Solar carport

Solar PV system
2024. April 24.

Solar carport

The benefits and potential challenges of an all-in-one solution.

 

Options for a solar carport

At first glance, it sounds too good to be true, because there are a number of advantages to a solar carport.

  1. It provides weather protection and cover for our cars.

  2. The PV modules are ideally oriented and the number of panels and thus the amount of energy produced can be flexibly scaled.

  3. An electric car charger can be installed directly at the entrance, powering your mobility with renewable energy and reducing your carbon footprint.

  4. We can cover otherwise unused parking spaces with solar panels, improving our use of space.

However, it is no coincidence that most solar companies are reluctant to build a professional solar carport. Without a proper survey, planning and skilled, professional construction, it's easy for a project to fail.

At SolarKit, we have built many complex and unique solar systems since 2018. End of the world island system with solar panel and diesel aggregator in the middle of the forest, Cordia condominium flat-roof hybrid projects with heat pump and batteries, Herendi Porcelain Manufactory with 600kWp peak power, Apple Campus like community centre in Golden Monastery, 10th floor of downtown office building. In practice, we now know the impossible, and our conscientiousness has always been unbroken.

However, we also start each solar carport project with a personalised consultation and individual design, as there are so many ways to implement the project. This is both an advantage and a challenge.

Solar carport

Questions to ask when installing a solar carport

How many vehicles do we want to cover with solar panels?

For family houses, we can easily find a "pre-fitted" 2-car garage cover structure, with a fixed number of solar panels installed in the frame. However, corporate customers may require a carport system suitable for up to several hundred cars. In such cases, we come with a modularly expandable solution, with as many support columns and solar panels as the customer needs.

What is the ideal layout?

The classic version of the solar carport provides cover for 2 cars parked side by side, but with the PV modules arranged in a V-shape, cars can be parked opposite each other, for example in front of a site or office building. Naturally keeping in mind the ideal orientation and tilt angle to maximize renewable energy production.

Driveway structure material and installation.

Metal, a timeless support structure cast in concrete, or a classic wooden driveway similar to a pergola. It all depends on the customer's preferences and budget.The goal is to build a timeless driveway with the best value for money. SolarKit has installed a range of prefabricated wooden driveways with solar panels. In addition, we have also installed metal-framed, steel-framed and aluminium-framed carports, where modular layout and scalability of solar panels are important.

Driveway cover

You can cover your carport with the solar panels themselves, but in this case the precipitation will seep in, as an expansion gap is left between the panels. Also, the back of most solar panels is covered with a thin layer of white plastic, and the wires are visible. These can be eliminated with aesthetic care and a special waterproofing profile. In addition, glass-glass or bifacial solar panels can look better and be more energy efficient when building a PV carport. It is also recommended that the enclosure is covered with, for example, sheet or shingle, so that any unwanted details of the solar panels are not visible and water sealing and drainage are also provided.

 

Napelemes kocsibeálló 2

Advantages of a solar carport

A lot of cars are parked on the streets of the world, in the driveways of family houses or in industrial areas. Partial coverage of these spaces with solar panels represents a superlative use of useful space, as renewable energy production and vehicle protection are achieved at the same time. The cars are exposed to less rain and dirt, no hail damage (solar panels are highly resistant even to harsh hail) and shade.If solar panels cannot be properly installed on the property, a carport is an excellent alternative, and car chargers can be installed to coordinate the PV system, so that the energy generated goes straight to the car battery. In this article we will cover home electric car charging in combination with solar panels in more detail.

A 15-panel, 2-car garage with 440Wp of solar panels can generate an average of 7,500kWh of electricity per year, equivalent to an annual electricity bill of half a million forints. It can therefore be seen that it is a financially sound investment, calculated over 20-25 years of operation.

A reference is the 60kWp SolarKit solar carport in Törökbálint ordered by Plantart. We are proud to have been entrusted with the modernisation of our site by a big name like Plantart Kft. Their love of plants fits in perfectly with SolarKit's eco-friendly mission. The contract will see a number of cars covered with solar panels, saving tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

Company-owned solar systems, in net metering or back-wattage accounting, are an environmentally conscious and fast-returning energy efficiency improvement investment. Contact our experts with confidence, as our team, with half a decade of experience and more than 3,500 solar thermal heat pump systems installed, is also one of Hungary's leading PV wholesalers.

 

Napelemes pergola

An increasingly common innovation in industrial solar farms is the so-called rotating or tracker ground support structure that can follow the path of the sun. This can stretch the production curve and increase energy production. And the extra costs of installation are offset by the kilowatt-hours generated by the efficiency gains. We've already written about ground-mounted support structures and solar PV systemsWe also build our solar carports in partnership with proven, quality support structure manufacturers.

Finally, we would like to mention solar terraces, pergolas, as they can be built following a similar logic as carports. They can provide a design and useful solution for your garden.

All in all, installing a solar carport is a decision that combines sustainability with practicality. However, it requires thorough research, planning and a professional team of contractors.