Considering Solar Panels For Your Steel Building? Here's What You Need To Know
In 2014, the International Energy Agency projected that by 2050 solar would be the world's largest source of electricity. In the UK, as a percentage of electricity consumption, solar rose from less than 0.01% in 2009 to 3.9% in 2019. Solar panels might not yet be ubiquitous, but they are definitely becoming more commonplace. And that's no surprise, as they offer many advantages.
Not all steel buildings need power, but sometimes those that do are in an awkward spot for arranging mains supply. You might want to position a workshop on a site that has no existing electrical supply, or to invest in a new location, perhaps in a relatively remote area. Agricultural buildings might especially benefit from the fitting of solar panels due to their often inaccessible position.
With the world 'going more green', increasing numbers of people are considering ways to be more environmentally friendly. Steel buildings themselves are a green method of construction, and buildings are recyclable at the end of their use. Solar panels can add to a business's green credentials and reduce – or in some cases, eliminate – their carbon footprint.
If you're planning a new steel building it's important to think about solar panels as an option from the outset. This is true even if you don't plan to install them straight away. Just one consideration is that solar panels will add to the weight of the roof, meaning that additional roof purlins are likely to be needed to support it. Maintenance activity should also be taken into consideration when calculating load-bearing capacity. Planning for this from the start helps when comparing quotations.
Something else to take into account is how to deal with any surplus energy that may be generated. As well as providing power to be used immediately for processes and machinery, any surplus power generated by solar panels could be deposited in a battery storage system. This would ensure power was available as needed, and also has the ability to mitigate against the effects of a power cut or periods where your energy demands outweigh the capacity of the panels. It's no longer possible to sell surplus power back to the National Grid (unless you have an existing arrangement to do so) so this appears to be a smart way of dealing with surplus self-generated energy – but again, it's a good idea to understand in what way this could have an impact upon your steel building – the battery bank will need to be located in a suitable spot!
Whatever the nature of your business or location of your steel building, it's best to consider the installation of solar panels as an element of the design and construction process. While solar panels can be retrofitted, it's much easier if their impact on the building has been taken into account right from the start.
Contact Us About Solar Panels For Your Steel Building
If you want to know more about solar panels for steel buildings, get in touch. We'd be happy to talk you through the options and benefits, to help you make an informed decision as to what's best for you.