Solar Panel Mounting: What Are My Options?
1) on your rooftop;
2) atop a steel pole set in concrete; or
3) on the ground.
The way in which you choose to mount your solar panels will determine the types of parts and materials used in the solar array mounting rack. However, arrays in most urban and suburban areas are typically mounted on a home’s south-facing roof.
Picture source: soltech-usa.com
This is because it is seen as the most aesthetically pleasing option, so most homeowner’s associations and local building regulators require it. Think of it this way, it protects your home value by ensuring that your neighbor next door doesn’t put up an ugly array on her roof that might decrease your home value.
If you live in an area with much more space you could use a pole or ground-mounted array. This allows you the option of incorporating certain features like seasonal adjustability. This allows you to get a little more out of your array throughout the year by adjusting its orientation to capture more sun.
Picture source: solardaily.com
The sun is higher in the sky during the summer and lower in the winter, so by adjusting the tilt angle of your mounting racks you can keep your solar panels aimed more directly at the sun year-round. This adjustment maximizes the energy production of your array and can increase total energy output by a few percent.
The title angle of rooftop mounted systems typically aren’t adjustable. Pole-mounted arrays can also use tracking devices to follow the sun across the sky each day automatically. Incorporating tracking devices can increase daily energy output by 25 to 40 percent.
Picture source: solarray.com