Solar carports are a simple and cost-effective way to utilize spaces that are already being used to park vehicles and they provide an easy way to generate additional power for numerous purposes. These amazingly simple structures are very valuable!
Versatility is a great word to describe this relatively new concept. Think of it this way: there are miles and miles of parking lots across the U.S. and many countries around the globe. When the sun beats down onto the concrete or asphalt, an amazing amount of heat is generated, but to what end? Why not utilize the sun's energy for something productive?
Building simple steel structures up and over the parking lots and outfitting those structures with side-by-side solar panels is an effective way to capture the sun's energy and then utilize it for things like:
Carports with solar panels naturally provide shelter for vehicles from the weather elements like snow and rain.
The solar panels installed on the carports are tilted to just the right angle for your location in order to optimize the sunlight and energy gathered by the panels each day.
They're the ideal solution for generating power without taking up additional square footage or acreage. Building the structures up and over take up no land and are economically efficient.
Solar panels can be added to existing carports or covered parking structures to provide an additional power source for nearby buildings or lights.
The metal structure constructed to support the solar panels is literally self-sufficient and require no maintenance to keep them in excellent working condition, so once they're up you won't have to pay someone to maintain them.
The initial investment to install solar panels on carports and to construct the supports for the solar panels is expensive. Large companies may be able to add this amazing technology to their parking lots, but it will be some time before this solar technology will be affordable to the average size company.
What happens when the sun doesn't shine and no energy is being generated? Depending on your geographic location, you will want to factor in the inevitability that there will be days when the sun won't shine and no energy will be generated. Factoring in the cost of utilizing alternative power sources for your needs must also be considered.
Homeowners can purchase do-it-yourself kits to make the most of an existing carport or to build their own. The cost is around $40,000 to $45,000 with an additional installation cost of around $7,000.
Even if you plan to install it yourself, you need to factor in the cost of a professional electrician coming out to make sure everything is connected properly. Tax incentives or rebates could potentially give you a financial break of $18,000 to $21,000.
Check with your local governing body to first see if you're permitted to add the carport and solar panels and then inquire about any local tax incentives or rebates that might be available.
Is this innovative technology available to the average consumer? Most people would say no given that the cost, even after tax breaks and incentives, is somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000. That's equivalent to a sizable down payment on a home or the purchase of a brand new car for the average consumer.
Can you see how beneficial and cost effective solar carports could be for metropolitan areas of the world? Innovative solar technologies are consistently designed and presented as viable options and it looks like this could be one of the most beneficial moving forward in a greener world.
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