Roof mounted vs Ground Mounted. Which solar mounting system should I use?
Solar energy has become a popular and sustainable choice for generating electricity. When considering a solar installation, one crucial decision is selecting the right mounting system. Two common options are roof-mounted and ground-mounted systems. This guide aims to provide you with a comparison of both options and help you determine which solar mounting system is best suited for your needs.
Roof Mounted Solar Systems:
- Limited space availability on the ground
- Roofs with adequate structural integrity and optimal sun exposure
- Urban or suburban areas with smaller land parcels
- Efficient use of existing roof space
- Minimises the need for additional land or property
- Can potentially offset electricity costs for the entire building
- Provides shading and insulation benefits to the roof
- Structural assessment of the roof to ensure it can support the additional weight
- Potential shading from nearby buildings, trees, or obstructions
- Installation costs may be higher due to complexities involved (e.g., roof angle, orientation, and material compatibility)
- May require regular maintenance to keep the roof clean and ensure optimal performance
Ground Mounted Solar Systems:
- Ample available space on the ground, such as large residential properties or commercial installations
- Areas with suboptimal roof conditions, shading, or orientation
- Flexibility for future system expansion
- Optimal positioning for maximum sun exposure and energy generation
- Easier access for installation, maintenance, and cleaning
- Lower installation costs compared to roof-mounted systems
- No structural concerns or limitations associated with the roof
- Requires additional land or property
- Potential aesthetic impact on the landscape, depending on the location
- May necessitate trenching and underground cabling for electrical connections
- Loss of potential shading benefits to the ground beneath the system
Choosing the Right System:
When deciding between a roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar system, consider the following factors:
- Available space: Evaluate the space you have on your property. If you have limited space or a small roof area, a roof-mounted system may be the better option. If you have ample open land, a ground-mounted system could be more suitable
- Sun exposure: Assess the amount of sunlight your property receives throughout the day. If your roof has unobstructed access to sunlight, a roof-mounted system can be effective. However, if your roof experiences shading or is not ideally positioned, a ground-mounted system may provide better solar efficiency
- Structural considerations: Determine if your roof is structurally capable of supporting the added weight of solar panels. Consult a professional to conduct a structural assessment. If your roof is not suitable or if you have concerns, a ground-mounted system offers a viable alternative.
- Cost and aesthetics: Consider your budget and preferences. Roof-mounted systems generally have higher installation costs but may be more aesthetically pleasing as they blend with the building. Ground-mounted systems are usually more cost-effective but may impact the visual appeal of your property
Choosing between a roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar system depends on your specific circumstances and requirements. Evaluate available space, sun exposure, structural considerations, cost, and aesthetic preferences. Consulting with solar professionals can provide valuable guidance in selecting the optimal mounting system for your solar energy project.