Many homeowners looking to install solar are curious to know whether other structures besides their home might support panels.
Pergolas and Standalone Decks
While some companies can offer custom installs on these structures, Project Solar does not currently support installs on pergolas or standalone decks for the following reasons:
1. All pergolas and standalone decks need a thorough engineering examination, and are generally not designed to withstand high stress conditions. Solar panels can add thousands of pounds of weight and will increase snow and wind loads.
2. Pergolas/standalone decks are generally installed in a patio-type area. These are encased in cement and/or pavers. Since this is a detached structure, a trench will need to be dug to connect the system. This will include considerable demolition and repair. Additional hardware will also be required to disconnect the solar panels that will be required on the beam of the structure.
3. Installing panels on a pergola or standalone deck will be unsightly. On most pergolas, you will be able to view the racking, electrical wiring, and bottom side of the solar panels. Extra hardware hung on the beams of the pergola also add to this reason.
If you're set on installing solar on a pergola or standalone deck, we recommend finding a local contractor who specializes in custom installs. Energysage.com is a great place to start.
Some separate structures, such as ADU's or detached garages, can be installed on. They should be a finished space and structurally reliable before being considered for solar install.
Talk to our Customer Experience Team during your solar design process if you'd like to install on a structure separate from the main dwelling.