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Solar Pergola/patio


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Hi all, need some advice on a solar installation I am considering. Chime up if you think this is a really bad idea. I have an existing North facing pergola that i have repaired and extended. I realise that the low angle would not be ideal, but I am considering covering the structure with solar panels as per the first picture. My reasoning is that i would save some of the costs of a Klip-lok roof on this 27m2 structure and use it to cross-subsidise the panels and associated costs. A few questions: 

  • Do only bi-facial panels look like the first picture when seen from underneath?
  • I have found this link online and wonder if anyone has experience with these panels (Canadian Solar 300W Poly Bi-facial BiKu Frameless) or the seller: (1) (japsolar.com)

Hopefully pair with 8KW Sunsynk and Hubble or BSL battery, so can expand over time. Ideally would like to support the Powerforum store (if it makes financial sense) and the reputable installers on this forum.

Few more details/ideas: Located in JHB area. I have a Prepaid meter (Landis+Gyr Model CIU PLC Mk3), current usage <500kwh per month, single phase. Foresee I will be working from home at least 3 days per week even after Covid19 is over. Existing energy saving from Led downlights throughout, 200l Solar Geyser and Gas stove. Do not want to export power. Perhaps I may start with a Grid tied solution (panels and inverter) and add the battery/ies later and move to Hybrid as budget allows. 




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With all those clouds, doesn't look too solar friendly 🙂

I don't think double sided panels are a good option, they ideally want a mirror surface from below to help with power generation. Normal panels look white from below, at least mine do.

Do realise that the solar panels get pretty warm when the sun lets them produce electrons and underneath them you get plenty of warmth being radiated in the form of infrared, I guess, radiation, as high as they would be off the ground, maybe thats not an issue, but you may need some extra insulation layer underneath the panels, to make it not like sitting in a grill with heat from above...

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