Ground Mounts vs Roof Mounts – What You Should Know
When it comes time to install a solar panel system on your property, you generally have a few options—ground mounted or roof mounted to choose from. There are benefits and drawbacks to both, but either way, you’ll be able to harness the energy from the sun and gain energy independence.
Our team at Solar Bear discusses how to pick a solar panel mounting system that is best for your living space, budget, and energy needs. Keep reading to learn more!
Ground Mounted Solar Panels
No matter what kind of solar panel system that you install, it will work best when it can get as much sunlight as possible. Since we live north of the equator in the United States, the sun leans south. Facing your array towards the true south will capture the optimal amount of daylight and produce the best results.
Getting the perfect alignment for your solar system for a roof-mounted system can be tricky, as your roof likely doesn’t face directly into the sun.
With a ground-mount system, you can face your solar panels in any direction that you want and align them at an optimal angle, so they point directly towards the sun to soak up the most energy. Ground-mounted systems are the most efficient solar arrays, as they maximize the sun’s rays all day long. They work best in areas that are not shaded by buildings, walls, trees, walls, or signs.
While more expensive, ground-mounted solar arrays are much more productive, which means you can recoup your investment much faster.
Here are just some of the pros and cons of a ground-mounted solar panel system:
- Easy to access
- Easy to clean
- Easier to troubleshoot
- Stronger racking overall
- The system is not confined to the dimensions of the roof
- Cooler panel temperatures mean higher energy output
- No need to remove panels if your roof needs to be replaced
- Installation is more labor-intensive
- Installation is more expensive
- Requires more parts and pieces
- Permitting process is more expensive
- Takes up real estate on your property
- Not aesthetically pleasing to everyone
Roof Mounted Solar Panels
Though neither racking system is “better” than the other, the choice will ultimately depend on your budget, energy needs, and lifestyle. A roof-mounted solar system tends to be a better option for homeowners who don’t have a lot of space, want to spend less money upfront, and want to maximize their return on investment.
When you install a solar system on your roof, the most complicated part of the structure, the roof, is already in place. Your installers won’t have to dig holes, get the soil surveyed, or worry about property lines, etc. Instead, mounting solar panels on your roof allows you to use space that would usually be unused.
Further, roof-mounted solar panels are ideal for grid-tied customers that want to save thousands of dollars on the install. Plus, they are easier to get permits for!
- Less expensive
- Requires fewer materials to install
- Installation labor cost is lower
- Utilizes unused space
- Easier to permit
- Harder to access – especially if your roof is steep or slippery
- Harder to troubleshoot errors
- Higher panel temperatures can mean lower panel output
- Space constraints on the roof can limit the size of the system
- Can be a hassle if you need to replace the roof within the panel’s lifetime of 25-30 years
- Putting holes in your roof to mount the solar panels could lead to water damage
- Your HOA may have regulations against solar panels
- Your roof may be too old for solar panel installation, which means you would have to replace your roof before installing solar.
As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to each solar mounting system, and what makes sense for your neighbor might not make sense for you. Consider your energy needs, the size of your property, your budget, and your lifestyle.
Harness the Sun’s Energy with Solar Bear
Ready to gain energy independence and use the sun’s energy to power your home? Our team at Solar Bear Orlando can help! Whether you want to install a roof-mounted or a ground-mounted solar array, we have the expertise to get the job done right!
Start your solar journey today! Call Solar Bear Orlando for a FREE solar consultation today; 407-904-7585!