Solar Roof Mounts or Ground Mounts – which is the best option for you?
So you’ve done your due diligence and chosen the ideal PV system… Now it’s time to consider which mounting method is the best option for your application, budget and energy needs.
In this article, we’re outlining the two types of mounting options – roof mount and ground mount racking systems. See how they compare and decide which option is most suitable for you!
What is a mount?
It is a foundation that holds your solar system in place. There are typically two options for mounting – roof or ground mount.
Roof mounted solar panels
Roof mount systems affix to brackets on your roof. Whether a home or a commercial property, roof mounted systems do typically tend to be the most popular choice on the basis that it is more affordable and less complicated to acquire permission. However, it is imperative to first have your roof structurally assessed to ascertain its strength to support a solar system.
Roof mounts are an ideal option if you:
- Would like to outlay less capital upfront
- Require a system that is simpler to install
- Don’t have much space on your property
When you put a solar system on your roof, the most complicated part of the structure is already in place. This means that you wouldn’t have to dig holes, get the soil surveyed, worry about your property line, or purchase expensive materials like poles and concrete.
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Ground mounted solar panels
A ground mounted system is a slightly more complex solution in the sense that these structures require municipal permission (for homes and commercial properties), they are more labour-intensive to install and they are more expensive.
However, they are the alternative option you may want to consider in these instances:
- If your roof is not structurally sound to accommodate the additional weight of the PV Array
- If you have a complex roof design (orientation etc.)
- If your roof would require replacement within the panel’s lifetime
- If your roof has space constraints
If you decide to go ground-mount, you will enjoy the following advantages:
- The ease with which you can access panels for cleaning or troubleshooting
- Assuming space is not an issue, you have the benefit of expanding your system down the road (if your energy requirements change) or you could even get creative with a unique installation option (such as solar trees)
It’s a wrap
Here’s a brief summary of the main points of comparison between the two mounting options:
In the end, neither mounting system is “better” than the other. The choice is entirely dependent on how your budget, energy needs, and lifestyle come together. As always, we recommend that you consult with a professional to assist you in making these decisions.
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