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Custom Solar Design: A PV Carport Meets Multiple Goals

We recently completed a solar PV carport for one such client in Kansas City, MO. This couple, both of whom are architects, weren’t interested in an out-of-the-box, pre-configured solution. They wanted a custom solar carport that served a number of practical functions without compromising aesthetic interest. We were happy to take on the project!

Something Out of the Ordinary

In a testimonial the client shared with us, they wrote “I have researched adding PV to my home for several years and have met with several PV providers in the KC area… and it was challenging to find someone who was interested in doing something out of the ordinary.” As they searched for a partner for their custom solar installation, they noticed that solar providers tended to fall into two categories, “the new and low budget operators who got into this to ride the wave and are not that knowledgeable, and the commercial providers who have little interest in working with a homeowner.”

We were excited to be able to differentiate ourselves from the pack through our commitment to working with clients to achieve their unique vision, solve complex solar problems, and manage costs to ensure the highest possible return on investment. Pre-configured solutions may at times be the right fit for some client’s needs, but our depth of experience in solar design and project management gives us the ability to take on interesting custom projects like this one.

A Custom Solar Carport

For this project, the homeowners wanted to create a multi-functional outdoor space that would provide protection for their cars and also create shade for part of their patio. Ideally, it would also be an “outdoor pavilion” for entertaining when the cars were moved away. This necessitated a very clean look with an elegant support structure, combining form and function to create a structure that was beautiful and modern but also complemented the existing architecture of the home and the character of the neighborhood.

We were pleased to be involved in the majority of the planning and building process. We identified a structural engineer who could design a streamlined support system for the Lumos solar panels chosen by the client and a fabricator who could build it both well and affordably. We recommended a contracting team who cleared the space and installed the pad, footings, and retaining walls necessary to create the carport foundation. The client notes that “ there were a lot of competing challenges that needed to be resolved” in order to complete the project successfully, but that “they were amazingly accommodating to every request.”

The solar aspect of this custom carport comes from Lumos solar panels, which “have a very clean look and are partially transparent so some light filters through the panels creating a mottled light pattern on the ground, similar to the shading from a tree.” They are beautifully and simply designed, with the ability to hide connecting wires in the support beams, providing a very clean look and creating a distinctly modern outdoor space.

The Result

This exciting and challenging project has a very happy ending. “Not only do we have a new carport and entertainment patio that our neighbors have been stopping by and admiring,” the client writes, “we got the design we wanted and a well-constructed PV carport that will give us great delight for years to come.” And that’s not even the best part! This multi-functional design was a success on every front and also achieves major energy savings for the homeowners, who are now paying less than $10/month on their utility bill.

At Solar Design Studio, we truly enjoy working with ambitious, creative clients who trust us with their custom solar projects. Through years of successful consulting, design, and engineering experience, we’ve learned how to tackle a variety of projects (both commercial and residential) with a commitment to maximizing our client’s investment without compromising on quality or appearance.

Is there a custom solar project that you’ve been dreaming about? Contact us today to start making that dream a reality!

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What Our Clients Are Saying

We owe a great debt of gratitude to Bob and his knowledge and team for helping to create an amazing PV carport for us. I’m sure you would be delighted with whatever you engage him to help you with.

Dev & Sue Malik


I have had the pleasure of working with Bob for several years. In the beginning, Bob taught me important basics. Over a short period of time I was equipped with the language and tools to develop projects which resulted in more than 7 million dollars of sales. Over the past 5 years Bob has been a tremendous resource handling everything from initial ROI analysis to system design, rebate/ utility paperwork, city permitting, material sourcing, and final project paperwork. I can truly say Solar Design Studios played a major role in my success.

A sincere Thank You!

Nathan Clausen


Bob Solger is Mr. Solar to the Kansas City region. With a passion to forge change and be green well before it was cool to do so, Bob has led the regional market as an engineer and spokesperson for the adoption of solar energy. He completes his projects professionally and continues to inspire by teaching others how to get the most from solar installations.

Ace Wagner