Can I Use Solar Panels to Power My Garage?
Solar panels aren’t just for the cuttingly modern aesthetics of a tech giant nestled in the heart of sunny Silicon Valley. Modest bungalows, lakeside cottages, and suburban family homes can integrate solar panels onto their roofs and enjoy their immense environmental benefits and equally impressive energy savings. The best part is with the advancements in solar panel technology and design, homeowners can even implement this environmentally progressive system atop their garages.
Why Go Solar?
Solar panels possess a utilitarian style that dutifully matches that of a garage, making the combination of the two relatively seamless in design. Sheds and garages that require a bit of power or light are ideal for installing solar panels, especially if they’re situated on your property that’s considerably far away from your main house. If the alternative of running an underground cable to power your garage or shed seems like an Olympic-sized challenge, then installing solar panels could be the easiest and most cost-effective solution.
Where to Start?
You want to install solar panels to power your garage, but where do you even start? You can pursue two options: a simple system that costs around $100 or even less, or a complex solar paneling system for a garage that can crank out power for tools, batteries, and big projects that will cost around $3,000 or more.
Ultimately, what type of system you purchase, how much you spend, and the time and effort to install it all comes down to your vision for how you use your garage. If you’re just looking for a little light to navigate your garage or shed, then a smaller solar panel system will do the job, but for drawing a lot of power for tools, machinery, and charging batteries, consider getting a larger, higher end system. Yes, it’ll be more expensive initially, but going solar will save you money—and help the Earth—in the long run.
Starting from Scratch
While you can build a solar panel system on your own by gathering the correct components and parts, it can quickly become a demanding project not meant for those of us without prior knowledge of electricity, batteries, and the intricacies of a solar panel system.
Building a solar panel system from scratch is possible, but you’ll need to match its collectors, understand how charge controllers and its batteries operate, and if you want AC power, you’ll need an inverter to convert DC to AC for your solar outlets. Your system must also be outfitted for the climate it will be functioning in. Some solar panels are built for intense heat, others can handle dampness and cold, so you’ll need to adjust to adhere to your environment.
Get Your Solar Kit
Advancements in solar technology have allowed homeowners to make installing panels on their garage a simple do-it-yourself project. With the solar power industry growing, manufacturers are now able to produce solar panel kits for an easy install. These kits can be preassembled or available as tailored kits to suit the unique needs of a homeowner.
When shopping for a solar panel kit, here are a few things to be mindful of:
- Solar panel systems are heavy. Save on shipping by finding a solar panel kit that’s local to you.
- If you’re unsure of which kit to purchase, don’t hesitate to ask. Most companies can helpfully design one that fits your needs for your garage.
- While lower cost kits are attractive, avoid purchasing them. Cheap kits will do the job for a little while, but you’ll end up paying the price when they fail.
- Be sure to investigate the warranties and replacement options before you buy.
Equipping your garage with solar panels is made easy when you purchase one of these kits. Here’s what you’ll receive when you choose a solar kit:
- Solar panel: this is the actual panel that’s responsible for converting the sun’s photons into DC electrical current.
- Charge controller: an operating panel that regulates this current, preventing damage to the battery.
- Battery: this is typically a 12-volt battery that stores the harnessed DC electricity.
- AC outlet: accompanies the kit to change DC power into an AC current, which can power rechargeable tools and other small devices.
- DC LED light: uses the energy produced by the solar panels to illuminate your garage space, and as the most energy efficient light choice, conserves the battery’s power.
Smaller kits can be purchased if you just need minimal power for garage. These kits just come with a smaller solar collector panel and a light (usually the DC LED light). Usually for these smaller kits, the solar unit can power its light at 300 lumens for one hour with a full day of sunlight exposure needed to recharge the batteries.
A Green Way to Save
Not only will you experience a noticeable trend of energy savings with these solar panel systems, but you’ll also achieve your goal of successfully powering your garage—and in the most environmentally conscious way. Solar panel systems have a positive impact for a homeowner and the planet, and often they’re the easiest way to power a garage or shed.
Detached Garage Builders
Are you looking to expand your garage size to accommodate solar panels? At Danley’s, we can build gable garages, hip roof garages, and reverse gable garages. We have served Chicago and suburbs since 1959 with custom size detached garages that range from any size. Speak to a specialist and get a free quote online today!