Residential Solar Carports – Are They Worth it?
Solar carports are a great alternative for homeowners who can’t install a solar power system on their rooftop. However, a residential solar carport is more than just a car shelter with a PV system. Solar carports are highly versatile and provide many opportunites to reduce carbon footprint as well as energy costs.
In this post, we explain how a residential solar carport works, Also, we outline the approximate costs and how they perform against conventional solar power systems. Furthermore, what applications and features can be combined in a solar carport.
A solar carport is a freestanding canopy structure that is roofed with solar PV panels. It can be combined with EV charging and solar battery storage solutions to make car charging 100% renewable.
Solar Carports vs Rooftop Solar
While solar carports tend to be more expensive, they provide an amount of versatility that rooftop solar systems can’t. They are especially beneficial in cases where the roof does not allow for a solar power system to be installed.
Like normal rooftop solar systems, the cost of solar carports varies depending on the type of solar panel used, power output. If additional features like EV charging are equipped, they will factor into the residential solar carport cost too.
While solar carports primarily serve as car parking spaces, it can combine several aspects of renewable energy according to need. The most common additions to solar carports are EV charging stations and battery storage units.
Carports include a number of sophisticated devices and their installation should be done by certified professionals. Effort and cost of installation depend on the individual setup of each carport solution.
What Is a Solar Carport?
A solar carport is a freestanding multi-purpose structure that combines several aspects of renewable energy. It’s primary function is to serve as a sheltered car parking lot while generating solar power on the roof. Solar carports use the same technology as a conventional ground-mounted or rooftop solar power installation to produce energy.
Electricity generated by the solar panel carport roof can be used in many ways. It can either be consumed directly by the household, exported to the grid, or stored in batteries for later use. In general, solar carports generate the same amount of electricity as conventional rooftop solar power systems.
Our residential solar carport adds value to any home through innovative technology and high quality engineering. It can be combined with a battery storage solution.
A smart energy management system controls and optimizes internal consumption to minimize energy costs.
- Area/Module: 18㎡
- Optional battery storage
- Optional EV home charging point
- PV module output: 450W
- Fully customized
Residential Solar Carport Cost
Generally, residential solar carports are much cheaper than their commercial counterpart. This is because they tend to be smaller and therefore require less effort to build. However, when compared to a conventional solar power system, they are slightly more expensive on average. Generally, the cost of solar carports is determined by several factors.
Solar Carport Cost Components
- Type of solar panel
- Number of carport modules
- Output capacity
- Battery (optional)
- EV charging unit (optional)
- Installation cost
INFO: Most European countries offer government grants or other financial incentives to reduce the cost of solar carports. Book a discovery call if you’d like us to help find the right grant scheme for your area.
Naturally, the total cost of a solar canopy will depend on the size of the structure and the attached solar system. Obviously, the type of equipment used and the local installation cost are a factor as well. Using European and UK average prices for solar equipment, you can roughly approximatie the cost of a residential solar carport project.
Solar Carport Cost Summary
- Solar canopy + installation: €9,300 (GBP 7800) – €13,800 (GBP 11600).
- Solar panels + installation: €7,500 (GBP 6300) – €15,200 (GBP 12800)
- Cost per watt: €2.53 (GBP 2,13).
Note that these are rough assessments based on average prices that do not replace an accurate quotation. Clearly, adding an EV charging station and/or battery storage solution will have signifcant effects on total cost and ROI.
Installation & Requirements
In general, solar carport installations should always be done by certified professionals. This because solar carports feature special equipment like EV chargers and solar panels that are not safe if handled by laymen. Due to the growing popularity of solar carports, however, the number of reputable installers keeps rising. Most solar companies can install solar carports as well.
Solar Carport Installation – Key Points
- Number of carport modules
- EV charger installation (if applicable)
- Battery storage
The installation effort (and thus installation cost) varies and is determined by how the solar carport solution is configured. For example, a solar carport solution with an EV charging solution will require slightly more effort. This is because the charging station has to be properly wired and mounted.
Discover Your Solar Carport Solution Today
Our solar carport modules are manufactured by LONGi, the world’s most renowned solar developer. Combined with our ability to integrate cutting-edge technologies, we provide a complete all-in-one solution for solar carports.
JustWe will handle and oversee the whole project. From creating a customized carport design to site surveys and efficient installation procedures, we are at your service.
Book a discovery call to start developing your project with us today.
Solar Car Port vs Rooftop Solar
While rooftop solar power systems are cheaper, many homeowners will not be able to install them. This is because rooftop systems have delicate requirements regarding roof space, angle, obstacles and shading. If these factors are not aligned with the solar power system, it may not be worth the investment.
Solar carports do not have these liabilities because they provide the roof themselves. Also, they can be flexibly placed and orientated for optimal sunlight exposure.
Solar carports also provide more flexibility when optimizing solar panel orientation and make use of otherwise wasted space. Generally, solar carport support systems are specifically designed to allow ideal sunshine exposure, which most roofs cannot. Problems like roof angle, shading, orientation, and size issues are eliminated because the solar panels themselves serve as the roof.
Residential solar parking canopies are not the only type of installation that offers significant advantages over standard solar power systems. Find out how other types of solar canopy solutions can be used to optimize renewable energy generation. More on solar canopies »
Versatile, Cost-Efficient & Secure
Besides offering advantages over standard solar power systems, solar carports can serve multiple purposes by combining them with other devices. They can be fitted with EV chargers, allowing users to charge their car with free and unlimted solar power. Adding battery storage, any excess energy can be stored for later use or export to the grid.
In their main function as covered parking space, carports shield automobiles from direct sunshine, wind, rain, and snow. Keeping a car covered from the sun also increases fuel efficiency. This is due to the reduced need for air conditioning to cool the vehicle down upon entrance.
Solar carports are more than just car shelters with solar panel roofing. The whole concept of a solar carport revolves around it’s flexibility. It can be fitted with other features according to user’s needs. The most common additions for solar carports are EV chargers and battery storage solutions.
Solar Carport with EV Charging
For a solar carport + EV charging combination, we recommend EV smart charging devices for maximum user convenience. This minimizes energy costs as well as carbon fooptrint at the same time.
For example, they can be set to only charge a vehicle with solar energy generated by the carport solar panel. Furthermore, they can be scheduled to load at specific times to take advantage of a time of use tariff. All of this can be done via a smartphone app.
Best EV Charger for Residential Solar Carports
Smart Home Series
The Smart Home Series Wallbox s a great allround-device excelling in performance and versatility. Charging most EVs in less than 6 hours, it is a great addition for residential solar carports.
Smart management and an accompanying internal cloud platform allow for efficient control scheduling and energy metering.
To benefit from time of use tariffs, the Smart Home Wallbox can be programmed to automatically charge at certain times.
- Best EV Charger for Home
- Smart EV charger
- Remote control via app
- Wall-mount or floorstand
- Automated charging schedules
- 2 Years Warranty
Solar Carport with Battery Storage
Normally,solar power installations generate electricity only during daytime. Thus, any extra energy produced is sold to the grid and purchased back at night for a much higher price.
A solar battery storage system allows households to make better use of the solar power generated. For example, the solar power generated can be used for EV charging at night. Some solar battery storage systems also feature emergency backup systems for self-sufficiency during power outages.
The SAJ AS 1-3KS-5.1 is a great choice for solar carport solutions. With an integrated inverter, the fully AC coupled device acts as a full stand-alone battery storage system.
A full-fledged intelligent energy storage system with smart meters provides maximum freedom in terms of energy and expense allocation.
The AS1 adds a new dimension of scalability to solar system with it’s modular design. To increase storage capacity, it can be combined with additional battery units any time.
- Optimal for solar carports
- Storage capacity: 5.1 kWh
- Modular design
- Lithium battery
- No lead acid
- Smart energy management
- 3 different operating modes
- Integrated inverter charger