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Last Updated on February 7, 2024
Cultivating your dream greenhouse can be one of the most fulfilling projects to tackle. When designing, you likely came across the option of powering your greenhouse through solar panels and are wondering: how can I do that, too?
The addition of solar panels and a passive solar system to your greenhouse is an eco-friendly transformation that’s simple to achieve on your own. To accomplish this project, you’ll need a solar panel kit, a heater, as well as a power source and backup.
If you’re a greenhouse novice, this may sound like a whole new language. Find out how to execute installing solar panels in your greenhouse in this article.
Installing Solar Panels In Your Greenhouse
There are a couple of necessities you’ll need in order to start your project. We’ll break each of them down in detail so you have a better understanding of the choices you have when it comes to your particular project.
Solar Panel Kit
A solar panel kit is an obvious essential to powering a greenhouse. There are multiple different choices to choose from, ranging in wattage and, of course, in price. How hefty of a system you’ll need to buy is entirely dependent on the size of your greenhouse and the type of heating power your plants require.
Though your equipment can range in how many materials it comes with, there are baseline components that will come with the standard solar panel kit:
- Solar Panels
- Cable extensions
- Cable Clips
- Racking attachments
- Charge controllers
It should also come with instructions and diagrams outlining how to attach the panels to the power source. Your kit may also come with the option of the company providing a home installation.
There are three different ways you can choose to heat your greenhouse: a DIY heater, a 12-volt heater, and a 110-volt heater.
If you’re extra handy and don’t mind putting in a little extra work, you have the option of building a heater entirely from scratch. We like this option because you can deeply personalize the project to the specific needs of your greenhouse. Also, you can keep it in a price range you deem appropriate.
Here’s a video by LivingTheGoodLife on the 10 best ways to make a DIY heater for your greenhouse:
Most people stay away from the 12-volt heater, but if your greenhouse is straightforward without a lot of complexities, we think this is a fair option. Unfortunately, a lot of users seem to run into issues with this low voltage, so that’s something to keep in mind.
A higher voltage heater means more capabilities and reach, especially if your greenhouse requires outside equipment like overhead lighting and fans to keep your plants happy.
While some people choose to skip this step, we highly recommend installing backup batteries for your greenhouse. This is especially applicable if you’re growing food or especially sensitive crops, even a couple of hours of lost power can be detrimental to your plants.
Using a 100AH lead-acid battery is ideal for this caliber of a project and can give you up to 5 hours of extra power in case you need it. Of course, you can install more to expand the amount of backup you’ll have, we recommend this for larger greenhouses.
How To Install
Installing solar panels in your greenhouse is likely going to be a project for professional electronic contractors. They’ll make sure that everything is in place and working efficiently in a way the layman may not be able to.
Though you can outsource and try to find help near you, it’s probable that whichever service you bought your solar panel kit from can install your panels for you.
For those ready for a challenge, it is possible to DIY! Here’s a video by JerryRigEverything on how he installed solar panels on his own:
Frequently Asked Questions
There are indeed solar heaters for greenhouses, and they come in a variety of options. You can choose solar-electric heating, thermal mass heating, and solar hot water heating.
A basic solar panel can power a heat lamp for up to 4 hours. This is important to keep in mind if you’re planning on using lamps for additional warmth in your greenhouse.
You can heat your greenhouse through gas options, electric options, and of course, solar-powered sources. All of these come in at different price points, with gas being the most cost-efficient (but environmentally unfriendly).
It’s important to be transparent about what you value when it comes to your project so you can choose the best heating method for you.
How do you build a solar-heated greenhouse?
- Solar heated greenhouses are fantastic projects to take on and can be personalized to host various forms of plant life. You can choose to make your greenhouse as simple, or as complex as possible. However, if you’re thinking of making it solar-heated, we think it would be worthwhile to think about making a more intricately designed model.
- Here’s a video on how to build a solar-heated greenhouse:
Though it may seem like a daunting project to tackle, the benefits you’ll reap from solar panels in your greenhouse far outweigh the potential stresses of the journey to get there. Once you buy the right equipment and settle on a means for installation, you’ll be in smooth sailing.