Solar Panel Patio Cover (Awesome Options)
Solar panel patio covers have many different names. However, solar pergolas, solar gazebos, and solar carpools are essentially the same thing, no matter which name you call them.
However, solar panel patio covers are more than just a patio roof with solar panels.
Solar panel patio covers can provide shade, power, lights, and whatever else you need your outdoor space to be. They’re:
- Benefits of solar patios
- Cost of a solar gazebo
- Solar patio designs
- DIY solar patios
Solar panel patio covers can take any backyard to the next level in power and design. This two-in-one design is a great use of space.
What Is a Solar Panel Patio Cover?
Patios are like another room in your home where you and your family can enjoy the outdoors. Solar patio covers are like roofs to your deck, providing shade and keeping the rain off so you can enjoy late summer thunderstorms.
A solar panel patio cover by extension is a patio cover with solar panels incorporated into its design, either sitting on top of the patio or the roofing material itself.
You can use the power from the panels in plugs, batteries, and lights for whatever capacity your patio needs. A solar panel patio cover is also a great option if solar panels cannot go on your roof, hooking into your home’s electricity and providing power.
Alternatively, a solar panel patio cover is an excellent option to extend your home’s power supply. Solar panel patio covers can cover the outdoor living area of your home, provide power, and look great.
They can save tons of money over time and is a great way to add value to your home, either as an addition to roofing solar panels or as a separate power supply.
How Much Does a Solar Gazebo Cost?
While buying solar panels is worth it over time, the upfront cost is nothing to sneer at. For example, regular patio covers can cost about 3,000. Add about ten grand then you’ll have a rough idea of how much a 3kW solar system would be.
And if you want more power, it only scales up from there, requiring bigger pergolas and more solar panels, which increases the cost as the systems scale up.
A 5kW solar panel system would require about a 5,000 patio cover and 15,000 to buy and install the solar panels. A 12kW system would equate to a 12,000 patio cover and roughly 36,000 for the solar panels.
As you can see, the scale with the amount of power you want to generate. A 12 kW system would be enough to power most of your small essential appliances, but it won’t power your whole home.
Smaller systems are good enough to power laptops, lights, small electrical appliances, cars, and whatever else you might need for the outdoors. You should pick a system that will supply your power needs without overdoing it.
Different Solar Panel Patio Cover Designs
There are two rules all solar pergolas need to follow. One, they need to be slanted. Precipitation needs to slide off the solar panels so it doesn’t affect their efficiency. And two, solar panels need direct sunlight for most of the day.
You can use the solar panels as the roofing material of your pergola, giving it a more exciting interior. You can have it manufactured out of wood, metal, or whatever other material you want to use; grow plants along the side as long as they don’t block the sunlight to the panels.
If you follow these two rules, you should have no problems with your solar patio cover, making the sky the limit.
Whatever outdoor space you can dream up, you can incorporate. You can even have the solar panels placed atop the pergola roof and surprise visitors with the news that everything on your back porch is solar powered.
However, if you choose to design your pergola, ensure you plan on the electrical system requirements of the solar panels, such as a place to store power and wires with an electrical box.
But if you’re designing your solar pergola from scratch, it shouldn’t be too difficult to plan for these necessary electrical components. If you’re not creating from scratch, you can probably make do with your current patio cover, especially if you’re redoing the entire space.
Can You Put Solar Panels on an Existing Patio Cover?
Yes, you can, but only if your existing cover meets all the requirements. For one, it needs to be slanted. This is because solar panels require a slant to work correctly.
Two, it needs to be able to handle the weight of the solar panels. This isn’t an issue most of the time, but if your pergola is old and shaky, it most likely won’t stand up to heavy panels.
You can skirt this issue using lighter panels such as flexible solar panels. However, they won’t produce as much power as the heavier solar panels.
And the final requirement is the amount of space available for the solar panels. It’s best if your existing pergola is a standard size such as 17X17 or other standard sizes. If your pergola has an unusual shape or is too small a roof space, it’s not worth putting in solar panels.
Pretty much any patio cover attached to the roof of the house fulfills these requirements, and using an existing patio cover has its advantages.
Existing Patio Cover Pros
Since the patio cover already exists, you only need to install the solar system on top of your patio to get the benefits. In addition, you can use most patio covers for solar systems; they only need to meet the requirements above.
Using an existing patio cover cuts down on costs, and you can still take advantage of the solar panel’s electricity. In addition, it’s quicker to install the panels and the appliances or lights you want electricity to power.
Existing patio covers save both money and time for solar panels.
Existing Patio Cover Cons
However, existing patio covers do have some drawbacks. For one, you’re integrating solar panels onto an existing structure, meaning you’ll have to make some modifications to make things look good.
Also, when you’re installing solar panels onto an existing pergola, you have less choice when it comes to design. For example, solar panels as roofing is an excellent way to make the space enjoyable. However, you don’t have that option with existing patio covers.
Besides the design, you have fewer options for wiring and power storage. It might not matter much if you’re just installing a carpool, but if you want your outdoor living space to look nice, you’ll have to do some serious planning and maybe change the existing pergola to suit your needs.
Can You Build a Solar Panel Patio Cover?
Yes, you can if you have the skills needed to build your pergola and wire and electrical system. Unfortunately, solar companies don’t sell kits to create solar panel patio covers, so you’ll have to do that yourself.
However, if you have the technical know-how and the correct building permits, nothing stops you from installing your solar panels and wiring them yourself. The same goes for the pergola. You just need to have the licenses and skills to build it.
And of course, you also need the materials. Since you won’t be able to purchase a solar patio cover kit, you’ll have to build it yourself.
DIY Solar Panel Patio Cover
In general, solar panel patio cover kits need six things:
- Solar panels
- DC/AC inverters
- MPPT Charge Converter
- Patio Cover
To start with, solar panels. You must decide how many to install based on the patio cover’s dimensions and load. Most patio covers can support about 300 lbs, equating to about five or six solar panels.
However, if you want to cut down on the weight, you can use flexible solar panels instead. They’re not as efficient as total solar panels, but they’re cheaper and cost less, perfect for patio covers.
There should be enough wiring for the entire system, plus whatever you want to hook up to the system. Of course, you’ll have to do your calculations, as it varies by patio cover and system sizes.
The DC/AC inverters convert DC electricity from the solar panels into AC electricity, making it usable for most electronics. Microinverters are ideal because they minimize the loss of efficiency and immediately transform the electricity from the solar panels, making them easier to work with.
If you’re going to use your solar panels to charge batteries, you’ll need an MPPT charge adapter. It takes the electricity from the panels and effectively distributes them to batteries. It’s necessary to prevent overloading the batteries and distribute the charge between batteries.
Next, you’ll need batteries to store the electricity from the solar panels. You can use whatever batteries you’d like, from unused car batteries to batteries specialized for solar power or just generalized batteries for storing electricity.
What’s important is that you have enough batteries to use and store all the electricity you use and collect from the solar panels.
The amount of power you use determines the size of your solar arrays, and the amount of energy your solar arrays generate determines the size and number of batteries you need.
And finally, you’ll need a patio cover that fulfills the requirements. It needs to hold the weight of the panels, hold wiring, and house the charge controller and batteries. It needs to be slanted and in a spot that gets a lot of sunshine.
Can Solar Panels Be Installed on an Alumnawood Patio Cover?
Yes, however, you’ll have to order the panels separately and hire a separate installer. Alumnawood doesn’t incorporate solar patio covers into its portfolio.
They don’t offer installation, so you’ll have to specify that you want solar panels installed during the patio cover manufacturing process.
You’ll have to coordinate a custom job with a slanted patio cover roof from Alumawood with the solar panel installer to get the solar panel patio cover of your dreams.
If you have an existing pergola from them, it should be fine for solar panels as long as it meets the requirements.
What Is a Solar Awning?
Solar awnings are different from solar panel patio covers in that they are awnings meant to roll up and out to provide shade. There are two different definitions of solar awnings.
One is an awning that runs with its solar panel. The awnings extend and retract automatically using solar power.
The second is awnings lined with solar panels that provide shade and generate power. However, they don’t generate that much electricity, so the technology isn’t quite there yet.
New Technology: Solar Blinds
Solar blinds are regular blinds lined with solar panels. When set at the window, they collect power from the sun and then convert it to electricity.
This technology is still in its nascent stages, but chances are we’ll see them hit the market in the next couple of years.
What Is a Transparent Solar Panel?
Transparent solar panels are just what they sound like-solar panels that light passes through. However, it may seem like an oxymoron, as solar panels need to absorb sunlight to produce electricity.
However, transparent solar panels don’t absorb light. Or at least visible light. Transparent solar panels look and act like glass but absorb invisible light like infrared and UV light to produce electricity.
It means you can get all the sunshine you want without dangerous UV rays and absorb power simultaneously.
Benefits When Combined with Solar Patio Covers
If you use transparent solar panels in patio covers, you’re getting all the benefits of sunlight with the harmful UV light and generating power. You can create a sunbathing paradise, a seedling room, whatever you want or need sunlight for.
You can even incorporate it into the overall design of your solar pergola by placing power-generating skylights, getting the best of both worlds.
Which solar panel brands are the most popular?
Some of the most popular solar panel brands on the market these days are:1. LG 2. SunPower3. Panasonic4. Silfab5. Canadian Solar6. JinkoSolar7. Trina Solar8. Q Cells
What can solar power be used for?
Solar power can be used for almost anything that requires electrical power, from TVs to fridges and other household appliances. However, any appliances with an element, such as a geyser or kettle, require a massive amount of electricity to function, and so you’ll need a hefty solar system to run this kind of appliance.
What to know before buying solar panels?
There are several questions to ask yourself before buying solar panels, including:1. What is your budget?2. How much power do you need?3. Are you looking to supplement your electricity usage or replace it?4. Your location (how much sun do you get daily?)5. Also, knowing about the various available solar brands and a little about the installation process will be a great help too.
Which solar panel is best for the home?
This depends on your needs and your budget, but most users agree that LG electronics make some of the best solar panels out there. SunPower is superior in its panel efficiency, while Canadian Solar is some of the best solar panels for the money.
Which brand is The best portable solar Panel?
When it comes to portable solar, some of the brands leading the market are:1. Bluetti 2. Jackery Solar 3. Renogy 4. Ecoflow 5. Goal Zero
Are there any solar brands based in the USA?
Certainly! US brands are making some great panels these days. Some of these brands include:1. LG Solar 2. Tesla3. Sunrun4. Auxin Solar5. Convalt energy
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Solar panels for pergola: Electric patio
If you have a pergola or ever wanted to build one, why not pair it with solar panels? A solar pergola is 1) a reduction in your electric bill; 2) a unique and stylish home design choice; 3) a fun DIY project to try. In this article we’ll dive into the subject of choosing solar panels for a pergola.
Three reasons to build a solar pergola
Designing a solar pergola: Weight over size
Pergolas come in all shapes and sizes, so the number of panels that you’ll be able to fit on top of it may vary. The limitation might not be the size of your system but its weight: a pergola by itself is not designed to withstand heavy loads. The average weight of a solar panel ranges from 35 to 70 lb. The weight per ft² can range from 2 to 3 lb.
There is a difference between building a solar pergola from scratch and putting panels on an existing one. You might have to reinforce an old pergola before adding panels to it. New construction can give you perfect positioning and angle. In the US panels should face south and the angle can be equal to your latitude or set between 30° and 45°. Note that the further your solar pergola is going to be from your house, the higher are energy losses.
Don’t forget to apply for a 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit. In this situation you can include the cost of the pergola in the installation cost since it’s effectively serving as the racking for a ground-mount solar array.
While there are string inverters that are rated for outdoor use, consider using micro inverters in this case. These small devices are attached to individual panels from behind, converting direct current into alternating. They are more efficient and deal with shading better. Note that they’ll add weight to your system. Each micro inverter weighs about 2-3 lb.
You can hide micro inverters and the cabling into the racking of a trelliswork roof. When a solar pergola is assembled, all you need to do is contact your utility to join a net metering program. They will install a small metering device that will keep track of the energy you export to the grid.
Choosing solar panels for pergola: Aesthetics over power
People often choose bifacial solar panels for a pergola. While bifacial modules provide higher production because of their active rear side, the reason is mostly aesthetical. An array of bifacial panels resemble a glass roof. When you look up, it’s more pleasant to look at than a plastic back sheet of standard panels. Here are a few brands that you might like.
Aptos Solar is a young American brand, but the high quality and appeal of their panels is beyond any doubt. Despite a relatively smaller product line, Aptos offers a few models that are perfect for a backyard solar panel pergola. Aptos Solar engineers make connectors ultra thin so that they don’t shade solar cells and don’t spoil the looks of a panel.
Trina Solar holds 21 world records related to solar efficiency. They also don’t overlook the aesthetic side of their products. Besides, Trina Solar is a Chinese manufacturer and their panels are more affordable than those made in North America.
Q CELLS is a brand with a great reputation that brought lots of innovations to the solar industry. For example, Q.ANTUM technology made the panels perform better in low-light conditions. It has a wide selection of panels, including bifacial modules.
Sprinter Roof Deck Panels
Pat. Pending. Free Shipping to the lower 48 states Introducing the Orion Van Gear Modular Sprinter Roof Deck Panels. The van world’s first modular roof deck panel system for 10 series 2 x 1 crossbars! Six different-sized panels are designed to give all Stealth Sprinter Roof Rack owners a roof deck option no matter what their roof configuration looks like. These panels work on all three Sprinter wheelbases: 144, 170, and 170 EXT. Panels are sold individually so you can mix and match, but we also have pre-configured bundles. Step 1: Design your roof layout and determine which panels fit best. Determine crossbar spacing by subtracting 2 from the length of each panel. See the 144 example below. Step 2: Add the desired quantity of each panel to your cart. Step 3:Email us to verify that the panel configuration works. If you already have appliances (fan, AC, or hatch) mounted to your roof then please also include the model name/number of each AND the following measurements:
- For rear-mounted appliances: Distance from the rear plug to the rear edge of the appliance.
- For forward-mounted appliances: Distance from the front seam to the front edge of the appliance.
- The distance between all roof appliances measured above.
- The Most Adjustable DIY Sprinter Roof Deck System
- Made from Strong Lightweight Aluminum and Finished w/ a Durable UV Resistant Powder Coating
- 6 Mix Match Panel Sizes
- Works Around Fans and Most AC Units
- Includes S trategically Placed L-track Compatible Mounting Holes
- Compatible with our Drop Down Solar Brackets and all other accessories
- Stainless Steel Hardware is Included
- Easy Installation
- Proudly Made in Oregon
- FREE SHIPPING to the lower 48 states
Panels come in six different sizes to maximize compatibility in different combinations. Whether you want a full platform, a partial deck, or only one panel, it is now possible to easily customize your own roof deck. They sit flush with the top edge of the rack to maintain aerodynamics and improve usability.
All panels come with strategically placed L-track compatible mounting holes, so you can safely and securely strap down your gear and hit the road! Panels install directly to the crossbars with included hardware. We only use the very best hardware, which in this case, consists of stainless steel bolts and stainless steel drop-in spring-loaded T-nuts so you don’t need to remove your crossbars to install.
Installation of the Sprinter Roof Deck Panels is quick and easy and doesn’t require drilling any holes in your van. It’s one of the easiest DIY Sprinter upgrades you can do yourself, and the amount of extra usability they provide is second to none. Each panel comes with easy-to-follow instructions and only takes a few minutes to install. They can easily be moved or adjusted at any time by loosening a few bolts.
- Panel A. 21.75 L x 26.25” W
- Panel B. 28.5 L x 17.5” W (for Maxxair Fan)
- When 2 are mounted next to a Maxxair fan, the opening is : 26.5L x 35.9 W
- When 2 are mounted next to an AC, the opening is : 26.5L x 35.9 W
- Dometic RTX 1000 / 2000, Tern Overland Hatch
- When 2 are mounted next to an AC, the opening is: 35L x 38.5 W
- Nomadic X3 / 2000 / 3000, Velit AC
Compatible on all racks with 2 x 1 8020 extruded aluminum crossbars. Designed for the width of our sprinter rack when using multiple panels. Determine crossbar spacing by subtracting 2 from the length of each panel. Each panel sits 1 over each side of a crossbar.
If you need help configuring your deck please contact us.
Start your Saint-Tropez feeling today
Feel like you’re on holiday and enjoy a very special feeling under your new patio roof.
Your self-generated electricity is consumed in your own home, ensuring you save 50-90% of your electricity costs. The sun does not send a bill!
Transparent solar modules make the perfect shade. No additional sunshades or awnings are necessary.
Protection against the weather
Protect your garden furniture from sun, hail, rain and snow by using your elegant patio roof.
Grill party GO!
It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining and you want shade or whether it is raining and hailing, your patio roof you give you a suitable protection.
Generate your own electricity
Pull the plug on the electricity price increases and make yourself independent from energy suppliers by using your own supply of electricity.
Become your own electricity generator now.
You can save up to 90% of your electricity costs with a solar patio roof.
Your solar patio roof is financed solely by the sun’s rays. A direct electricity current is generated on the solar energy roof through transmitted light, which is converted by an inverter into alternating current, thus the current from our socket.
The electricity is used in the household first, such as running the washing machine, dishwasher, and household technology. The surplus electricity is fed into the electricity grid and is guaranteed by law for more than 20 years.
We give your garden a nice ambience.
Your new patio roof experience begins with an idea. You will find numerous innovative and inspirational ideas for your garden using our online catalogue.
You will be sent an individual quotation including a profit review online instantly by email.
The electricity produced is first consumed in the house itself and only the surplus electricity is fed into the grid. You will receive the turnkey ready assembly from a single source.
By contributing to climate protection, you save electricity costs.
The photo gallery provides you with initial ideas. We are happy to bring our new roof patio to your home. Sign up here free of charge for our online Webinar with live demonstration.
You will be sent an individual offer including a profit overview in the online planner instantly by email.
Making use of the sun’s rays and thereby saving your own electricity costs
If it is unbearably hot on the terrace in the summer, a canopy can provide the necessary shade. With a solar patio roof you can kill two birds with one stone: a cool and shaded peaceful area is created under the patio roof and the solar glass converts the incoming sunlight into electricity.
With the electricity generated there you can do your washing, blow-dry your hair or watch a movie on TV. All electrical appliances in the home can easily be powered by solar power. If you happen to own an electric vehicle, it can also be charged by the solar electricity generated by the canopy.
If you do not consume all the electricity generated by the solar patio roof, it will be fed into the public electricity grid, thus reducing your electricity bill. The solar panels thus provide excellent sun protection while at the same time being so transparent that it is not too dark underneath them. The modules are, for example, safe from hail and yet so robust that they can be accessed even for maintenance.
Your desired style and personal taste dictates the material
If you want to mount a solar patio roof on your patio you can choose between a structure made of wood or aluminium. Wood is the building material most commonly used. The natural material creates a cosy and warm atmosphere on your patio.
The wooden structure made of spruce or pseudotsuga laminated wood is extremely stable and particularly suitable for higher spans. At the plant, we offer final treatment with a varnish or opaque paint, such that every patio roof ends up a unique look which is adapted to your house.
If you call a modern house in Bauhaus style your own, patio roofs made of aluminium will fit perfectly. Your terrace will have a modern and at the same airy appearance with them.
A canopy roof in aluminium is not only very stable, but scores points simultaneously due to its relatively delicate appearance and a low-maintenance and weatherproof surface. However, the raw aluminium material is €500. €800 more expensive than our wood finishes in laminated wood.
The aluminium profiles receive a high-quality powder coating and are available in more than 1,625 RAL colours. Aluminium is highly resistant to weather and other environmental influences, does not rust and does not need further care.
We also offer a low-cost kit with our premium solar glass for the patio roof made of aluminium. You can build your new sunscreen on your patio by yourself with a little technical skill. You will find a first impression of aluminium patio as a kit here.
Your canopy in the corner, as a wall-mounted or freestanding entity?
While most patio roofs nestle in the house with wall purlins, there is the solar patio roof in addition, which comes as a freestanding canopy. This means that the assembly could also be used for a non-structural façade for a number of different reasons.
We offer a patio roof in different sizes made from different materials according to your own wishes. It is stably positioned on the ground with a point foundation (30 cm x 30 cm and 80 cm deep) and usually anchored to the house, so you are completely protected from hot sun rays, rain and other effects of weathering.
Since such a patio roof is wind and weatherproof, the garden furniture can simply be left outside when the weather is bad. If the patio is completely covered, the roof not only offers protection from the scorching heat of the sun’s rays during the day, but retains the heat for longer periods in the evening. So, you can enjoy evenings outdoors for even longer and prolong the summer so to speak. You can also have a suitable heat radiator delivered to you on request.
The solar patio roof thereby adapts to the size and shape of your house: does your terrace stretch around corners alongside the two sides of the house? This is also no problem for the patio roof. You can either protect a part of the roof or the whole patio roof around the corner of the roof.
The amount of electricity generated by the patio roof is a function of the size of the area that you wish to cover. The more surface area available, the greater the total area of the installed solar modules. and hence the amount of electricity thereby produced.
Select the freestanding canopy roof, it acts like an airy pavilion and can be erected in the garden completely independently of the house.