Solar carports are a versatile and sustainable alternative energy solution for facilities with limited roof or ground space. They are widely utilized in residential and commercial buildings, finding applications in various settings such as homes, hospitals, schools, factories, and business districts. The installation of solar carports brings forth numerous financial, environmental, and practical advantages.
While a conventional carport provides protection for vehicles using conventional construction materials like concrete, bricks, or wood, a solar carport incorporates solar panels into its design, allowing it to generate electricity for your home while simultaneously serving as a shelter for your car. Opting for a solar carport presents an excellent opportunity not only to reduce your electricity expenses but also to contribute positively to the environment.
What Is a Solar Carport?
A solar carport holds a dual function, acting as a standalone steel structure that provides shelter for vehicles while harnessing solar energy to generate clean, renewable electricity. This generated electricity can be utilized on-site or employed to charge a collection of electric vehicles.
Solar carports are versatile structures that can be tailored to various parking spaces, seamlessly integrating with their surroundings. These carport mounting systems can be personalized to meet specific requirements and include features such as rainwater harvesting gutters and branding options. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, solar carports offer multiple benefits. They can enhance the value of the land they occupy and provide revenue-generating opportunities for site operators by installing electric vehicle (EV) charge points and offering space for branding and advertising.
Flexible Solar Carport Structural Design
A solar carport is a multi-purpose structure installed on the ground. Given the varying site conditions and project requirements, the general approach is to offer fully customized solutions. The design of solar carports is highly flexible, making them particularly convenient for enterprises without adequate rooftop space for installing standalone PV systems.
Mibet designs and supplies solar carport structures for enterprises around the world. Our technical team conceptualizes each solar carport from the ground up, customizing it to align with your budget and specifications. Our solar carport solutions are designed for swift and straightforward installation, thereby saving on both time and expense. If you would like to learn more about our carport systems, click here.
Common Scenarios for Solar Carports
Residential Solar Carports
Solar carports offer greater flexibility for homeowners looking to optimize electricity costs but are unable to install rooftop solar power systems. Many homes lack sufficient rooftop space for solar power system installation. In such cases, ground-mounted solar carports are a solid choice, as they allow for both a clean energy system and shaded parking area on the same plot of land. They can be flexibly positioned and oriented to achieve optimal sunlight exposure.
Commercial Solar Carports
A commercial carport solar panel array offers a dependable, clean energy source wherever there's sunlight and ample paved or parking lot area to accommodate the solar setup. Enterprises of varying scales, encompassing commercial and industrial entities, can leverage the myriad advantages of integrating solar power into their parking areas.
Embarking on installing a commercial carport solar system is an investment that recoups its value by generating on-site electricity at a reduced cost. The return on investment for a cash purchase, contingent on incentives and carport specifics, is projected at about 10% to 20% annually, with a payback period spanning 5 to 10 years. Beyond the payback timeframe, the commercial solar apparatus will persist in electricity production for over 25 years.
Cost of a Solar Carport
Homeowners should consider the anticipated solar panel payback period, which is the duration needed to recover their investment, and this may vary by state. The cost of a home solar system can fluctuate greatly depending on the total amount of federal and local tax credits available.
Not every system will fully offset the energy typically purchased from your utility provider. However, solar panels can augment your property value by up to $15,000, as stated by the Department of Energy.
The majority of residential solar systems generate electricity for a span of 20 to 30 years with minimal maintenance required. The costs or savings are influenced by the mode of panel acquisition, such as purchasing outright, financing, or leasing.
We can't get precise figures, but we can still make a rough estimate. I'll use average numbers for everything here, but your actual results may vary depending on your specific situation.
Let's assume that the panel frame will cost $2,500 and will house a 5kW system. In most states, a 5kW system will cost between $16,000 and $18,000. For simplicity, we'll assume the $18,000 figure, which brings your total cost to $20,500.
Post consideration of the 30% federal tax rebate, the solar carport's cost comes to $14,350, as opposed to $12,600 for a roof-mounted solar system.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, extended the phase-out of the federal solar tax credit. This means that homeowners have several years left to take advantage of the tax credit when they install solar panels.
Here is a breakdown of the tax credit percentages by year:
● 2022-2032: 30%
● 2033: 26%
● 2034: 22%
● 2035: Phased out
Advantages of Solar Carports
Solar carports are a great way to generate clean energy and protect your vehicles from the elements at the same time. They offer a number of benefits, including:
1. Reduced energy costs
The amount of energy that a solar carport can generate depends on a number of factors, such as the size of the carport, the number of solar panels installed, and the amount of sunlight that the carport receives. However, even a small solar carport can generate enough energy to offset a significant portion of your home or business's energy needs. This can lead to significant savings on your electricity bills.
2. Increased property value
Studies have shown that solar carports can increase the value of a property by an average of 4.1%. This is because solar carports offer a number of benefits, such as reduced energy costs, increased curb appeal, and environmental benefits.
3. Protection from the elements
Solar carports can provide valuable protection for your vehicles from the elements. Rain, snow, hail, and sun damage can all take a toll on your vehicles over time. A solar carport can help to extend the life of your vehicles and reduce maintenance costs.
4. Reduced carbon footprint
Solar carports can help you reduce your carbon footprint and become more environmentally friendly. By generating your own solar power, you can reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
5. Easy installation
Solar carports are relatively easy to install. A qualified solar installer can typically install a solar carport in a matter of days. Solar carports can be customized to fit your specific needs, such as the size of your parking area and the type of vehicles that you need to protect.
In addition to the benefits listed above, solar carports can also offer a number of other advantages, such as:
● Electric vehicle (EV) charging: Solar carports can be equipped with EV charging stations, allowing you to charge your electric vehicle using the solar energy generated by the carport.
● Additional shade: Solar carports can provide additional shade for parking areas, which can help to keep vehicles cool and reduce the amount of energy needed to cool them.
● Increased curb appeal: Solar carports can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your home or business.
Disadvantages of Solar Carports
1. Initial Financial Outlay
The main cost of solar carports is installation. It can be more expensive to install a solar carport than a traditional carport without solar panels. However, the potential savings on energy bills over time can help to offset this initial investment.
2. Space Constraints
Solar carports require sufficient outdoor space. An average home needs a solar area of 400 to 700 square feet. Not everyone has this much space. People with limited space may choose smaller solar carports, which offer energy savings but may not completely offset electricity costs.
3. Structural Considerations
When looking to transform an existing carport into a solar carport, the design and incline of the current structure could pose challenges. For optimal sunlight capture, solar panels need to be properly angled. The existing carports may not have the required inclination, which may call for modifications or a complete redesign.
4. Maintenance Factors
Continuous maintenance is a key factor that can incur additional costs. Routine servicing, costing around $150 annually, is advisable to maintain the solar panels in prime condition. Moreover, regular cleaning is pivotal to ensure the panels operate at peak efficiency.
Is a Solar Carport Worth It?
Solar carports offer a practical solution to enhance the functionality of parking spaces by harnessing solar energy for powering household appliances and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Compared to rooftop solar systems, solar carports involve higher costs due to the need for a separate supporting structure. However, the design of solar carports can be optimized to maximize solar exposure on the PV modules, resulting in increased electricity generation.
If you have access to an outdoor parking area that receives ample sunlight, especially if your roof is consistently shaded, a solar carport presents itself as a viable choice. While the construction of the supporting structure adds to the initial investment, the optimized positioning of solar panels allows for greater electricity production.
Solar carports are a more efficient and desirable option for most businesses than traditional rooftop solar systems. If you are considering the installation of a commercial solar carport, there are definite advantages to our solar carport mounting structures. Click here to learn more about the products.