Tuesday, 23rd of May 2023
Solarwing Model W, this product by Swisscarport allows to cover not only the parking lots but also the roadway between the parking rows. Swiss-Solarparkplatz.de/ch is a brand of Max Zumstein AG. Source: Swisscarport.ch.
This study was elaborated by Energie Zukunft Schweiz AG with the support of Energieschweiz. It was published in May 2022.
The aim of the report is to show the potential of solar carports and to describe the technical and economic factors involved in the development and implementation of solar carport projects. The full version of the report, only available in German, can be downloaded in the ‘see also’ section on the right of this post.
The study is based on interviews with a number of designers, manufacturers and installers of solar carports, in which the main aspects, opportunities and challenges of solar energy production on car parks were discussed.
In addition to the technical issues, the structure of the costs and the selling of the electricity must be analysed precisely, as the profitability of solar carport projects is not always clear. Many of the major car park operators are therefore reluctant to equip their areas with this type of system. But the rise of electromobility could change all that.
Switzerland has at least 64 km² of car parks with a theoretical photovoltaic potential of 6 to 10 GWp. Several large-scale solar carports have been installed in recent years; the largest has a capacity of 6.75 MWp. These solar carports offer many advantages. Vehicles are protected by canopies, charging stations for electric vehicles can be directly integrated into the structure, providing a dual-use opportunity for an already built area.
The complicating factors mentioned before also concerned the coordination of the construction work with the activity in the parking area, as well as the choice of foundation and suitable carport structure.
In general, the larger the solar carport, the lower the specific investment costs (CHF per kWp of installed capacity) and the higher the on-site consumption, the faster the solar carport pays for itself. With the increasing electrification of the automotive sector, the demand for electric vehicle charging stations is growing, and with it the relevance of electricity-generating parking canopies for which the share of own consumption can be considerable.