Solar Panels for Shed

solar panels for shed

There are several reasons why you should consider a solar panel for shed use. Maybe you have a shed on your property, and using it is a regular part of your weekly routine. It does not matter what you choose to do with your shed. One element remains the same with all of them. You are almost definitely going to need some form of power for it whether it is for lighting, for tool use, or even to power a fridge.

You might even want to use your shed as the foundation for a large-scale solar array that is designed to cover as much of your home electricity costs as possible. We want to make you aware of how you can do all of this using solar cells. This is probably going to be the most effective way to access the power you need without having to worry about any further energy costs. Read on to find out why solar might be the best option for bringing your shed or home to life. 

Solar Power for a Shed

Solar panels for shed use can cover a wide variety of different needs, but the first stop on your solar panel travels must be determining precisely what those needs are with pinpoint accuracy. Are you looking to power your shed exclusively, or are you hoping to power your home using your shed? Maybe your goal is even to boost an existing solar array by adding more panels to your shed and enhancing power production.

Regardless of what your goal is, it is important that you set a marker in the sand and decide exactly why you want to make use of this technology and why you want to combine it with your shed. For most people, this is all going to be a very simple undertaking.

The most important electrical feature of any garden shed is typically a light. This is because there is usually no built-in lighting in shed units and because they are very dark places internally even with small windows.

So, the first logical reason why you would want to install solar panels is to ensure that you have an efficient way of lighting the shed. This can be done with a very small solar panel. The installation of which will probably set you back roughly $100.

You will need a small solar kit for shed installation to achieve this end result, and it carries none of the complications of a larger array like planning permits, etc. The complications start to arise when you decide to cater to more electrical use.

In conjunction with lights, the second most important feature of the majority of sheds is the ability to be able to power tools as sheds are easily the most popular location (next to garages) for working on DIY projects. If this is your goal, then you need to be prepared to spend a little more money like anywhere up to and around $3,000. This is simply because of the enhanced energy demands versus a simple light bulb, which requires very little power.

From here, complications and costs can elevate even further if you are looking to use your shed as the main structure on which to house a solar installation that will supply your household energy needs.

The first complication is due to size. The average household needs anywhere from 7000 to 11000 watts of electricity per year. This means that your solar cell array must be big enough for that usage, which in turn means your shed needs to be big enough to place it on.

The second complication is cost. As it probably goes without saying that with a solar shed installation of this type, you are then diving into the territory of a full-scale solar array and the financial outlay that comes with it, which is anywhere from $7000 to $17000 on average.

You should establish precisely how many panels you want to meet your needs regardless of what those needs are. Once you have done this, you have the right starting foundation to develop your project.

How Do I Know If My Shed Is Suitable for Solar Panels?

First, we will share the good news. If you are just looking to power a light bulb and provide some much-needed visibility to the interior space of your shed, then suitability is not really an issue because the solar panel you will need will be so small that it will fit on top of pretty much any shed roof.

The only element that you will need to worry about here is whether or not your shed is facing the right direction to be able to maximise photon ray absorption from the sun. Any potential difficulties start to come in to play when you need to upscale the size of your panels to accommodate a higher energy demand.

Solar panels for shed roofs obviously must be numerous enough to reach the right level of wattage for the sockets contained within the shed itself, and the only way to get this part right is by measuring precisely what your wattage requirements are.

Once you have done this, you should know exactly how many panels are necessary to meet the demands based on their capacity. Then, your only issue is going to be determining whether or not your shed roof actually has enough space to accommodate them. If it does, it is a simple case of erecting the installation and putting the wiring in place.

You will follow the exact same process if you are looking to power your home using the solar panels on your shed. The difference here is that it probably goes without saying that your shed will need to be of a considerable size to meet the installation space requirements.

Regardless of the route you wish to go down, make sure that for medium to large solar arrays, you have had your shed roof inspected to ensure that it can cope with the weight capacity of the panels in conjunction with checking your wattage requirements. 

Installing Solar Panels on a Shed

Installing a solar panel for sheds or an array of panels is not as complicated as it may seem. If you invest a little time and patience, you are probably completely capable of performing a home installation.

The first step is getting the right parts as follows.

  • One RCD
  • An energy saving bulb along with a bracket
  • Amp cable of 2 metres or more
  • A solar charge controller
  • Enough photovoltaic solar panels to meet your requirements
  • A power inverter rated higher than the items being utilised
  • 20–30 wire connectors
  • Mains cable
  • Switched fuses
  • A battery
  • Spade connectors x 8
  • Wall sockets
  • Some 3a twin cable

Once you have all of the above in place, it is time to start the installation process.

  • Step #1 – Mount the Solar Panels

Attach the solar panels to a frame like steel pipes, for example. Then, proceed to drill the frames into the roof housing.

  • Step #2 – Mount the Charge Controller

Attach the charge controller to one of the inside shed walls. Connect the solar panel to the controller at the spot with a picture of a solar panel above it, and hook up the controller to your battery using an amp cable.

  • Step #3 – Wire the Inverter and Fuse

Use an amp cable, and attach the inverter to the battery. Then, connect the amp cable to the switched fuses.

  • Step #4 – Wire the Sockets

From the fuses, run the mains cable to your chosen socket, which should already be mounted to the wall.

  • Step #5 – Wire the Lights

Fix your light housing and bulb to the interior shed roof, and wire it into the circuit using 3a twin cable. With all of the above in place, you should then be ready to power up your new solar installation and start benefiting from it.

Conclusion

Integrating solar power for shed use or any other type of small building can be a really impactful way of meeting your home-based energy demands without having to change the appearance of your property or the land surrounding it.

It is also worth using solar panels to avoid having to draw from your main energy resources, which will cost more money and time in the form of having to install the appropriate wiring to make it work.

Once in place, solar is going to allow you to keep your shed in an “always on” state that depends only on itself. If you are only looking to power the lighting, then this is going to be a very cheap and upfront process that will save you considerable amounts of money in the long term.

Even if you opt for a larger shed-based system, it will end up being a massive money-saving exercise once the initial installation costs have been covered. You will benefit from it for up to 25 years if you invest in the right array.

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