Posted in Green Living, Home Design, Home Improvement, Random Stuff

Harnessing Solar Energy for Garden Sheds

The sun is the biggest source of renewable energy – a resource that will never be exhausted in the next five billion years. The solar energy produced by the sun is an unlimited source of radiant energy that can be used to produce heat or electricity.  The electricity to be generated can be used in various applications such as for heating, lighting, and providing power for small areas like garden sheds.

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Photo Credit: renewableenergymagazine.com via Pinterest

When considering solar energy for garden sheds, the first thing that comes into mind is the amount of money to be saved. Imagine not paying anything for using electricity to run power tools or to heat up the whole structure during cold weather. However, there are important things to address first before solar panels can be installed in the shed.

Location – Solar energy is practically possible everywhere as long as the sun shines brightly above. A shed shaded below by tall trees or other tall structures cannot collect solar rays regardless of the number of installed solar panels. Garden sheds in the open field and well exposed to sunlight are the best candidates than those below the valley. To better determine the solar feasibility of your location, consult a solar map which shows if your specific area is suitable for solar collection.

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Photo Credit: finehomebuilding.com via Pinterest

Structural Design – Have an expert opinion about the condition of the shed and its strength to hold the weight of the solar panels to be installed. Not all sheds are up to the standards of a solar shack thus it is important to determine if the structure can support not only the panels, but the number of technicians to set the panels in place during the installation process. It is also vital to measure the roof size to establish how many panels can fit, whether large or small. Other factors to consider are the orientation of the roof, where it faces and how the slope is angled. These features greatly influence how the panels are to be installed, whether pointed or downwards, to collect more solar rays. The panels must also be tightly fastened to a stable roof to remain secured in the event of a wind snag.

The Use of Electricity – Once the panels are generating electricity, decide whether the power is for Direct Current (DC) or Alternating Current (AC) use. Do you plan to tie it into the electric grid or use batteries to store the power for later use? With the use of solar cells, the electricity produced is DC already and can be stored in a battery pack. Storing electricity in batteries is cheaper than the other conventional methods.

With the grid, there is the need for the DC to pass through an inverter to produce AC which is more commonly used in household applications. The process steps up in current or voltage to be compatible with the electricity flowing in the grid. An electric meter is provided by the power company to monitor your electric consumption and production. While this method can greatly reduce your electricity bill, it is only reliable while the grid is operating. It means if the power is down, your solar power system is useless. It makes you think about the functionality of storing electricity in batteries.

After considering all these factors, you can decide whether or not to install a solar system for your shed. Contemplating all the benefits that can be derived, you are ready to call the professionals and the power company. Once everything is complete, you can have an uninterrupted power supply. Indeed a convenient setup for garden sheds.

 

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Author:

Catlyn or Cat, your DIY mom blogger at your service. Check out my blog to know more about me and my life as a DIY homemaker!

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