DIY





Can’t Put Solar on Your Roof? Consider One of These Creative Uses


| 12/9/2016 9:46:00 AM



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Photo by Jon Styer/Eastern Mennonite University

Homeowners across the United States are reducing their electricity costs and their carbon footprints by installing solar. For many solar shoppers, rooftop systems are the best home solar option. However, not every home has a roof that’s suitable for solar. Certain roof types, like slate and cedar tiles, are too fragile for solar panels. If trees shade your roof, you’ll have less-than-ideal solar electricity production, and some homeowners' associations and historical associations have rules that restrict solar panel installations. 

Luckily, there are a variety of alternative solar options for every situation. Whatever the reason is that you can’t install rooftop solar, there’s a solution available that can suit your needs.

Solar Sheds, Barns, and Carports: Use Alternative Roof Space to Host Your Installation

The roof is the most common place for a home solar installation, and for good reason. Your roof is elevated, so it’s typically exposed to the sun for most of the day. It’s also an existing structure, which can reduce your installation costs. Many homeowners who can’t install panels on the roof of their home will build a solar energy system on another building on their property. Sheds, garages, greenhouses and barns can all offer suitable locations for solar installations.



Solar carports and patio covers are another increasingly popular rooftop solar alternative. If you construct a carport or patio cover, you have an installation that both generates zero-emissions electricity and provides shade. As an added bonus, both options can be installed so that they capture sunlight at the perfect angle to maximize your solar energy production.



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