According to recent estimates, the world’s current population is at 7.6 billion, continuously growing through time. With this, there is also an adjacent estimate of at least 1.8 billion cars on the road; the demand and usage of parking slots are heavy. It has been noted that in most cities, 40% of the area is used for parking spots resulting to stuck idle vehicles.
Solar carports/canopy are structures that can cover these parking slots that are commonly exposed to direct sunlight. These structures can provide more than just shade since it also generates electricity that can be transferred to the power grid and benefit the whole community. But is the cost worth the benefit?
The following are some of the benefits of a solar carport/canopy:
- Solar carports generate power that is beneficial especially for those with electric vehicle (EV). It can be the house carport or the mall parking slots. It can save them extra money by means of using solar powered chargers and can also be another source of income.
- Solar carports give the vehicle protection against the harshest sun light by absorbing it and generating power instead. This is very helpful since prolonged and daily exposure to extreme sunlight of vehicles may damage their paint, interior, and of course the hassle of having to sit in a very hot car when in need to travel.
- Since solar carports generate electricity, it can either be used by the owner of the system to reduce the electricity and energy expenses or earn from the power generated solar carport through net-metering by tying their system to the power grid and providing power for others to consume. It can also reduce heat islands.
- Parking lots reflect the sun’s heat causing a higher temperature than the surrounding areas. Installing solar panels that can absorb the heat rather than reflect it would reduce the stress and temperature spikes and convert it into a solar farm that generates power source.
Is it worth it?
The current cost to establish carports recently clocked at around 15,000USD to 20,000USD (772,042.50PHP – 1,029,390.00PHP). However, the estimate return of investment averagely comes between 5-7 years, which means after this, you would forever be generating your own electricity for free and you can also earn more depending on your government’s net-metering policies.