If you’re planning a solar installation, it’s a great step, but you have a few decisions to make first. One of the primary ones has to do with where you will set space aside for the panels — up on the roof or down on the ground. If you live in an urban area, chances are that you won’t want to give up the limited space that you have in your front yard or backyard. If you can consider it, though, what kind of mounting choice would be better?
Solar panels were never meant to be rigidly mounted
Solar panels work best when they directly face the sun. Since the sun follows different paths across the sky at different times of the year, panels rigidly mounted on rooftops can almost never as effective at catching the rays as panels mounted on movable arms. This type of mounting is possible with ground-mounted panels, alone. Homeowners can move their panels to track the sun in every season. It’s a huge advantage that results in a great deal of improvement in power efficiency.
Solar panels last longer on the ground
Solar panels mounted flat on roofs have little airflow on their undersides. They tend to heat up quickly, a condition that results in shortened lifespans, and lowered power efficiency. Mounted on the ground, on the other hand, solar panels are positioned at raised angles. They receive considerable airflow on all sides. They run cooler, last longer, and run more efficiently.
You can usually get more power on the ground
Whether your home is in a rural environment or an urban one, your yard is likely to have far more room for your solar panels than your roof. Not every part of a roof can usually be used for panels, and panels tend to be more space-efficient on the ground. According to Energy Saving Pros of Loomis, CA, ground-mounted solar panel systems can often produce far more power than roof-mounted ones.
Finally, they make your roof harder to access
Homes with solar panels bolted on the roof tend to be harder to sell for the simple reason that they turn harder for home inspectors to access. They can also make roofs harder for repair crews to access when such repairs are needed. Ground-mounted systems leave roofs open for proper maintenance.