If you plan to use your garden cabin throughout the whole year for more than just storage space then chances are you will need to install some electricity. This is to enable you to power things such as heating and lighting or even a television, for a more comfortable and usable area. Solar energy is easy to install, maintain and a great long term investment. The benefits of having back up solar power means you can transform your garden building into a fully functioning room for use at all times.
One of the most common ways of adding electrics to your log cabin is by using solar power, which is a highly effective alternative energy source. A garden building will not require as much electricity as you would need inside a house, so the solar panel system does not need to be too powerful. A 12 volt system (75 W) should be sufficient enough to power appliances such as a television, small refrigerator, heater and lights.
Solar power systems generally use photovoltaic (PV) panels connected to a battery. Power is produced by sunlight charging the panels, and the battery stores energy. The pre-charging of the panels takes place during hours of sunlight in the day, and can provide power for several hours. Even in the colder winter months sunlight is still present, and solar panels can generate 10-25% of their output on a cloudy day. Any excess energy produced on sunnier days can be stored in the battery to ensure no energy is wasted. Therefore, it is the total amount of sunshine throughout the whole year that counts.
However, it is worth noting that solar panels should be placed in the correct position to maximise their potential to receive the most amount of sunlight at all times. They need to be put somewhere they can reach the sun and aren’t continually in the shade or blocked by obstructions, such as trees. This is why the obvious choice is usually to place them on the roof of your garden building, as it can receive more direct sunlight than any other area.
While solar panels need to be outside in the sun, the controller and battery should stay protected from moisture at all times, so are best kept inside the garden building.
If your log cabin is sited a long distance away from the house, you will not be able to easily connect it to mains electricity. This makes solar power the ideal solution as it is easy to install without the hassle and mess of having to dig up the lawn to trail cables across the garden.
Installing mains electricity is a difficult and costly job, requiring qualified professionals to ensure it is safe. Meanwhile, solar power generally doesn’t need specialist skills or tools to set up, as it is off the main grid. This means installing solar energy will save you time and money.
The added bonus of being off grid also means no need to worry about power outages when the main grid goes down. This is especially useful if you use your log cabin as a garden office, because the last thing you want is to lose hours of work when your computer suddenly shuts down before you’ve had a chance to hit save. If you prefer to connect your garden office to mains electricity, it is still worth having a backup power system for situations like this. A solar energy system is the best option for this application.
Solar panels typically don’t require any planning permission. Although it is worth checking with local authorities on any restrictions or regulations in your area. In addition, solar power products are generally low maintenance, as long as you keep the panels clean and clear from anything that could limit their ability to receive sunlight.
One of the big benefits of using solar power is that it saves you money. Firstly, there are no costly installation and set up fees that you would incur with mains electricity. Plus, you will be saving money on monthly utility bills, and won’t need to worry about ever increasing energy costs. This is because you will be using the energy that you have generated and stored from the natural rays of the sun.
The amount you can save will depend on how much power you use in your garden log cabin, and how often you use it.
With the installation of solar panels and a battery, your garden building can become self-sustainable. As well as saving money, using solar energy helps you save the planet too.
As electricity is produced by the sun, solar is a renewable energy source, which makes it eco-friendly. It helps to reduce your carbon footprint, as no fossil fuels are burnt, so no Carbon is produced.
Fossil fuels cannot be easily replenished, and too much use can harm the environment and nature over time. Replacing these limited resources with renewable alternatives, such as solar, helps protect the environment, and can be better for your health and your finances. Renewable energy sources are cheaper and more practical than conventional power sources, such as gas and petroleum.
Adding a solar PV system and battery to your garden room is a great alternative to using a fossil fuel generator to produce energy. Batteries are silent and clean, while generators are noisy and emit fumes, which makes solar a safer, cleaner and more efficient power solution. How long a backup solar power system gives out electricity will differ depending on what items are being powered and how long they are in use for.
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