What Is a Solar Carport?

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In this article, we will reveal all you need to know about solar carports. At the end of the article, we can guarantee that you will be well-informed regarding this amazing invention. 

Let’s get started…

What Solar Carports Are 

Almost like a regular carport, these structures are manufactured with solar panels; hence, they can generate power from the sun. These edifices are designed with a shade overhead and are used as parking areas. You can visit to check out some solar carport design ideas.

When compared to panels that are ground-mounted, solar carports are taller to enable them house parked vehicles. Hence, they provide more space.

These edifices provide dual functions: They provide parking space and also generate electricity. These carports can be used for home driveways and parking areas. 

An interesting feature of these structures is that one doesn’t need to design them with a roof or surface before the solar panels can be installed. Instead, their custom build allows them to come with already built-in panels. As a result, they are different from regular carports that are installed with solar panels. 

How much do they cost?

While it is not easy to place a specific price on these structures, we can provide you with an estimated average price. In most cases, solar carports are more competitive compared to solar systems installed in homes in regards to price. Nevertheless, the wattage they produce is usually less. 

For instance, the solar systems in most homes will cost about $3.20 – $5 per watt; this could characterize a residential carport of 2,000 watts that goes for around $3.80 for each watt. 

It is projected that the price of these structures will decrease with time. To give you an idea of what installing this structure will cost, let’s look at the example below: 

Let’s say the cost of the frame is $2,000 for a system of 5kW that costs about $18,000, your overall cost becomes $20,000. When a rebate of 30% is deducted, the cost becomes $14,000. 

Solar Carport Types

These structures come in different types as well as sizes. The fundamental factor that determines the size you need is your energy requirements. Therefore, if you need a lot of energy, you will need to get a large structure. Hence, you need to spend more.

Some carports are so small that they can accommodate just one vehicle. On the other hand, some are so large that they house multiple vehicles. For example, Rutgers University installed a solar carport that covered 28 acres of parking space. This structure generates 8 megawatts on average. 

The designs, as well as materials, used also vary. Some are made with aluminum or simple steel, whereas others are manufactured with wooden stands. Hence, you should browse through different designs first before choosing one that suits your preferences and needs.

Another thing you need to know is that these structures can be manufactured using different panel types. They could either be manufactured from polycrystalline or monocrystalline silicone modules. Read this article to find out the difference between these types of panels.

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You will also need to decide if you want it to be frameless or framed. The former is more attractive and unique. Hence, if you are looking for a structure that will be catchy to the eye, the frameless design might just be what you are looking for. 

The frameless design is grouped into two; one with a back sheet, whereas the other has glass-on-glass panels. 

The latter is designed with solar cells fitted in the middle of 2 glass plates. Hence, the overall look is transparent making it very attractive. The former is designed by taking a back sheet and fitting it into the panel’s rear side. 

Solar Carport Benefits

You stand to benefit in so many ways if you install this structure. Below are some of these benefits:

1. Flexibility 

When we talk about flexibility, we are referring to the installation customization that can be made when installing this structure. 

Installing a solar panel on your roof may not offer you the chance to customize the system as you would like due to certain limiting factors. Some of such factors include the maximum panels that the roof of your home can contain and the roof design. 

In the case of carports, you don’t have to worry about these factors provided you have enough space; hence, you have the opportunity to install as many panels as you like. 

2. Positioning angle

When compared to roof installation, you don’t have to worry about the angle placement of the panels due to the flexibility of the structure. 

You can adjust the panels in such a manner that they receive the right quantity of sunlight exposure to enable effective energy production.

3. Easier Maintenance 

Whenever your roof installations are faulty, you will need to get a technician to fix the issue. This can cost you a good amount of money. 

In contrast, carports are easy to access which reduces the amount that the technician will charge you. Besides, if you are handy and have an understanding of the system, you can do the servicing yourself. This, in turn, will enable you save money. 

4. Zero Roof Repair Risks

One problem that comes with installing rooftop panels is that you must remove the installations when you need to repair the roof. When this happens, you will spend some money removing and then reinstalling the system. 

You don’t face this problem with the structure under discussion. Hence, they are considered both economical and safe. Speaking of safety, click to learn how safe solar panels are.

5. Provides Coverage for your Vehicle 

Leaving your vehicle exposed to the elements is not the right way to care for it. Therefore, when you install this kind of carport, you don’t only generate power; you protect your vehicle as well. 


Solar carports are becoming popular with each passing day, and this is no surprise given the many benefits these structures provide. Hence, in the article above, we have discussed what these structures are in detail and other relevant information you might need to know.