Solar to Metal Buildings

adding solar to metal storage buildings

Solar to Metal Buildings

Can I Add Solar to My Metal Building?

Lighting your shed, storage garage, or other metal building can be a costly affair. Depending on how much light you need — or if you need to power your tools or other equipment — your energy bills can quickly get out of control. Harnessing shed solar power is an economical, eco-friendly solution to your energy needs. Although solar is commonly used on composite or tile roofs, adding solar panels to your metal building is not only possible – it’s relatively easy, too!

Adding Solar Panels to Your Metal Building

What do I need for a solar panel installation? If you’re going the DIY route, you’ll need enough solar panels, lighting and wiring, and tools to light or power your metal building. You’ll also need to make sure there are no trees or other obstacles that could block your panels from gathering sunlight. Typically, a single solar panel takes up 15 square feet, so depending on the size of your shed or barn, you’ll need a sufficient amount of free roof space.

It should be noted that installing anything on the roof systems should be engineer verified. The structure can support any added weight installed by the owner. There are newer lightweight and flexible solar sheeting systems that could easily apply, but for traditional, heavier systems this is more of a concern. Loadings vary by structure design and even configuration i.e. an open carport vs a enclosed garage.

Elephant Structures

Do I need a new roof to install solar panels? Adding solar panels can seem daunting. But if you’re working with metal buildings, metal roofs are actually a great choice because of their long-lasting sturdiness. The durability of steel, which features weather and rust resistance, provides a secure surface for both business and residential solar panels. Metal roofs typically last for 40-50 years, so adding solar panels to a brand new barn or shed is a smart move.

Where should I install my solar panels? If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll typically want to add your panels on the south or southwest side of your roof in order to collect the most sunlight. However, the desired direction may vary, as west-facing roofs are able to gather more energy during peak usage hours. Consider your options carefully or consult with a professional installer to find out where your panels will bring the most benefit.

Two roll up garage doors on the front end of a metal building and one walk in door.

How Much Shed Solar Power Do I Need?

A number of factors will determine how much solar power you need for your shed or metal building. Your location, for example, will affect how much energy your panels gather — a predominantly sunny state like California will receive more sun than a cloudier state such as Washington. The size of your building will also affect how much solar power you need to be able to see or work while inside it.

Adding solar panels can be a cost-effective option if you need to spend long hours working in your metal building. Solar panels are great for metal barns, sheds, garages, and other metal buildings where lighting or electricity is required, so no matter the kind of structure you own you can benefit from solar!

Elephant Structure does not consult on owner customizations. Changes should verified by a qualified engineer for compatibility with any solar system an owner is considering. Contact us for more information.

About the Author

Elephant Structures Writer