Solar Carports. Australia's No.1 Best Kept Secret
Solar power and other sources of green energy are increasing and so are the number of innovative gadgets and inventions that utilise the power of sunlight. One such invention is the solar carport. Read on to find out everything you need to know about solar car parking.
What is a solar carport?
A solar carport is an overhead canopy, mounted with solar panels. They generate electricity while providing shade for cars in parking areas. They are different from existing carports because They are custom built to include the solar panels. This is instead of having panels added to an existing structure. Carports custom-built with solar can be installed in your driveway at home, or commercial car parks.
Benefits of solar car parking
There is a desperate need for an increase in clean energy, such as solar power. Not only do Solar carports generate solar energy but they also provide shade for vehicles. They are space-efficient, because they allow users to install solar panels without the need for roof or ground surface.
Solar carports are more flexible than rooftop solar installations. This is because you aren’t limited by the design of your roof. The custom-built design means you can install as many solar panels as you want so long is there is space for the carport.
Typical roof installations limit the degree to which the solar panels can be tilted, and the direction that they can be fixed. However, solar carports can be structured to allow maximum exposure and energy production. They are also generally easier to access, and therefore easier and cheaper to maintain, compared to rooftop panels.
Another clear benefit is that you can use the solar energy generated by the carport to power your home or business. You can also sell excess electricity back to the grid and earn Feed In Tariffs. Whilst there is an initial investment required, the cost isn’t too dissimilar to a regular carport. Solar carports pay for themselves over time and end up saving you money in the long run.
Solar carports in Australia
As the sunniest continent on the planet, it makes sense for Australia to harness solar power through the use of solar carports. Solar powered carports have gained popularity throughout Australian shopping centres. In 2018 the first residential solar carports were produced, allowing both homes and businesses across Australia to reap the benefits of solar car parking.
In 2019, one of Australia’s largest solar carports was launched at PA Central in Buranda, Brisbane. The 100kW system generates enough solar energy to power the shops, businesses, and car park operations. This has slashed energy costs by 30-40%, and significantly reducing CO2 emissions.
New South Wales
Back in 2017, Sydney Markets installed a 640kW solar carport shading 350 cars. the carport takes their total solar capacity to just under 1MW. The project saves 936 tonnes of carbon and slashes hundreds of thousands of dollars off electricity annually.
Western Australia also unveiled its first ever solar carport in 2017. The carport was Installed at the Northam Boulevard Shopping Centre. The 900 solar panels on the carport provide 40% of the shopping centre’s energy demands. The project generates an estimated 1,871MWh of clean energy each year, and prevents 1,254 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
In December 2019 at Elizabeth City Centre in Adelaide’s north, Australia’s largest car park solar installation was completed The huge installation shades 1,400 car parking spaces and adds 2.7MW of solar capacity to the shopping centre.