one of the long-term payment options, you could even sell the electricity it generates as Solar Energy Renewable Credits (SERCs), and use that for your payments.
And, regardless of how you use the solar energy generated by your pv carport, you’ll still be eligible for a solar tax credit when it’s time to file.
Please contact us if you’re interested in buying a solar carport, or if you have any questions related to design or installation.