Most people who switch to solar energy choose to install their solar panels on their rooftops, especially if they live in suburban areas or cities. This is usually because they don’t have space to put them anywhere else, and because a rooftop solar energy system will also allow them to capture as much sunlight as possible. But there is another option available for people who have more space available to them: ground-mounted solar panels. There might be other reasons besides extra space that you choose ground-mounted solar panels, though: your rooftop might be too shady, or your roof material might not be ideal for solar panels. In these cases, going with a ground-mounted solar panel system might be right for you, but you should get all the information on this type of system so you can determine if it is a better option.
What Is A Ground-Mounted Solar Panel System?
Ground-mounted solar panels, also known as backyard solar panels, free-standing solar panels, and ground-mount PV systems, can be installed anywhere on your property that has a good amount of sun exposure. With this type of system, solar panels are secured to a structure that is connected to the ground with a metal post; the panels connected to the ground mount feed any power they collect to a solar inverter, which can be located behind the panels on the mounting system, or in your home or business.
Different Types Of Ground-Mounted Solar Installations
There are two different kinds of ground-mounted solar panel systems that you can choose from:
- Fixed Scaffolding– as the name suggests, with this type of system, rows of solar panels are mounted onto scaffolding. They are fixed-tilts, meaning the angle of the panels cannot be changed. These solar panels are the easiest to install and the most cost-effective type of ground-mount system.
- Pole Mount– With this type of ground-mount system, one or more poles are used to support a group of panels. Unlike with a fixed scaffolding system, with a pole mount you can move the panels; these systems can work with sun trackers, which are motorized systems that automatically position the panels to face the sun throughout the day, allowing them to collect more energy. It’s important to note that if something goes wrong mechanically with these systems, repairs can be very expensive.
Pros & Cons Of Ground-Mounted Solar Panels
There are advantages and disadvantages to going with a ground-mounted solar panel system over a roof system. Knowing the pros and cons can help you determine if a ground-mounted system is right for you.
- They can be installed in almost any location and face any direction
- They produce more energy because panels can be installed at multiple angles
- There are no roof space restrictions
- You don’t need to worry about the condition of your roof
- Maintenance and repairs can be easier, since you won’t need access to your roof
- These systems are more expensive than rooftop solar energy systems
- Having one can take up a lot of your land, and make it difficult to use your property for anything else
- There is an increased chance of accidental damage from rocks or other particles from something like a lawn mower.
- The system will change the look of your home or business
- The installation process is more difficult
Is a Ground-Mounted System Right For Your Home Or Business?
Both roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar energy systems are good options for reducing your energy bills and saving money, and determining which is right for your home or business is simply a matter of weighing the pros and cons. If you have a lot of open space on your property and do not want to worry about issues with your roof, a ground-mounted solar system will work for you. But if you do not have enough space on your property, or would be unable to install as many solar panels as you would need, a rooftop solar panel system would be better for you.
If you have questions about solar panels or need help determining which solar panel system is best for your home or business, Go Solar Energy can help. Our agent works with the top-rated companies in the nation, can assess your needs, and can compare plans in minutes, for free. To get assistance and free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code on our homepage, or to speak to one of our highly trained agents, call 888-290-3112.