Parking Industry · February 22, 2023

Solar Canopies for Parking Lots: What You Need to Know

The world is constantly looking for more sustainable sources of energy, and the latest development in this effort to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is solar canopies for parking lots.

For malls, airports, hospitals, and other facilities with sizable parking lots, parking lot solar canopy installations are a great installation option.

Read on to learn more about solar canopies.

What is Solar Panel Canopy?

Commercial solar parking canopies are typically seen in malls and other locations with lots of parking, as was already indicated. Thanks to solar-powered canopies for parking spaces, clients receive a shaded parking space and defense from the elements.

The carport, also known as a canopy, is a great location for a charging station and will safeguard the car or truck.

A business owner or industrialist might decide to add a solar panel canopy to their existing solar array or choose a solar parking canopy instead of a roof or ground mount installation.

Installation Options

There are two basic options when it comes to solar parking canopy design. You might favor an architectural solar canopy or a fixed-tilt solar canopy depending on the design of your property and the location of your business. The two options are best described as follows:

  • Architectural solar canopies: In this concept, cars are protected from the sun by canopy panels that are tilted at specific angles. The parking lot’s position in relation to the sun’s direction can be taken into account when adjusting the canopy’s tilt. An architectural solar canopy’s tilt on wet days can also help keep water from getting on the cars below.
  • The fixed-tilt solar canopy, which is made up of stationary components that can be tilted or laid flat, is the more cost-effective choice for some businesses. The choice is yours as to whether you would benefit more from a flat canopy or from having the canopy at a slight angle to best absorb the sun’s rays. When it comes to large-scale solar panel installation projects, fixed-tilt solar canopies are frequently the preferred option because they require little maintenance.

Based on where your parking lot is in relation to the available sunlight, you should decide whether to have a canopy tilted one way or the other.

If the parking lot is directly exposed to the sun with no nearby obstructions, then a 10-degree westward or southward tilt would best maximize the effects of the canopy and absorb the highest quantities of green energy during peak hours of the day.

However, if a tall building or other obstruction prevents sunlight from directly hitting the parking lot during the early morning hours, it would be most useful to have the canopy set at an angle that will absorb the most sunlight in the hours that immediately follow the sun’s passage beyond the obstruction.

Benefits of Solar Panel Canopies

Solar Canopies for Parking Lots

1. Usage of Energy is Required

Facilities that use independent energy sources, like solar PV, use fewer fossil fuels because they are less dependent on the grid for their electricity. 30% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings in the commercial sectors, of which 18% are related to electricity use and around 13% to the direct burning of fossil fuels for heating and cooling.

Using renewable energy to chip away at these figures can help the environment and provide more sustainable corporate operation models.

There is no requirement for the power to remain on after sundown. Through the use of batteries, solar PV systems may continue to generate energy after the sun sets, giving buildings the ability to continue operating. While some businesses might opt for net metering, which involves supplying extra solar energy to the grid, other businesses might choose to store that energy for later use. Either way, electricity costs can be reduced.

2. Reduced Electricity Prices

Lower on-grid power consumption leads to lower electric bill payments. The majority of businesses place a high value on cost savings, which solar energy can facilitate. Commercial property owners save up to 75% on energy costs on average, according to research. Power purchase agreements (PPAs) help a lot of facility owners implement solar energy without requiring them to invest their own money in these solutions, enabling them to gain less from the process.

The increased financial savings from decreased electricity use can quickly cover the upfront costs of installing solar power, illustrating how this investment can quickly pay for itself.

3. Improved Customer Experience

The convenience of having a covered, secure parking space is valued by customers and other visitors, and may improve their perception of the business. Rooftop solar parking lots can save business money. By keeping their cars cool during the hotter months and reducing the need to run the air conditioner for as long as they may need to, they can even provide the same service to parking lot patrons.

Extreme heat can reduce a car’s fuel economy by 25% when the air conditioner is on. For those who drive electric or hybrid cars, this effect may be even more pronounced. If shaded parking options are used to combat this phenomenon, customers may be more drawn to a business because they will realize that the owner prioritizes their comfort.

The option to park in shaded areas is something that people value, and these solar canopies are still useful in the winter. People can get in and out of their cars without getting drenched in snow or covered in it, and they might be able to avoid weather-related car damage like hail.

4. Additional Profit from Covered Parking Spaces

In addition to the cost savings brought on by lessening the use of electricity, business owners who offer paid parking may charge more for covered solar parking spaces. Many might be ready to pay more for the convenience of shaded parking to help shield their automobiles from the elements.

Solar carports can also improve a company’s curb appeal, which may persuade clients to pay extra for parking. They might be more likely to assume that a company that looks professional will provide them with value for their money.

Final Words on Solar Canopies for Parking Lots

These four benefits are only some of the many reasons why putting solar installations over parking spaces is often such a smart move. Such strategies call for careful planning and probably require larger financial resources than standard solar panels.

These well-placed solar arrays, however, are advantageous for businesses, customers, and the environment. People should be more inclined to use them as they become more commonplace.

Parking spaces covered with solar panels is not always the best solution. For instance, they’re more likely to be profitable in large parking lots. They are just a few of the many options available to help businesses get closer to their sustainability objectives.

Read More: Green Parking Lots


What Do Solar Canopies Do?

Solar canopies generally do two things: Provide shelter and generate solar energy with photovoltaic panels.

Can Solar Panels Be Used as An Awning?

Solar panel awnings offer a more efficient use of space than ground mounted panels.

What is the Purpose of a Solar Carport?

Solar carports work by harnessing power from the sun and turning it into energy for your home.