If you’ve made it this far, then you are likely one of those individuals who appreciates the benefits of living in harmony with our planet and also doesn’t mind the fringe benefit of saving money. Let’s face it, if we are looking to use solar power, then we have to address the cost to benefit issue. The patio is a great place to experiment or begin your quest into the solar power arena. You can get a solar patio cover professionally installed or you can do some of the work yourself. For someone with good handy skills, installation of the panels themselves may be easier than the actual connecting of the power aspect to the grid and all the rest of the electrical connections, inverters and such.
For the purposes of this article, we are really more concerned with addressing the benefit of the solar panel patio cover system itself, not so much about the installation. Let’s talk a bit more about the benefits of using a solar patio roof. Basically, if you are looking for shade on your patio, you are going to need some type of roof structure, awning or shade to provide that. Many people opt to build a patio cover themselves, like a classic pergola design. Then, there are other deck designs that call for a cover feature that extends from the house to the posts of the deck.
Both styles make the installation of solar panels a feasible solution. The main advantage of using a solar panel array, like photovoltaic (PV) systems is that they are relatively affordable, lightweight, have a low profile and can provide you with energy that can either power the lighting or some other features on your patio or be sent back into the grid. This allows you to use them to create a covered patio for you, all while saving you money on utility expenses. True, it will take some time to realize these savings as a PV system will cost several thousand dollars, including installation expenses.
Again, the real benefits have to do with the long-term viability and design of your patio. With a solar cover roof system like this, you will often find that the manufacturer provides a warranty of up to 20-25 years. In addition to this, you may be able to get some state or federal monies as tax credits or reimbursement for your purchase.
And, if you are worried about space issues, don’t be. A system like this can be installed on a patio roof as little as 250-500 square feet. You may also have concerns about HOAs or other city regulations. This is a legitimate concern, but one that you should find no problem in avoiding as these systems have been installed in most major metropolitan areas without issues. You can expect a system of this size to produce anywhere between 250-400 kwh of energy for you as well. So, while you won’t be powering your neighborhood with it, you can definitely feel good about doing your part to green up a little more than your backyard patio.