Scientists and engineers continue to pioneer new and effective means of converting to sustainable energy. While solar panels have been accessible for quite some time, they are now becoming increasingly affordable and efficient.
This makes them a worthwhile investment for many homes and businesses, but they are also gaining traction for barns as well. Solar barns avoid many of the pitfalls faced by standard grid-powered barns.
The use of solar converts them into high-utility spaces for a variety of needs, from event venues to additional workspaces. Is your barn a good candidate for solar panels?
To determine this, consider the following.
What Makes a Barn a Good Candidate for Solar Panels?
As with any type of property, some barns are more suited to solar utilization than others. As you evaluate your barn, be sure to consider:
On average, one commercial solar panel weighs around 50 pounds. For a system of average size (10kWh), that equates to more than 1,000 pounds, not including any array support, upgraded features, and other elements.
Barns that are good candidates for solar panels will be in well-maintained condition and capable of supporting this weight. Decayed roofing, insufficient framing, or an unstable foundation beneath the barn could compromise its suitability for solar installation.
Solar panels only work as well as nature allows them. If your barn is located in a shaded area that receives only an hour or two of direct sunlight each day, it may not be an ideal candidate for a solar array.
Optimal solar barns are located in an open area facing the sun for the majority of the day without interference. In some cases, trimming trees or relocating equipment that is blocking the barn from sunlight can resolve this issue.
Reliance on Utility Needs
Solar barns are often most effective for those whose barns currently have no power at all. Connecting a barn to municipal energy can mean investing in additional power poles and related expenses, which, depending on varying factors, can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Consider how much time, effort, and expense is associated with connecting the barn to electricity in other ways. In many instances, solar panels are more affordable, last longer, and offer greater convenience than alternatives; barns with few other options are good candidates.
Why Solar Panels Make Sense for Barns
Many barns make good candidates for the installation of solar panels especially when compared to municipal energy or generators. In addition to providing an option for energy access, solar panels make sense for barns for the following reasons:
The term “efficiency” regarding solar panels refers to how much sunlight the panels can convert to energy. Panels are now more efficient than ever, which means that barns equipped with a solar array will be producing greater energy output than they would have even ten years ago.
A barn can meet its needs with fewer solar panels at greater efficiency, removing the structure’s reliance on utility companies to supply necessary power. Many panels are producing greater than two times the energy from the same space compared to a few decades ago.
Operations that include barns can require substantial energy, from powering lights to supporting heat, brooder lamps, and more. When this energy is produced from a clean source such as solar, it is not contributing to fossil fuel use or carbon emissions as other options do.
Propane generators still produce fewer climate-harming emissions than gas options, but one gallon of propane is still responsible for more than 12 pounds of CO2 output.
Compare this to solar panels, which are a green option that is safe for the environment and does not produce noise or unpleasant smells.
Another advantage of solar panels is their longevity. A generator may need to be replaced every ten years, but solar arrays will continue to produce consistently for many years.
Most panels are equipped to last upwards of 30 years with maintenance such as occasional equipment checks and panel cleaning. As energy prices continue to increase, solar will continue to generate power at no cost.
Work with the Pros to Evaluate Your Barn for Conversion to Solar
Many barns can be good candidates for a solar installation, but it is best to work with solar installation professionals to understand what type of array is best suited for your needs.
The experts at Ipsun Solar remain on the cutting edge of solar technology and create customized strategies for each barn and building they work with to maximize efficiency and production. Contact Ipsun Solar to explore your solar barn options and get started on installation.