Making the decision to switch to solar power for your home is a big choice that home and business owners don’t take lightly. However, once the choice has been made many enjoy a range of benefits as a result of their switch to solar. Not only is solar power great for the environment, it dramatically reduces electric bills, protects against increasing energy costs, increases property value, reinforces your commitment to sustainability, and so much more. Now that you’ve decided to go solar, you’re likely wondering what your options are in terms of solar panel installation. What are the solar panel mounting options available, and what does solar panel setup involve? Read on to learn the difference between ground mounted solar panels and solar panel roof mounting systems to determine which solar panel mount option is right for you.
Ground Mounted Solar Panels
Ground mounted solar panels are simply solar panels that are secured to a rack structure that is affixed to the ground using steel beams or another type of metal post. This solar panel mount is fixed, meaning it is stationary in a single location. Ground mounted solar panels can be installed virtually anywhere on your property, so long as there is a clear open area that is large enough. One of the biggest benefits using this form of solar panel mount is that the solar panel frame of your ground mounted system can be placed wherever the best conditions are best for solar.
Another major benefit to a ground solar panel mount is that because they are raised off the ground, there is better airflow and cooling, enabling the panels to produce more energy. At cooler temperatures, solar panels are kept running under optimal conditions, as opposed to hotter temperatures that result in less efficiency.
Additionally, a ground solar panel mount offers a unique option for scalability. When solar panel installation is performed on the roof of a house, there is only so much space available. This means that should your energy needs change in the future, there may not be the option to add more solar panels as needed. On the other hand, among the solar panel mounting options available ground mounted solar panel frames give you the flexibility to build on to an existing arrangement as needed.
Finally, another major benefit to ground mounted solar panels is that they are incredibly accessible. Something new solar users may not realize when considering solar panel mounting options is that after the initial solar panel installation, it’s not uncommon for adjustments to be made. If installing solar panels on the roof, someone will need to climb up to the roof to make fixes as needed. With a ground mounted solar panel frame, you can easily access your panels.
Solar Panel Roof Mounting Systems
In addition to ground mounted solar panels, the other common solar panel mounting options are solar panel roof mounting systems. When you think of solar panel systems, you likely immediately picture installing solar panels on roofs of homes and buildings. With this type of solar panel setup, the solar panel installation process involves affixing solar racking directly on the roof. With solar panel mounting kits for roofs, panels can be installed on flat or sloping roofs. Installing solar panels on a roof is a popular choice because this solar panel setup uses space that would otherwise go unused.
Another major benefit to solar panel installation on the roof is that it is typically less expensive. While ground mounted solar panel mounting solutions require digging holes, the purchase of poles and concrete, and more, solar panel roof mounting systems simply utilize the existing structure of your house or commercial building.
Installing solar panels on the roof is also beneficial for adding insulations and protection. Because of the position of this solar panel setup, your roof is protected from potentially degrading elements including rain, snow, wind, and UV light.
A final benefit to opting for solar panel installation on the roof is that it is a quicker and easier process to get a permit. Simply submit the blueprints of your home to prove that it is structurally sound to accommodate your choice of solar panel mounting solutions, and be sure all electrical systems and wiring are up to code.
Types of Rail and Mount Systems
When considering solar panel mounting solutions, including both ground and roof mounted systems, there are a variety of rail and mount systems available. For example, there are solar panel mounting kits for roof categorized into railed, railless, and shared-rail systems. In a rail-mounted system, a rail will be attached to an L-foot, which is then mounted on top of a segment of metal flashing. Then, the flashing is affixed to the roof with a lag screw that is driven into the rafter of the roof. Solar panel mounting kits for railless solar mounts, as the name indicates, do not use rails to affix the solar panels to the roof. Instead, the frame of the unit is secured directly to hardware that is attached to the roof.
As for mount systems options for ground mounted solar panels, there are typically two options: fixed ground mounts and solar trackers. While fixed ground mounts are stationary in a single location, solar trackers allow for movement so that the solar modules can orient in the direction of the sun as it changes positions.
Solar Panel Extrusions from Eagle Mouldings
Eagle Mouldings is a leading provider of custom solar panel mounting extrusions for home and business owners of all sizes. Our ability to supply custom aluminum solar panel extrusions ensure you find the right solution to fit your needs, whether you prefer ground mounted solar panels or a solar panel roof mounting system. With a variety of rail and mount systems available, we’ll help you find the option that makes the most sense for your electricity and energy requirements, while always keeping in mind your budget. Contact us today to discuss the options available and be on your way to greater savings and a lower carbon footprint.