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Barn Blog

April 28, 2015

Bright Idea: The Benefits of Installing Solar Panels on Your Pole Barn

If there's any industry in more of a boom right now that post-frame construction, it's solar panels. The promise of free electricity amid rising rates is enough to get many on the bandwagon, to say nothing about the environmental benefits. But there's no reason why these two trends can't move forward in concert. If you're considering a new pole barn, or have one already, you might want to consider using the roof to mount a solar array.

Depending on your pole barn's use and your specific needs, you might be able to spare yourself the expense of running electricity to your new building. Running traditional electric wires is no small feat, and far from inexpensive. Between installing the posts or running the wire through the ground, making sure you're in compliance with any local zoning laws, and other concerns, the alternative of simply installing solar panels for power is an appealing one indeed.

To be clear, odds are you won't be able to run a big screen TV and air conditioning with any solar array you're likely to have on your roof. But with the advent of LED lights and the increasing efficiency of solar technology, it's entirely possible to have a small structure like a pole barn lit entirely by solar energy. With a powerful enough solar kit, even powering small appliances is feasible. If you're using your pole barn as a storage building, workshop, or something similar, a good size solar array should be fine for your energy needs – especially if it's built to let in plenty of natural daylight (the original solar power). To make things even better, you'll save electric bill money over the long term.

With the advent of thin film solar technology, installation has never been easier either. Solar panels are lighter, more durable, easier to install, and more efficient than anyone would have dreamed possible a few years ago.

Or if you don't need electricity to run to your pole barn, for a simple hay loft perhaps, then you've still augmented the available roof space at your disposal. Why not use a solar array to feed free electricity to your main dwelling?

Solar kits can range from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000 for larger, more comprehensive systems, so you need to decide what your needs are and how much you're will to spend up front of save in the long term. But a good solar panel array is the perfect supporting player to make a pole barn even more versatile than it already was.

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