More than 2.5 million Australian households now harness solar power across the country. As one of the sunniest places in the world, this comes as no surprise and the ability to harness solar energy for power is a no brainer for many – in 2019 alone there were 287,504 rooftop solar installations. While it’s becoming more common for Australian households to use solar power in their homes, what about Australian businesses and even the humble farm shed?
In this blog we delve into the different benefits of using solar energy for power and how solar power can be used on a shed.
The benefits of solar energy
90 percent of people want more solar energy and it’s predicted that its popularity as a cost-effective energy source will only grow as technology advances further. As well as being a cost-effective power source, solar energy is also a great way to help the environment. Here we outline some of the reasons why investing in solar power could be beneficial.
Investing in solar power is surprisingly quite affordable – the cost of solar panels alone has dropped over the past five years by more than 75% making solar energy a much more accessible option for many Australians. Not only has the cost of investing in solar panels dropped but the average size of a household solar energy system has doubled – increasing from between 1 to 2 kW to 4 to 5 kW. This increase actually has a positive impact on electricity bills and could help you to save on power. Their installation will also provide ongoing cost savings for decades to come. By drawing less power from the grid, annual energy costs decrease which helps the system pay for itself over time.
Once solar panels are installed they require little maintenance. While some people do like to get theirs cleaned annually, today’s technology means that solar panels are made to withstand dirt and various weather conditions so getting them cleaned isn’t essential. Simply install them and leave them to do their thing – harnessing power!
Less impact on the environment
There are big benefits to using solar energy, particularly when it comes to our environment. It’s estimated that solar energy alone could produce up to 60 percent of Australia’s energy requirements, lessening our reliance on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels can generate harmful emissions like carbon dioxide and methane gas that lower the quality of the air. Their growing presence has been linked to increased cases of asthma, especially amongst children. The release of these toxic gases into the atmosphere will also contribute to the greenhouse effect – the process that warms the Earth’s surface. Using solar panels for electricity will produce no greenhouse gases. The use of solar energy to power a home or business means that there is no burning of fuel so no emissions from energy production.
Add value to a home or business
Lastly, the addition of solar panels to a home or business has the potential to increase a property’s value. More and more people are looking for ways to lessen their environmental footprint and installing a solar power system on your home or business could be an advantage when looking to sell. Adding solar panels to your home or business could make it more attractive to potential buyers as they’ll know they’re buying a property with sustainability in mind. The knock-on effect of this and the ability to save on costs will only add more value.
Adding solar panels to a shed
Rising electricity costs and environmental concerns are just two reasons why solar panels are worth looking into for your rural shed, or industrial building. If you’re considering a solar energy system for your shed, then it’s important to note the following considerations.
If you’re spending the time investing in solar panels then you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of them! The pitch of the roof needs to be suitable for your location, and should also ensure that your solar panels are working as efficiently as possible. Some people utilise a single pitch roof or a ‘skillion’ which will allow for the maximum amount of panels to be placed on the roof, and in optimum direction of the sun.
Direction of the solar panels
It’s no secret that we get a lot of sun here in Australia so you want to make sure that your shed, and therefore your solar panels are in the best location to take advantage of this. To make the most of the sun it’s recommended that you angle your roof either north or west.
On a similar note, even if your shed is in the perfect place, and your roof is angled to get the most sun, this will all go out the window if you have something blocking the sun, from the solar panels. Things like big trees for example could hinder how much sun that the solar panels can absorb so this must be factored in when you’re considering the placement of your shed, and whether solar panels will work how you need them to.
Our ABC Sheds workshop features solar panels to make optimum use of the hot Australian sun.
Weight of the solar panels
While the design of solar panels has advanced over time, they will still add extra weight to your shed roof. If you’re going to add solar panels to your shed roof then it’s important that this is factored in at the design stage, so that the shed is engineered to hold the weight of the solar panels. This is particularly important for wider sheds that may hold many solar panels.
Talk to us about solar panels for your shed
There are many benefits to using solar panels on a shed. Some of which include the ability to power your farm, charge your equipment, and reduce day-to-day costs. If you’re building a new shed and want to add solar panels then we can help. Our sheds are designed to meet your requirements and because they're manufactured using structural steel, they're very strong. Unlike cheap purlin sheds that need extra engineering for solar panels, ours don't – they're already built strong enough to hold the weight of solar panels. A big bonus!
If you have an existing shed that you’d like to add solar panels to, although not as simple as working it into a new build, it could still be done with the right structure. We can assess your current shed to make sure it’s suitable for solar energy and can hold the weight of solar panels. Simply contact us here.
If you’re interested in seeing some of the shed projects we’ve completed, from farm sheds and hay sheds, to dressage arenas, download our free brochure here.