New Business Opportunities - Solar Powered Carports

A solar-powered EV carport.

SolarWatt and the Centregreat Group have developed a glass roofed, solar-powered EV carport with a built-in battery pack.



The off-the-shelf structure’s tough, integrated panels charge up to four vehicles in daylight hours. The high-capacity battery packs in the central cabinet can be recharged at times of low demand, when electricity is produced mainly from low-carbon sources – this also increases load-balancing capacity for users with a poor grid connection.

The all-in-one concept dispenses with separate containerised batteries, enabling designers to focus on aesthetics as well as productivity while freeing up space for parking.

It was developed by Centregreat (based in south Wales), with help from Swansea University’s solar-focused SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre. Installations will be undertaken by SolarCentric, Centregreat’s solar and battery design and installation associate - but subcontractors are eagerly sought especially those with glass, aluminium expertise in the commercial environs.


Domestic opportunities as well

Aimed primarily at business and public-sector clients such as local authorities, hospitals and park-and-ride facilities, the T-shaped carport is adaptable for domestic and other markets. An open day at SolarCentric’s Cardiff headquarters attracted strong interest from potential clients.


 “On-site EV charging is the obvious answer for organisations as they embrace net zero while looking to improve efficiency.”

– Neal Goddard 

Sales Manager UK, SolarWatt


A construction material

SolarWatt ’s high-yield solar PV panels are embedded in airport canopies, personal-transport shelters and an EV-charging park at the Bavarian headquarters of the auto components manufacturer Dräxlmaier Group. In October its Vision 60M panels were certified in Germany as a construction material.


Increased demand for EV charging

EVs are increasingly popular, with demand more than doubling over the last year following some £54 billion of industry investment in 2019 alone, according to the automotive retail body SMMT. As demand for charging rises to accommodate the Government’s Net Zero target, energy and transport markets will prioritise innovation and design, according to SolarWatt  and Centregreat – which works with numerous UK public bodies on lighting, traffic signals and telematics, bridges and structures, rail infrastructure and smart roadside technology.



The double-pitch prototype is equipped with integrated SolarWatt  Vision 36M glass-glass modules, tested to industry standards and carrying 30-year product and performance warranties and free Full-Cover insurance.


Easy to install

The design requires minimal civil engineering below ground and will be delivered and installed in modular form, reducing cost, disruption and downtime. Future variants could include surface mounting, using either framed glass-glass or standard foil modules.


Decarbonising the economy

Goddard continues: “SolarWatt has established a strong position internationally in carport charging due to our performance, advanced glass-glass technology and robust construction.”

Jeff Jenkins, Estate Manager, Centregreat, says: “These carports feature the practical innovation valued by organisations demanding innovation and sustainability as well as efficiency. By incorporating robust, high-yield solar panels and battery storage, our modular carports will help users and their visitors play their part in decarbonising the UK economy. SolarWatt has an industry-leading technology in Vision glass-glass panels and we’re impressed by the great work it’s been doing with construction partners  in Europe.”

Picture: A solar-powered EV carport.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
09th December 2020


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