All About Ground Mount Solar Energy Systems – The Good and The Bad

A solar energy system may be something you want to consider installing because, in the long run, the installation will provide you with a higher Return on Investment (ROI). As well as being a homeowner, you have taken the first step in taking control of your energy cost and reducing your carbon impact! This one solar investment may provide you with decades of free energy and significant tax savings. It can also help you make a positive impact on the environment and your financial well-being.

You’ll need to figure out what type of solar panel system or a solar array you want to put in first, however, before you start going off and installing a rooftop or the Ground mount Solar Array. Both techniques have advantages and disadvantages so that your specific circumstances will determine the best choice.

For those considering building, a ground mount solar system, there are five things you should know before proceeding because ground-mounted solar panel systems are not all the same

Types of Ground-Mount Systems

Standard-Mounted Panels

When you think of a regular mounted solar panel system on the ground, it’s the ground mount solar array systems that come to mind when you first think of a typical mounting system. Before you start work on a ground mount solar system, understanding soil types is of utmost importance. Problematic soil types include silty or heavy clay, fine sand, soil with many large rocks, or the absence of topsoil. If the soil conditions are good, like a deep, well-balanced soil free of rocks with middling to the high water table, then it helps the Ground Mount Solar System.

The metal poles are driven deep into the Ground using drilling to ensure that ground screws firmly secure the system. Then a framework of metal beams is constructed to serve as the supporting structure for the solar panels, which are then placed on top of the framework. Inverters are sometimes installed on the metal beams to have easy access to the complete equipment.

Ground mounts that are standard design maintain a constant angle through the day and seasons. The degree of tilt where the solar panels are placed is an essential consideration since it affects the amount of energy that the panels can generate. Furthermore, the direction in which the panels are facing will affect the manufacturing process. In comparison to north-facing panels, south-facing panels will get more sunshine.

As described above, a typical ground mount solar system should be constructed to receive the most sunlight possible and placed at the optimum tilt angle to optimize energy production. This angle will change depending on where you are in the world.

Pole-Mounted Solar System

The sun does not remain in the same position throughout the day or throughout the year. For example, a system placed at a fixed angle (such as a standard-mounted system) will generate less energy than a dynamic system and adjust the tilt in response to the sun’s daily and annual changes.

Pole-mounted solar systems are an excellent solution in this situation. Pole-mounted systems use a single main pole drilled into the ground and may support several solar modules or arrays simultaneously.

Pole-Mounted Solar Tracking System

Pole mounts are often used in conjunction with a tracking system, which will move your solar panel during the day to optimize exposure to the sun and, therefore, the amount of energy they produce. They can rotate the direction in which they are looking and the angle at which they are inclined.

While increasing the overall productivity of your system seems like a win-win situation, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Tracking systems are more complicated to set up and rely on a greater number of mechanics. This implies that they will be more expensive to install.

In addition to the additional expenses, pole-mounted tracking devices may require more frequent maintenance. However, even though this is a well-established and reliable technology, tracking systems have more moving components, increasing the likelihood of something going wrong or getting misaligned. When using a conventional ground mount, this is not a major issue to worry about. In some instances, the extra energy produced by the tracking system may be sufficient to offset the increased cost; however, this will depend on the specific circumstances of each instance.

Advantages and Disadvantages – Ground Mount Systems

Ground mount solar panel systems offer benefits for all homeowners

However, even if you qualify for a rooftop solar energy system, there are many advantages to installing a ground mount solar energy system. First and foremost, ground mount solar panel systems are straightforward to install since they can be placed on flat, open ground. The clamps utilized in conventional ground mount systems are lightweight and simple to remove, and they do not need drilling into your roof like other types of systems. Choosing a pole mount is often more secure than a wall mount because of the pipe supports.

Secondly, ground mount solar panel system may be more productive per panel than a rooftop solar array, depending on the configuration. Ground-mounted solar panels can be installed at the optimal angle for energy production since they are not reliant on your roof for installation. This implies that you can produce more solar electricity than you could with a comparable-sized rooftop system, and you can save more money over time.

Lastly, ground-mounted solar panels are highly accessible for cleaning and maintenance, making them a popular choice. The ability to quickly sweep snow off of your solar panels is a significant convenience if you live in a region that gets a lot of snow during the winter.

Ground Mount Solar Systems Are Typically More Expensive

Ground mount solar systems will almost certainly be more costly in the long run than roof-mounted systems, at least in the near term. Ground mount systems need the use of additional effort and materials.

 Although a roof mount still includes a racking system to keep the panels in place, the roof on which it is placed serves as the primary support for the system. When installing a ground-mount system, your installer must first construct a strong support structure comprised of steel beams that are drilled or hammered into the Ground.

However, just because the installation costs are greater than those of a roof mount does not imply that it is the most cost-effective choice in the long run. When you use a roof mount, you are at the mercy of your roof, which might or might not be appropriate for solar power installation. If your roof is unable to handle the extra weight of a solar system without reinforcements, you may be forced to replace your roof entirely. Additionally, a roof with a north-facing orientation or a roof with many shadows may significantly decrease the amount of energy your system produces. These considerations may make a ground-mounted solar system more attractive than a roof-mounted solar system, notwithstanding the higher installation costs associated with the latter.

Efficiency – Ground Mounts are better than Roof Mount

Suppose you compare it to a roof-mounted system. In that case, a ground-mounted system may generate more energy per watt of solar energy installed. The colder the environment, the more efficient solar energy systems are. Solar panels mounted on rooftops are just a few inches above the surface of the roof. Roofs that are not blocked by any shade may get very hot on hot days. There is just a tiny amount of space below the solar panels to allow for ventilation.

In the case of ground mounts, there will only be a few feet between the solar panels’ bottoms and the surrounding soil. Because air can quickly move between the ground and the solar panels, the temperature of the solar system may be kept lower, allowing the panels to be more efficient overall. In addition to a slight increase in output due to lower temperatures, you’ll have more flexibility regarding where you place your system, which direction it faces, and the degree to which the panels are tilted.

If these variables are adjusted, they may result in increased productivity over a roof mount system, which is particularly beneficial if your roof is not well suited for solar. You’ll want to install the solar panel system in an area where adjacent trees or buildings won’t shade it, and you’ll want to point it south if possible. The greatest sunlight will be received by systems that are oriented south throughout the day.

Additionally, your installer may build the racking system to tilt at the optimum angle for your particular location and climate conditions. When you have a roof-mounted system, the tilt of your solar panels is limited by the pitch of your roof.

Portion of Land for the Ground-Mount System

Although ground-mount solar systems enable you to select the most productive location for your solar system in terms of output, you must devote a specific area to the solar system for it to be effective.

The quantity of land required will depend on the size of your solar energy installation. A typical house with an energy cost of $120 per month would most likely need a 10 kW system. According to the manufacturer, a system of this size would cover about 624 square feet (or.014 acres).

Having a farm or company means your energy cost is likely to be considerably higher, and you’ll need a more extensive solar system to offset this. A 100 kW system would be sufficient to pay a monthly energy cost of $1,200. This system would cover about 8,541 square feet or approximately.2 acres.

Solar systems are built to endure for decades, with guarantees ranging from 25 to 30 years offered by several high-quality manufacturers. Keep this in mind when you decide where your system will be installed. Check to see if you have any plans for that location.

Farmers in particular face the prospect of losing their livelihoods if they sell their property.

Depending on the situation, a ground-mounted system several feet higher above the ground may be an option. This may provide the necessary clearance for crops to be grown underneath the panels if necessary. However, there will be an additional expense associated with this, which should be balanced against the profit generated by those crops.

Ground Mounts Are Easier to Access

When compared to rooftop-mounted panels, ground-mounted solar modules will be more convenient to reach. This may come in useful if you need to do maintenance or repairs on your panels in the future. Because it will be simpler for solar specialists to get to ground mounts, installing them will be less expensive.

On the other hand, ground mounts make it simple for unauthorized individuals and animals to get access to your system. Animals may gnaw on your panels’ wiring if they are subjected to strong pressure on them, such as when climbing on them or striking them. Solar owners often install a fence surrounding a ground-mount solar system to keep out intruders and animals. Depending on the scale of your system and the laws in your jurisdiction, this may be a necessity. If a fence is required, the decision will be made during the permission process or the inspection of your solar system after it has been built.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to installing a solar energy system on their property, rooftop solar is most likely the first thing that comes to mind for most homeowners. Many homeowners are unaware that installing Ground mount solar panels is just as simple and cost-effective as installing roof-mounted solar panels. Here are all the top three factors that you should be aware of regarding ground-based solar panels.

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