Ask Us

Ask about our Finance Options and payment Plans, or to lean more click here


A Solar Cup of Tea.

All projects start with an idea, this one was no different in that respect.

This customer had a garage, however, as with many homes the garage had lots in it but no cars.

In fact, this garage had a large pottery oven in it, which took a fair bit of electric to get up to temperature.

So, the cars were parked next to the garage as there was plenty of room there for parking.

I am going to try to put myself in the mind of the client when I write this news article. Let’s see how that goes!

When we leave our cars outside in the winter, they often have frost on them, and then in the summer they get too hot and, in the spring, they get covered in leaves and sap from trees. It would be nice to be able to sort out the car without having to deal with these issues, so I had the idea of having a carport canopy constructed.

The house is a very nice country house in Kent with tennis courts next to the car parking area, clearly any addition to the property had to be in keeping with its surroundings. This requirement was amplified by the fact that the house was in an area of outstanding beauty. Yes, that means planning permission was required.

In the past we had considered solar panels for the roof, but quickly discounted this due to the negative aesthetic impact they would have on the property.

So, there it was, I wanted a carport, I liked the idea of solar power, the simple answer; solar carport or solar canopies, so where do I get one? Time for a website search.

After some extensive research, which was more difficult than I imagined, 123v were chosen.

Many factors contributed to this decision.  To find a UK company that was able to offer a turnkey solution was no mean task.  Finding wide span canopy carports with integrated solar power, that would meet the requirement of the planning department, ended up being a rare product but 123v came up as the company with all the answers.

A site visit was carried out by John, one of 123v costing surveyors (a jolly and helpful chap), measurements were taken, and we decided on a size and style, John had samples of the materials to be used including a 240mm deep aluminum beam section that could safely enable the wide spans required for the carport. It was explained that 123v designed the sections themselves to fulfill the requirements of open sided canopies, carports and verandas. Being able to see some of the main materials proposed was very useful, as it made it clear that this was a quality product.  The colour choice was easy, it had to be black, although 123v do offer canopies in any RAL colour.  Being happy with the proposed solar carport design I asked John to prepare an estimate for the works.

Black Solar Carports Canopy by 123v


A few days later we received an estimate along with the wind and snow loadings for the site location. We understood that different geographical locations throughout the UK need a super structure and foundations to suit the site conditions. One size does not fit all. The estimate was comprehensive and met all our requirements.

The order was placed subject to planning permission being granted. The next stage was a technical survey conducted by David, who happened to be the installation director. David clearly knew the process inside out. I have to say that at this point our confidence was growing and we knew that we had made the right choice.

123v produced the final C.A.D. drawings and the administrative part the application for submission to the planning department. Then a heritage statement had to be produced. Time ticked by with a positive outcome. Planning permission for the solar powered canopy carport was granted. This was also seen as a solar support structure which helped to get the planning permission required.

Design of Solar Carport Side View Cad Drawing by 123v                Design of Solar Carport Plan View Cad Drawing by 123v


After the time and effort put in by all, I would have been disappointed had it been refused, so I was now looking forward to getting the carport fitted and the solar glass panels generating clean energy for the house.

The day had come, an empty car parking space began its transformation into a new area of our home.

123v Mercedes Vans were here, Digger, dumper, skips and lifting equipment all on site.

We were told that the new concrete foundations would be left to set before the glass solar panels were fitted to the framework.  The glass solar panels form a watertight roof with cables integrated in the 123v glazing bar system, feeding out to the corner by the garage.

So, I now have a treble car carport, one problem solved, one to go so, onto the electrics.  Cables were fed into the garage, the inverter was installed on the wall and connected to the consumer fuse box and with a turn of the isolating switch, that was it.  The sun generator 93 million miles away is powering my house via a solar powered canopy that is also my carport. Success! I am now off to go and make a solar cup of tea……bliss.


Robin 123v
Written by

Robin Marlin

  • 4 Articles Published
  • Joined on 22/09/1997