Adopting solar power means installing a rooftop photovoltaic panel system, at least for most homeowners. But this isn’t your only option. Did you know that you can mount your solar array on the ground instead?
Ground-mounted photovoltaic systems can be just as cost-effective and efficient as rooftop solar panels.
Types of Ground-Mounted Photovoltaic Panel Systems
Two different types of installations are available for ground-mounted solar panel systems: standard mounts and pole mounts.
Standard ground mounts use a metal framework to support the solar panels. A metal rack is installed close to the ground, and the array is attached at a fixed angle. Some systems allow you to adjust the angle or tilt of the array to follow the sun’s path as it changes with the seasons.
Like standard ground mounts, pole mounts also use metal framing to secure the photovoltaic panels.
With this installation option, however, the solar array is supported on a single pole. Some pole mounts also incorporate tracking systems that allow the array to follow the sun as it moves through the sky during the day.
Benefits of Ground-Mounted Photovoltaic Panel Systems
Solar panels mounted on ground or pole mounts are particularly effective because they can be placed at the perfect angle and direction to maximize energy production. With rooftop photovoltaic systems, the placement of the array is dependent upon the characteristics of the roof, which may not be at an ideal tilt or orientation.
Ground mounts also are easier to install than rooftop systems, and this can reduce labor costs. Plus, their placement makes them easy to access. Cleaning and routine maintenance is a breeze with this type solar installation, but less so with a rooftop photovoltaic array.
Should You Consider a Ground-Mounted System?
Take a look at your rooftop. Which direction does it face? South- and west-facing roofs can work well for solar energy production, but if yours has another orientation, a ground-mounted photovoltaic system may be more efficient.
Does your rooftop have any obstructions, like chimneys or vents? You may not have enough space for an array large enough to produce electricity for your home. And if trees or nearby buildings cast shadows on your roof, rooftop solar panels may be less productive than a ground-mounted photovoltaic array.
Many factors are involved in determining the best installation option for your solar array. Rely on Intermountain Wind & Solar, with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, for help designing and installing your solar energy system. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss adding a photovoltaic panel system at your home or business.