Solar Panel Fences – Are They Worth It?
With solar panels becoming more and more affordable, an increasing number of individuals are considering utilizing them as a permanent fence. Combining solar power production with property fencing not only provides numerous aesthetic possibilities. It also also opens up a new perspective for the use of solar power.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the concept of solar panel fencing. First, we take a look at the pros and cons and when it is worth having solar panels mounted on fence installations. Furthermore, we discuss the possibilities it opens up for businesses and homeowners. Finally, we show how combining solar panel fences with electric fencing kits makes livestock farming more sustainable.
Using solar panels as fences serves two purposes at once. First, it provides a space-saving and efficient way to harvest solar energy. At the same time, the fence acts as a property boundary, noise barrier, or even as electric fence energisers.
Advantages & Disadvantages
The main advantage of solar fences is that they produce solar energy without taking up more space than a normal fence was going to take up anyway. The biggest disadvantage is that for half of the day, the panels are facing the wrong way.
Solar panel fencing can potentially serve in a number of scenarios. Business premises can use it for demarcation and/or as an advertising carrier at the same time. Homeowners can use them as garden fence while farming businesses can supply electric fences with it.
What Are Solar Panel Fences?
Solar panel fences are a paticular type of dual-purpose solar power system. They enclose properties and buildings and produce solar power at the same time. They can be used in private homes, as well as around commercial or industrial properties and agricultural businesses.
When installing a solar panel fence, PV modules are mounted vertically on special brackets and connected together to form a wall. Like other PV systems, they then collect sunlight and turn it into electricity.
INFO: The modules of a solar panel fence are mounted at square angles. That means that their incidence angle to the sun is not optimal. However, solar panel fences are irradiated from both sides, which partly compensates for unfavorable incidence angles. Therefore, the use of bifacial modules is highly recommended.
Solar Panel Fence – Pros & Cons
A solar panel fence is distinct from rooftop or normal ground-mounted solar power systems in several aspects. Therefore, it also offers unique features that are desirable in certain situations. Whether a solar fence is the right approach in a solar solution depends on the requirements of the project. Both advantages and disadvantages should be considered to decide whether a solar panel fence is suitable.
Advantages of Solar Panel Fences
- Multiple purposes
- No extra space required
- Sunlight exposure from both sides
- Can be combined with electric fences
- Aesthetic design
Like solar canopies or solar carport solutions, solar panel fences have the advantage that no additional space is needed. They only occupy the area that would have been needed for the fence in the first place. Thus, it is is a space-saving method to produce solar power. Another distinct advantage is that they serve multiple purposes other than generating electricity.
Solar fences can be used in private gardens or businesses to demarcate the property. Furthermore, they can serve as noise barrier on highways or as power generator for an attached electric fence. Businesses can have aesthetic custom designs made for their solar fences and put their logo or advertisements on it if desired.
Solar Glass Fencing
Our CdTe-based solar glass provides a powerful and cost-effective solutions for solar fencing projects. We have a broad selection of glass types available, from conventional non-transparent modules to colored ones with varying transmittance. Discover our solar glass solutions »
Solar Panel Fence Disadvantages
While solar panel fences offer distinct advantages, they also have some drawbacks. These disadvantages should be looked at closely before deciding to deploy a solar fence.
- Unfavorable incidence angle
- More expensive
- More prone to shadows
Due to being mounted vertically, solar fences have a slightly worse incidence angle than normal solar systems. Using bifacial modules does not always solve this problem. After all, a fence is usually in a lower position than a rooftop system. That means that the fence could potentially catch more shadows (for example from small trees or houses nearby) and be less efficient as a consequence.
Because of this, solar panel fences sometimes yield slightly less electricity than other solar power systems. Therefore, they should be deployed in locations that have as few obstacles to sunlight as possible.
Applications for Solar Fences
Solar Fence Applications
- Residential garden fences
- Property fencing
- Noise barriers
- Privacy screens
- Livestock farming (poultry fence, dog fence, etc.)
- Combined with electric fence
Similar to solar canopies and building integrated photovoltaics, solar fences are versatile in use and can serve multiple purposes. Therefore, there are a variety of scenarios that a solar fence solution can be used for.
Residential fences are a great choice for homeowners who want to maximize solar power production or can’t install a rooftop system. Furthermore, solar panels can be integrated with noise barriers to produce power from highways, reducing their carbon footprint. PV fencing solutions are also an interesting option for commercial applications especially agricultural businesses.
Electric Solar Fences & Other Farming Uses
Solar fences may be used on agricultural businesses as well. One way to make use of agricultural PV fencing is to combine it with electric fences. In this instance, the solar fence feeds a solar energiser for electric metal fence installations.
For this purpose, solar powered energisers are required to allow electric fences to receive the solar power. Dual power energisers can be fed either directly from the produced solar electricity or it can be battery powered.
The AS1 is a great choice as a stand alone battery for solar fencing solutions. It has it’s own integrated inverter and is suitable for all common battery energisers.
The battery’s chemistry is based on lithium for maximum safety and a high cycle rate. Charging and discharging times can be flexibly set based on local peak and off-peak electricity periods.
Charging and discharging times can be flexibly set based on local peak and off-peak electricity periods to minimize energy bills. Three different operating modes are available for that purpose.
- Stand alone home battery
- Integrated inverter
- Lithium-ion battery
- Optimal for energy arbitrage
- Smart energy management
- Storage capacity: 5.1kWh
- Life cycles: ≥6000
Aesthetic PV Fencing With Solar Glass
Due to it’s aesthetic properties, thin film solar glass is a particularly suitable material for solar fencing solutions. It allows for customized logos and/or paintings to be imprinted on the PV modules without significant loss of efficiency. Businesses can use PV fences to demarcate their premises and put their logo or other forms of advertisement on it.
Thanks to thin film technology, PV modules can be designed with custom optics and drawings. Thus, solar glass fences can also serve as an aesthetic improvement to it’s surroundings and increase property value this way.
Our solution provides a visually very appealing and high-quality version specifically developed for public and corporate buildings. There is also a simpler version, designed for assembly and material efficiency. For the foundation, both a masonry installation and a pile-driven foundation are possible. Fence posts and fence gates are integrated in the solution.
Discover Your Solar Power Solution Today
Our solar fencing solutions adapt to almost any terrain shape. They can be quickly installed on the surface with only a few connections.
Our PV fences stand out through a long service life. They are designed to meet high static requirements, especially those resulting from wind loads.
Book a discovery call to start developing your solar fencing project with us today.