A Guide to Setting up Solar Panels in Your Garden in 2023
Besides keeping the elements out and making your house look beautiful, what else does your roof do? It can support solar panels so you can collect the sun’s energy for powering your appliances and heating your home.
But while the roof is, in most cases, the best place to install solar panels it isn’t the only location. You definitely can install a few of these solar energy collectors on your outdoor shed’s roof or on your greenhouse’s roof if you have one. You can also set up the PV solar panel system by ground-mounting it or even set it up against a fence. This post is a guide to setting up GreenMatch solar panels in your garden in 2023, so you can have extra power to charge your electric car and other appliances.
Why Set Up Garden Solar Panels?
One huge advantage of opting for ground-based solar panels is how much flexibility this idea gives you in terms of positioning on your property. In most cases, all you’ve got to do is install the garden PV panels in a location that receives lots of direct sunlight.
Here’s another advantage of solar panels installed on the ground in a garden: you absolutely don’t need to drill any framework onto the roof of your house or shed. Not only would this save you some precious time, but it could also save you a little money.
Also, garden solars are typically a low-cost installation. Just get the wiring through the garden figured out, and that’s it.
Finally, if you have a reasonably spacious garden, it could wind up holding more panels than you could install on your shed’s or home’s roof. You could use the extra energy generated to power your shed, greenhouse, or supplement your home’s power supply.
Two Things to Consider When Installing Garden Solar Panels
#1. Solar panel and cable theft: According to DeterTech, solar panel theft grew by almost 23 percent in 2022, which is a significant rise. If you’re based in Worcestershire (UK’s worst-affected area) or other location where solar theft is rampant, maybe garden solar panels aren’t for you. One way to prevent solar theft would be to install these dark glass sheets in a way that hides them from prying eyes.
#2. Risk to personal safety: As you lay down the cable and run it through the ground, make sure to protect it properly. Poor cable protection could put your safety at risk. You’re talking about a 250-400V DC here, so take care.
How Do You Set Up Garden Solar Panels?
Obviously, you don’t want to set up this mini green power generator where trees or fences shade it.
One way to turn your front or back garden into a miniature solar farm would be to set up ground-mounted solar panels. These low-carbon-footprint sun-energy harvesters are exactly what they sound like: You set them up on the ground by employing a pole or a metal frame. Pay attention to the following factors:
Since you’re not installing the panels on the roof, be ready to spring for the structure needed to prop them up. You can hire someone to build the supporting structure for you, or you could do it yourself and save on labor costs. And since there’s no scaffolding to worry about, costs shouldn’t be a huge concern.
According to Foster Electric Service, you don’t need permission2 to set up solar panels for domestic purposes, unless you’re in a conservation area or if it’s a listed building. If you’re unsure about it, contact your local council to learn whether you need planning permission before installing any panels in your garden.
3.The Panel’s Degree of Tilt
Decide on the optimum degree of tilt to the sun when installing garden panels. Don’t stress so much about this, though. Get to know the latitude of your location and use that number to calculate your panels’ orientation angle.
For instance, if you’re from a country located at the Equator, the tilt angle would be zero. This means the panels would lie flat and parallel to the ground. But what if you lived somewhere in the poles of our planet? The tilt angle in this case would be 90 degrees or a vertical orientation.
Depending on where you are, you may want to make adjustments to the orientation in accordance with the season in question to maximize power output.
Installing Garden Solar Panels Along the Fence
Maybe you have a house that faces South South West and are wondering if you could install fence solar panels instead of on-the-roof ones. Yes, you could do this, but you sure can install PV panels no matter the direction your roof faces.
If your roof has an SSW or even an East or West orientation, you definitely can set up a solar panel system on it. Just don’t expect to benefit much from the highest peak of power generation.
Here’s good news: you could end up harnessing more solar energy in the mornings and evenings than would be the case with a south-facing solar panel system setup. The efficiency you get could be up to 15 percent less than a south-facing system.
But you’re interested in utilizing your fence for power production, right? You sure can install a slew of solar panels along the fence and become green-energy-sufficient. If you can get some structure set up there for support, you can install panels along the fence or anywhere else in your garden.
Planning on Installing Garden Lights?
Are you the type of happy gardener who loves hosting parties and other social events outdoors every once in a while? Installing small solar panels to power the garden lights so your guests can enjoy night-time bonding would be a good idea.
Garden lights normally come with rechargeable batteries. Your panels will absorb solar energy during daytime and juice up the batteries for use when there’s no sunlight. These tiny devices are designed to be placed on top of the garden lights or ornamental designs.
Greenhouse Solar Panels
If you have a greenhouse in your garden, you could provide it with the heating it needs by mounting solar panels in the garden. You could mount them on the roof of the greenhouse, but that’d prevent some of the sunlight from reaching your plants. Fortunately, there’s an alternative: turning to a ground mount and then connecting the panels to your greenhouse’s electric heating system.
Installing Garden Solar Panels: Conclusion
When you can’t install solar panels on your house’s roof for whatever reason, you can set up the system on the shed’s roof or anywhere else in the garden, even along the fence. Be sure to obtain planning permission if the building is listed or you’re in a conservation area.
Also, know your latitude and tilt the panels to this angle. But that’s not all.Be willing to pay for any structure needed to support the panels. And if theft could be a problem where you’re at,think twice before installing expensive panels out in the garden.