With the huge environmental challenges that we’re facing, it’s just about right that sustainability is at the forefront of our minds. And it’s assuring that many more individuals are now embracing solar power to generate electricity. Nowadays, solar panels are no longer confined to solar farms or on the rooftops of houses, but people are finding innovative applications such as using solar power for sheds.
A typical American home spends a substantial amount on electricity, and eliminating the costs of powering your shed using solar only makes a lot of sense. In this article, we’ll cover some practical considerations for integrating solar energy, answer some FAQs on solar power for sheds, and let you know your best options for solar power kits.
Does solar power for shed make sense?
Solar power is an advantage, especially if you use your shed as your workshop or man cave. Think of how much you can save on your energy bill when you don’t use the supply from the grid to power your tools and heavy equipment. Even if you only need some lights and occasionally plug in some electronics in your shed, running an extension cord from your home to your shed isn’t the best option because these cords aren’t meant for long-term or permanent use.
Benefits of Using Solar Power for Sheds
Save on Electricity Expenses
Although over half of electric costs for homes in the US are for heating and air conditioning, many households in the country use plenty of devices and equipment that can add to the power bill – and energy used in sheds is no exemption. By incorporating solar panels, you can significantly reduce, if not totally eliminate, the costs associated with powering your shed.
Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle
More than the dollars you can save, opting for solar power for your shed (or even your whole house!) aligns with a commitment to protecting the environment. You decrease your carbon footprint by utilizing a more sustainable energy source, contributing to a more eco-friendly community.
Solar panels are popular for their low-maintenance requirements, making solar power an even more attractive and hassle-free option for sheds.
In the United States, there are various financial incentives and rebates offered both by the federal government and states to encourage the adoption of solar power at the household level. For example, there is the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), a tax credit you can claim on federal income taxes for a percentage of installing a solar PV system.
So, although the purchase and installation of solar panels are relatively high, installing solar power for your shed is a positive return on investment.
Increased Property Value
In addition to the tax deduction and rebates, did you know that houses with solar installations have high property values? While the exact impact can vary, a solar system is a valuable asset in the real estate market.
Remote Power Access
For homes in remote areas, solar power for sheds offers a reliable and sustainable energy source. This is an advantage for individuals who use their sheds for purposes such as agriculture or outdoor activities in areas with difficult access to the main power grid.
How much solar power is needed to run a shed?
The amount of solar energy needed to power a shed depends on various factors, including your energy demands, locations, and the efficiency of the solar panels.
A small solar power kit will suffice if you primarily use your shed for storage. LED lights, which are energy efficient, can be powered by a modest solar setup. Additionally, a smaller solar system can manage to charge small devices such as smartphones and tablets or run a radio in your shed.
However, if you use your shed as a workspace with more substantial energy requirements (e.g. powering electric or gardening tools or charging office equipment), then you would definitely require a larger solar power system with sufficient capacity.
An office shed will require around 3000W to 4000W of solar power, enough to power common office appliances such as computers, printers, chargers for devices, a coffee machine and even a space heater.
For sheds that serve as a workshop, you would need 4000W to 5000W, which is enough to power tools such as an electric drill, table saw, orbital sander, etc. For sheds used for gardening, 2000W to 4000W is enough to power a weed cutter, electric strimmer, hedge trimmer, and other tools.
What are the costs of installing solar panels for a shed?
The costs of installing solar power for a shed can vary based on factors like the size of the shed, required energy output, and the specific components of the solar power system. As of January 2023, the average cost per watt for solar installations in the US ranges from $2.50 to $3.50. A 5-kilowatt solar system, for example, will have an upfront cost of around $12,500 to $17,500 before accounting for the federal and state incentives.
If you’re planning to switch to solar power for your shed, it is crucial that you explore available incentives to offset the costs of installation significantly. Besides the ITC, you should check with your state for eligibility on incentives, rebates, and net metering programs that you can avail to contribute to the overall affordability of solar panel installations.
DIY Solar System or Solar Power Kits for Shed?
Solar power for a shed can be a substantial investment, and you may opt to go the DIY route in creating a system for your home. While you can lower the costs by building your own solar system from the ground up, there are a couple of downsides to this.
You may have difficulty correctly putting together the connectors, controllers, batteries and other critical parts if you don’t have the knowledge and expertise. An improperly designed solar system may not generate the expected power you need for your shed. Not to mention the safety hazard of amateur installations because solar panels do involve working with electricity – it’s not something you should take lightly. In addition, installing solar panels often requires obtaining permits and adhering to local building codes and regulations. You must ensure that you are familiar with these requirements to avoid the risk of non-compliance and face potential legal issues.
So, to answer the question, purchasing a solar power kit for your shed is a better idea as it removes all the guesswork, assures you of efficiency, and, more importantly, ensures the safety of your loved ones and property.
Recommended Solar Power Kits for Shed
For solar power kits with a good quality and efficiency track record, you should check out our full range of generators and power stations at Nature’s Generator. Our solar power systems are engineered to harness the maximum amount of solar energy you require for your shed and even your whole home; are user-friendly (easy to install); and expandable – meaning you can add additional power pods, panels, and other accessories to harness more power from the sun.
If you have questions on how you can incorporate Nature’s Generator solar solutions into your shed, our customer support is happy to assist.
* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Ishna Sablaya, contributed research and content to this blog titled: Solar Power for Shed Thank you, Ishna, for your contributions!