3 Alternatives to Rooftop Solar Panels
For most homeowners, rooftop solar panels provide an efficient and cost-effective way to generate photovoltaic power.
However, a rooftop PV panel installation isn’t always practical or even possible. Some roofs get too much shade, while others aren’t structurally suited for mounting a photovoltaic system. And in some cases, homeowners associations restrict or prohibit rooftop panel placement.
Fortunately, you have other options that may better suit your needs.
Option No. 1: Install Solar Panels on an Alternate Roof Space
If the roof of your house won’t accommodate a PV installation, or if your unreasonably strict HOA won’t allow it, consider using other structures on your property.
Sheds, barns, garages, patio covers and carports all provide alternatives to traditional home rooftop panel placement. If these structures are exposed to the sun for most of the day, they may be well-suited for photovoltaic power production.
If you don’t have a viable alternate roof space for your PV system, you could build a shed or guest house, or install a carport or patio cover.
Option No. 2: Install Solar Panels on Ground Mounts
Adding an alternative structure makes sense if you were already thinking about investing in one. But if you don’t have the need, the added expense probably doesn’t seem all that attractive.
In that case, a ground-mounted solar array may make sense for you.
A ground-mounted system is usually just as cost-effective as a rooftop PV system. Photovoltaic panels placed at ground level are highly efficient, since they can be installed at the ideal angle and orientation for maximum solar electricity output.
Option No. 3: Invest in Mobile Solar Panels
What if you’re a renter?
If you don’t own your home, installing rooftop solar panels probably isn’t an option you can or even should consider. But that doesn’t mean you can’t save money with photovoltaic power.
Mobile solar power systems don’t have to be attached to a house or other structure, and using one for home power won’t damage the property. With portable or mobile solar, your landlord has no reason to object.
Many portable photovoltaic options are available. For home appliances, electronics and lighting, you can choose a large mobile solar unit, perhaps one with batteries for energy storage and a generator for backup power.
To use your setup, simply place the PV system in a sunny spot in the yard or driveway. If necessary, you can easily move the mobile solar unit to another location to capture more sunlight.
Best of all, a portable photovoltaic system can go wherever you go. Take it on your travels for a free source of electricity, and when you decide to move, just pack it up and bring it along.
Intermountain Wind & Solar, the leading photovoltaic contractor in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming, can help you explore your PV installation options. If you suspect you can’t install a panel array on your roof, contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn about the alternatives to rooftop solar.