Solar power offers the potential to easily power buildings and homes without worrying about running out resources and contributing to global warming. When many people think about solar power, they think about solar panels on the roof. However, new solar car canopies provide another possibility for bringing renewable energy to homes and businesses.
What is a Solar Car Canopy?
A solar car canopy is simply a car canopy that has solar panels on the roof. It uses the same solar photovoltaic (PV) technology used in solar panels installed on roofs or used in solar plants. Solar panels can provide a significant portion of a building’s electricity needs, up to 100 percent. Solar power can be used anywhere, and the PV technology offers versatility that can be installed anywhere that can fit the panels. Typically, a solar car canopy needs to be built from scratch, as opposed to just adding solar panels to an existing roof.
Solar parking canopies have a dual purpose: generate power and protect your car. They feature solar panels on the roof structure to draw in the solar energy and convert it to electricity for the surrounding area, building, or home. They also protect the car from inclement weather and provide shading, just like any other car canopy. These panels do not just work in sunny, warm weather. They can withstand winter snow load, control the water runoff, and work through any type of weather. However, you will have to ensure that you purchase a canopy that is made to work with your climate. Additionally, solar car canopies help reduce the effects of heat islanding, which is what happens when the heat absorbed by the concrete and asphalt areas are released into the air at night. This can alter weather conditions, especially in large urban areas.
Parking Lot Structures
Businesses and apartment buildings can add parking canopies in their parking lots or adjacent open areas that provide covered parking in addition to generating on-site solar electrical power. There are several companies offering large-scale parking lot canopies that provide protection for the vehicles and create a power plant for the business. Many businesses have turned to installing parking lot solar canopies because of certain downsides and limitations to installing solar panels on their roofs.
Personal Car Ports
For individuals, solar car canopies can provide a way to bring solar power to their home. They are perfect for those who do not have the space on the roof for solar panels due to HVAC equipment or other issues. The solar canopy allows users to have significant space for enough solar power panels to power their house, or at least offset a significant portion of the energy use. Although these canopies are mostly used as carports, they can also be used to create patios in the backyard.
Electric Vehicle Charging
Solar car canopies can work in combination with electric vehicle charging stations to create a true zero emissions ride. The electrical vehicle charging station can be powered by the solar car canopies. These canopies can be used in cities to provide residents a place to charge their cars, or smaller canopies can be used in the home of the vehicle owner to charge their car.
Many people do not have a garage, or have more cars than fit in their garage. When this happens, they often consider installing a carport or a canopy in order to protect their car from inclement weather. Instead of installing a typical car canopy, consider using a solar car canopy. It not only protects your car, but it also will provide energy to your home, offsetting your energy costs and carbon emissions. In time, the solar car canopies will pay for themselves, especially if you have an electric vehicle.
photo credit: Tatmouss