Looking to make the leap to solar power? Look no further than your very own garden shed!
If you’re hesitant about adding a full set of panels to your home, then take small steps by adding them to your shed first. This approach is a smart and practical way to embrace solar energy. For one, it offers easier installation routes and potential access to abundant sunlight.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process. All the information you need to achieve a sustainable solar shed awaits you here, so read on!
Solar Panels: Everything You Need to Know
Solar panels have emerged as a sustainable and low-cost solution for power generation. Their prevalence is evident even in the face of the unpredictable British weather.
Even though we see them everywhere, how they work isn’t obvious. There are many misconceptions about solar power, but we’re here to clear those up with this explainer:
Solar Panels are made up of lots of small solar “PV panels” (Photovoltaic cells). These panels are made from conductive materials, and when light shines on these panels electricity is created. The panels don’t need direct sunlight to work - they’ll generate electricity even when it’s cloudy - but they will produce more electricity when the light is stronger and more direct.
If you’re investing in solar panels, consider learning their parts. And if you install them in your shed, know where each electrical component will go and how to connect them.
- Battery: A battery bank is where the power generated by the solar panels will go. Even if you’re using power while the panels are making it, chances are you won’t be using all of it. That power must be stored in a deep-cycle battery while it waits to be used.
- Charge controller: As the name suggests, it controls your solar panels’ electrical current. This piece of equipment also stops your battery from overcharging or running flat.
- Inverter: Solar panels make power in DC (direct current). But when we use power from a plug, we use AC (Alternating current). Simply put, an inverter turns DC power into AC power!
And, of course, you’ll need solar panels and cables to connect all these elements. Take special care when buying a cable for your system. Ideally, invest in a unit that connects to all the separate electrical devices.
Solar panels work all year round and provide renewable energy to your home for no fee but the upfront cost. In fact, if you produce excess electricity, the UK Government might even pay you to use some of it! On top of that, you can save energy and money by hooking up your solar panels to a specialised hot water tank.
You’ll have more control over your electric bills with solar panels. You can even start to optimise your electricity usage so you can pay as little as possible to power your home. You’ll have more freedom from the national grid, too. This method especially works with energy shortages and prices predicted to continue rising.
While solar panel kits are a hefty initial investment, they’ll pay back their initial cost in no time. And, if grid power ever shorts out, solar panels will also provide adequate backup power.
That’s not to even mention the environmental benefits of solar panels. Any electricity produced by solar panels is electricity not produced by fossil fuels. This, in return, reduces carbon emissions massively.
Solar panels are good for the environment and your wallet – what could be better than that? Learn the pros and cons of solar panels next!
Why Add Solar Panels to a Shed?
Solar panels love to be somewhere that’s got a great view of the sun. And, chances are, your garden has been designed to get the most sunlight possible. If you’ve got a shed, putting solar panels to soak it all in might just be a genius move. But why?
This is simply because solar panels want to be facing the sun for as much of the day as possible. In the UK, the best direction to get as much sun as possible is directly south. This will be especially effective over the summer when we get the most hours of sunlight all year.
But what if you have an east/west facing roof on your house or any orientation where you can’t face the panels south? Any solar panels you put there won’t receive optimal sunlight. Ultimately, this means they’ll make less energy, and you’ll have worse value for money.
So if your shed roof faces south, but the roof of your house doesn’t install them on your shed instead!
What kind of shed is best for solar panels?
Any shed can handle solar power systems, but the best ones for solar panel kits are ones with a large roof at a good angle. This is mainly because you’ll be able to get more solar panels on it!
When it comes to solar energy, the more panels, the merrier you’ll be. More panels mean greater electricity production – which means more money saved for you!
But the angle of the roof needs a little extra explanation. You might think that the best roof for solar panels would be a flat one that soaks up all the sun, but this isn’t the case. The perfect angle is about 35 degrees, meaning an angled roof is better for solar panels.
We recommend the BillyOh Expert Apex Workshop Shed, which is great with solar panels. This dual-entrance shed has a long design, meaning you can fit loads of solar panels. Even better, it has an apex roof design at just the right angle. If you don’t need something big, any of our apex sheds will also work great!
Is it worth buying a shed just for solar panels?
This one depends on you and your needs. For instance, you need a shed and have also been looking to add solar panels to your home. Then there’s no better choice than ticking off both at once! In other cases, it might be worth buying a shed for solar panels if they’ll generate more electricity in the shed.
Combine solar panels’ good lifetime of 25 to 30 years and our 10-year guarantee on all tongue & groove sheds. And voila! You’ll be buying an energy solution that pays for itself!
Installing Panels on a Shed
Putting solar power kits on your shed is the ideal project if you want to go green. Generally, it’s best to call on a trustworthy electrician to help install solar panels on your shed. But there are a few things you can still do yourself before the installation, such as:
Deciding how many solar panels to install
While this is limited by the size of your shed’s roof, you might not want to install more panels than you’ll be using. You also don’t want to install more than your shed roof can structurally support.
Approximately six panels are enough to provide power output for one person. This also applies if you’re supplying power to your house. However, you might need less if you want to use your solar panels to power just your shed. Doing this will allow you to provide electricity to your shed without hooking it up to the mains. Install some LED lights and let the solar generators do the work!
Other things you can do to prepare your roof for solar panels are:
- Clean your shed roof of all debris.
- Check it can support the panels.
- Decide how many panels you want and find a reputable supplier.
- Figure out how to connect the panels to your mains supply or shed electricity.
Once you’ve got that all worked out, you’ll be on your way to providing clean, green energy to your shed and home!
Solar panels are the future – clean and green energy that’s produced right on your door or shed step! Installing them on your roof is great. But if you know you’ll make more energy by installing them on your garden building, opt for the shed.
When it comes to sheds, whether it be wood, plastic, or metal, we’re the UK experts here at Garden Buildings Direct. So for a high-quality shed that does everything you need it to, click the button below and shop our great range!