There’s a common misconception that solar panels have to be mounted on a roof in order to catch the most solar rays. Is this true?
Solar panels do not have to be mounted on the roof of a home. Homeowners have the option of having solar panels mounted into the ground if that is what works best and will still catch the same amount of solar energy for power.
However, is it better to mount solar panels to the ground? Do they still collect the same amount of energy as panels mounted to the roof? Let’s explore these questions (and more) together.
Do Ground Mounted Solar Panels Collect Enough Solar Energy?
The simple answer? Yes! Ground-mounted solar panels still collect enough solar energy to produce power for your home, or whatever you collect your solar energy for. Both of these types of solar panels serve the same desired purpose, so it depends on whether one’s yard can accommodate the size of solar panels needed to collect the appropriate amount of solar energy, or if rooftop solar panels work better.
Ground mounted solar panels most often are able to be more productive per panel because they are not dependent on the rooftop. Rooftop panels have to be placed according to the slopes of the home, whereas ground solar panels can be placed for optimal positioning to obtain more solar rays to produce more electricity. Ground solar panels are able to get more electricity per panel than just ordinary rooftop panels because they can be seasonally changed to face the sun. If one has the land to place lots of solar panels around to be more off the grid, then they would be a better option compared to regular rooftop solar panels.
Are Ground or Roof Solar Panels Better
There are a few things to consider when purchasing either ground or rooftop solar panels. As stated earlier, ground solar panels can be placed a certain way to obtain the most solar rays for more electricity, which helps to save more money. Ground solar panels tend to be a little more expensive because of added permits needed to install them, and the excess labor. Though it may be a little more expensive at first, you will save more money in the long run.
There are different types of ground mounted solar panels, and they aren’t all created equal. Standard ground mounts are on a metal frame and fixed to face the optimal angle of the sun; the panels can also be adjusted manually every season based on the changes of the sun. These are the most common type of solar panels purchased for the ground. Ground mounts are also much easier to maintain because they are more easily accessible than something that requires laborers to come and check on rooftop panels if extremely dirty or need expensive maintenance.
Pole mounted solar panels hold up several panels on a singular pole higher off of the ground than regular standardly mounted panels. The pole has a tracker for the sun, meaning it automatically adjusts whenever the sun changes positions, kind of like a sunflower. The tracking system makes the solar panels collect more solar energy, saving one even more money as well as collecting 25% more of the solar rays available. These are slightly more expensive than regularly mounted solar panels because of the added tracking system, but the amount of money saved will be worth it.
Where’s the Best Place to Put Ground Solar Panels
When installing solar panels that would be on a roof, having them face the south is the best direction. Because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, solar panels need to be able to catch the most amount of sun that they can; so, having them face the south is usually the best direction for most solar panels to catch the sun from all angles. It doesn’t matter which part of the yard, as long as the panels can be face southing and catch as much sun that will make a difference in the amount of electricity produced, then that is what matters.
If one chooses to purchase the pole mounted solar panels, with the tracking system, then it is entirely dependent on the land that is available and what works best for you, and the sun. The tracking system does all of the work, so they don’t have to be changed seasonally. The pole mounted solar panels work best, of course, because of the ability to mount them at varying angles depending on the positioning of the sun and panels, and the ability to change them with the seasons.
Are Ground Mounted Solar Panels More Expensive
Ground mounted solar panels tend to be a little more expensive because of added permits needed for ground installation, as well as the labor needed to install the panels. The costs of permits sometimes depends on the amount of land needed to install the panels. The panels on the ground need more poles to hold them at a desired angle, as well as concrete pads to hold the poles and panels in place. Labor will also cost a bit more because the construction process is a little more involved than putting them on a roof.
Insurance may also vary depending on the policy taken on the home and land, as well as the solar panels that are picked. Insurance may not change, but with the tracking solar panels being mounted on a pole, those may need to be insured more because of the likelihood of being struck by lightening or hurricane wind; whatever the weather may be may cause damage to ground mounted solar panels because they are out in the open and can attract more “problems.”