Considerations for Solar in Tiny Houses

In More Tech Notes by Kayla Jlassi

Introduction to Solar-Powered Tiny Houses

Renewed interest in environmental concerns has resulted in many varied approaches to individual impact on the environment including, but not limited to, Tiny Houses. For others, Tiny Houses simply mean living independently. Regardless of the motivations surrounding them, Tiny Houses mean having the opportunity to work with solar. If possible, it is best to integrate solar into the home during the planning process of the building. It is always best to take into account potential complications and limitations of solar when deciding to incorporate solar into your home; this page attempts to give a brief overview of Tiny Houses.

Looking at the Specifics

  • The Roof:
    The roof should be designed to have the solar modules mounted to it, so it should be preferably at an angle 35°-45° and reinforced to support the weight and wind load of the solar modules (including when the house is mobile).
  • Roof Pitch

Storage Batteries
Battery StorageAs the storage batteries can be quite heavy, it is best to place them near the axle; if possible, they could be recessed in the floor to save space and lower the center of gravity. Extra space should also be given for the electronics: inverter, charge controller, etc.  Generally, this should be installed as close to the batteries as possible to minimize the length of the DC wires.

Potential Complications and Limitations

Final Considerations

Whether the solar system is integrated or separate, care should be taken to ensure the solar modules are facing south and free of shade. While it may seem complicated, with careful consideration and planning, adding solar to a tiny home is a wonderful way to make a positive environmental impact and a move towards greater independence. .