How To Add Electricity To Your Shed With Solar Kits
There are three ways to add electricity to your shed. The first is running wire or cable underground from your home. The second is using a noisy generator. And the third is adding solar kits and panels. But a lot of people ask, is solar worth it for my shed? We will go through five key questions to consider before going solar.
5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Adding Solar To Your Shed
1. How Much Power Do You Need For Your Shed?
Step one is figuring out how much power your structure needs. This will tell you how big of a solar kit you need. A low-cost, direct current (DC) solar system would suffice if you just want to add a few low-voltage lightbulbs. But if you’re going to power a combination of corded tools, TVs, fridges, computers, exercise equipment or fans–you will need a lot more energy. In this case, an alternating current (AC) system would be necessary and much more costly.
2. How Big Is Your Shed?
The roof also must be large enough to install the right amount of solar panels for your electrical needs. For example, if you need to power a mancave equipped with lighting, TVs, fridges and fans, you need a 600W solar kit, requiring six panels that need almost 45 ft2 of roof space.
3. Which Direction Does Your Roof Face?
In the northern hemisphere, south-facing roofs are best for solar panels because the sun’s path is always in the southern sky. East- and west-facing panels can work well too, but will produce less energy. If your shed is already in your yard, the direction the roof faces must be considered.
4. What Condition Is Your Shed?
The condition of your shed matters too. The roof and entire structure must be strong enough to take on the extra weight of the panels. If you add a new solar kit to an old, low-quality shed, you might need to replace your entire shed before the panels need replacing, creating the need for disruptive re-installation of your solar kit.
5. What Is Your Budget?
The initial cost of solar kits varies a lot. Small DC systems cost $100-200, while higher-end AC systems will cost thousands. Solar kits also vary in quality and warranties, so do your research! From a purely financial standpoint, bringing electricity from your house might be less expensive in the short term. But if your shed is a great distance from your home, it could be cheaper for you to add a solar kit. Solar kits are also eco-friendly and will have lower operating costs in the long term.
BONUS Question To Ask: What Permit Do You Need For Solar?
Depending on where you live, there are different application processes for solar permits. For residential solar projects in the City of Richmond, Virginia, there is a Solar Project Permit application and fee. So like many home improvement projects, check your municipality’s requirements before making a final decision.
Valley Structures Are Your Richmond Shed Experts
If you’re unsure which route to go to add electricity to your shed we would love to help. Valley Structures’ experienced staff can talk you through your project and recommend contractors and systems for your structure. We serve Richmond, Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, Winchester, and beyond. Contact us today!