Looking to make the leap to solar power? Well, there’s no better way to make that jump than installing solar panels on your Garden Shed.
A shed is a great place to put solar panels, with easier installation routes and, in some cases, better access to sunlight. 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.
In this post, we’ll be guiding you through the whole process. From explaining how solar panels work to answering any questions you might have about where to put them, and even which sheds are best for solar panels – you’ll find all the information you need right here.
So to turn your shed into a sustainable solar powerhouse, keep reading!
Solar Panels – Everything You Need to Know
A great option for generating power sustainably, efficiently and cheaply, solar panels have started to become widespread in the UK – despite the unreliable British weather!
Even though we see them around everywhere, how they actually work isn’t obvious. There are many misconceptions about solar power, but we’re here to clear those up with this simple 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.
Benefits of Solar Panelssust
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, and you can even start to optimise your electricity usage so that you’re paying as little as possible to power your home. You’ll have more freedom from the national grid, too, especially 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 at all. 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, reducing carbon emissions massively.
Solar Panels are good for the environment and your wallet – what could be better than that? For more information on the pros and cons of solar panels, check out this dedicated guide.
Solar Panel Components
If you’re thinking of investing in solar panels for your shed, then it’s time to learn a bit more about them and their component parts. If you install solar panels, you’ll need to consider where each of these electrical components will go and how to connect them up.
- The 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 will need to be stored in a deep cycle battery while it waits to be used.
- Charge Controller: This smart piece of equipment controls the electrical current your solar panels make – and 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 the solar panels themselves and cables to connect all these elements together and create a fully functional system that saves money on your energy bills. Take special care when buying a cable for your system, you’ll need one that connects to all the separate electrical devices.
Solar Panels For Sheds
Now you know all about solar panels, it’s time to put them together with one of our favourite things – garden sheds!
You might be surprised to learn that these two are an amazing combination, and can sometimes even be a better option than installing them on your house! As shed experts, we’re here to guide you through all the intricacies and benefits of adding solar panels to a shed.
If you’ve got a question about putting the two of them together, prepare to have it answered!
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 in that garden, absorbing all that sunlight, putting solar panels to soak it all in might just be a genius move. In fact, it might be better to put them on your shed than your roof.
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.
If you have an east/west facing roof on your house, or any orientation where you can’t face the panels south, then 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, then install them on your shed instead!
What kind of shed is best for solar panels?
While it’s true that just about any shed can handle solar power systems, the best sheds for solar panel kits are ones with a large roof at a good angle.
A large roof is better, of course, 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 (or gained) 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 for solar panels is about 35 degrees, meaning that an angled roof is better for solar panels.
Our special recommendation for a shed that’s great with solar panels is the BillyOh Expert Apex Workshop Shed. This dual-entrance shed has a long design, meaning you can fit loads of solar panels in and 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. If you already 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 you know that they’ll generate lots more electricity being placed on a shed. Combine solar panels’ good lifetime of around 25 to 30 years and our amazing 10-year Guarantee on all tongue & groove sheds, and 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! In most cases, 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 feasibly be using. You also don’t want to install more than your shed roof can structurally support.
Approximately 6 panels are enough to provide power output for one person – if you’re supplying power to your house. If you want to use your solar panels to power just your shed, however, then you might need less. Doing this will easily allow you to provide utilities and 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 you will 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!
Closing Out on Fossil Fuels
Solar Panels are the future – clean and green energy right that’s produced right on your door – or shed-step! Installing them on your roof is great, but if you just want to dip your toe into solar power, or know that you’ll make more energy by installing them on your garden building, then 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 shed that does everything you need it to, and stands the test of time, click the button below and shop our great range!