Rooftop solar panels are the most sought-after option for homeowners to installing solar panels on their homes. Many homeowners aren’t aware that ground-mount solar panels can be equally cost-effective and simple to set up.
What are ground-mount solar panels?
Ground-mounted solar panels are solar panels that are installed at the ground level. They function in the same manner to rooftop solar panels. They are subjected to light, which is then converted to electricity by solar cells. This is utilized to power a single buildingor community in the case of solar farms.
These are the top three facts about ground mounted solar panels.
Ground-mounted solar systems are often the best choice.
The rooftop solar panel is the most sought-after option for homeowners. However, ground-mounted solar panels are also an alternative.
Ground-mounted solar panels generally more expensive than rooftop solar panels due to the added labour and permits that might be required. Ground-mounted solar systems might save you money in the end if your house isn’t suitable for solar panels.
Solar arrays from Rooftops have only a small range of performance due to the roof they’re mounted on. The solar array won’t produce as much power if it isn’t installed at the right angle that faces south or has obstructions such as skylights or chimneys. Ground-mounted solar panels, on contrary, can be installed wherever optimal conditions are in place.
You might also find that your roof is not large enough to accommodate an array of solar panels which can provide the requirements of your electric consumption. Ground-mounted solar systems, on the other hand can be adapted to meet your electricity consumption without the restrictions of rooftop systems.
All ground-mounted solar panels systems are not created equal
There are two kinds of solar panels that are mounted on the ground. systems:
Ground-mounts are made from metal framing , which is placed in the ground. This holds your panels at a set angle. Although standard ground-mounted solar panels can be adjusted manually to adjust for seasonal changes.
Pole-mounted solar systems are able to support multiple panels on one pole and increase the height of panels over traditional ground mounts. The majority of pole-mounted solar systems come with system for tracking that will automatically adjust the panels to get the most sunlight.
With tracking systems, the manufacturing of solar panels can be increased by up to 25 percent. If you’re considering adding a tracking system to your array mounted on the ground There are two options. Single-axis tracking systems keep track of your solar panels all day by following the sun’s course across the sky. Dual-axis tracking systems also can account for seasonal changes in the sun’s direction.
All homeowners can benefit from ground-mounted solar panels systems
Even if your home is suitable for solar power on the roof ground-mounted solar panels offer many advantages.
Ground-mounted solar panels are easy to set up because they can be put on any surface. Solar panels that are mounted on ground don’t require to be installed on your roof.
Additionally, the bracings in conventional ground-mount systems can be removed with ease and are light. They will be more secure when you select the pole-mount.
A ground-mount solar panel can be more effective per solar panel than a rooftop array. Ground-mounted solar panels don’t need to be connected to the roof, and they can be placed at the ideal angle for optimal energy production.
It can generate more power than similar rooftop systems and also save money over the long term.
Ground-mounted solar panels can be easily cleaned and maintained. It’s very easy to to sweep snow off of your panels if you reside in an area that has lots of snow.
Ground-mount systems are offered by Nevada Solar Power Installers installers. The cost of a standard ground-mounted solar system is comparable to the cost of a rooftop solar system. If you incorporate a tracking system you’ll need to pay an upfront price but this is compensated by higher electricity generation and makes tracking systems more reasonable for homeowners.
What is a suitable area for a ground-mounted solar system?
You’re looking for a place that’s perfect for you.
- To the south, the terrain is flat or slopes (up up to five degrees).
- A floodplain more than 100 years of age isn’t likely
- Shade from nearby trees is not necessary
- It is simple to find the electrical infrastructure in place, avoiding expensive trenching and cabling.
- Large constructions (above 100kW) aren’t evident from the homes around them.
- A suitable surface (not too soft that concrete foundations are required, but not too hard that pre-drilling is required)
A geotechnical analysis is required before solar installations can proceed. This will verify that the proper solar mounting structure is able to be utilized, as well as the warranty.
Different Ground Mounted Solar Panel Racking Systems
Traditional - Steel pillars are the most affordable method to put in ground mount systems. Steel pillars can be used to drive into if the ground has been considered acceptable by the geotechnical evaluation.
Concrete - Sometimes, a concrete footing is needed to put the panels. This provides greater stability and also wind resistance.
Ground Screws – While they’re more costly to install, they are a solid solution. It is possible to drill the screws with special equipment.
Ballasted – It’s possible to not penetrate the ground completely when it is required. Concrete blocks can be used to install solar panels. They sit on the ground, and they hold the solar panel in the right place.
Single Axis Tracking - Tracking systems make use of motors to move panels during the day, ensuring that they are in the correct angle to the sun. Single-axis trackers trace the path of the sun from East to West.
Dual Axis Tracking Dual trackers have various motor choices that permit the panels to move in a more circular manner, thus maximizing the power output.
Ground-Mounted Solar: Drawbacks
Ground-mounted solar systems do have negatives, but it depends on the situation is. The requirement for land is that it must be cultivated.
Ground-mounted systems come with the obvious disadvantage of having to be erected on terrain. This makes them more appropriate for suburban or rural settings rather than urban settings. Ground-mounted solar systems capable producing enough electricity to supply an American household’s typical daily needs will require about 1,000 square feet of uninterrupted sunlight.
Potential Environmental Impact
The United States has more than 8 billion square metres of rooftops that can be used for the installation of solar panels. These panels are capable of doubling the country’s electricity generation capacity. There is no requirement to create additional land available. Rooftop solar has a minimal environmental impact as a result of the land used.
A typical solar array that is mounted on the ground requires that land must be cleared. It is then graded prior to it being able to be covered with gravel. Sacrificing land with significant environmental value can be costly. It can lead to lost time for permitting and public approvals as well being a potential cause of lawsuits.
Ground-mounted solar projects can be placed on marginal land such as brownfields and other contaminated or disturbed land to limit their environmental impact. You can also install solar panels at a height that is sufficient for agrivoltaics. This is a combination of solar panels and agriculture. The panels can be used to help with crop-growing or provide shade for livestock. The United States is introducing more renewable energy sitting tools to help with the environmentally-friendly development of ground-mounted solar plants.
Home Resale Value
A Zillow study revealed that solar panel homes are sold for 4.1 percent less than comparable homes without solar panels. However, a ground-mounted system can turn off potential buyers who are looking to make use of the property for a different purpose.
In some areas, solar rooftop systems might be classified as “permitted construction”. But, since this is a novel application for property, ground-mounted systems might require permission from local environmental or zoning authorities. This depends on system size and height as in addition to local rules.
Ground-mounted systems require longer wiring to connect to the home. To protect the wires from getting eaten by squirrels and others, it might be necessary to put them in a secluded area.
What is the cost of ground-mounted solar panels?
A solar panel costs around $2.77 per Watt on an average. This means that a 10 Kilowatt system will cost $27,000.8 Ground-mounted systems are more expensive in upfront expenses. The price includes additional mounting equipment and labor, as well as additional permits.
A solar system is an investment for the long term. It is crucial to determine your return-on-investment (ROI) and not just the initial costs. The return on investment of a solar panel is determined by numerous aspects, such as the cost and efficiency of the system, financing costs, labor costs incentives from federal and state governments as well as the cost of electric power in your area. It takes between 7 and 12 years for the system’s costs to be payed off.
The efficiency of the system is the most important aspect that determines if the ground-mounted array is more cost-competitive than a rooftop solar array. It might be more efficient if it is able to produce more electricity using fewer panels. This would allow it to achieve a greater ROI.
Is Ground-Mounted Solar cheaper than Roof-Mounted Systems?
Ground-mounted systems can be more costly than roof-mounted systems, even though it may appear counterintuitive. Although it might seem like lugging panels onto roofs and having them installed in difficult areas could be expensive, having a roof to start building on can reduce the cost.
The solar roof panels need a foundation to install the rack. It is possible to build a foundation of cement or other substances. This involves more than simply setting up the solar panel mounts and declaring it a day.
Ground-mount panels are more costly than roof-mount ones, but they aren’t too much. You might need additional permits, based upon the dimensions of your solar array and foundation. This could take longer and costs.
Ground-mounts can be manually adjusted all through the year to ensure they make the most of the sun’s radiations. Although they might not provide the same flexibility as a pole-mount system, they can be adjusted more frequently than roof-mount systems. This increases energy production and decreases the price gap.
It’s important to note that even though the installation may be more costly, your ground-mount panels will be more efficient. They do not require to be adjusted to match the orientation or direction of your roof. They can be placed to get the best sun exposure. This means you will receive more power and could save you money over the course of the life of your solar system.
Ground-mounted solar panels: What are the pros and cons?
It is essential to know both the advantages and disadvantages of a system that is mounted on the ground if you are considering one over a roof. The requirements you have and the guidelines which you and your contractor will be working within will ultimately affect your decision.
Freestanding solar panels offer the benefit of maximising the exposure to sunlight. Even though your rooftop may not be perfectly aligned (e.g., it is facing south and slopes 30-40 degrees) You can decide the best way to install your solar system on the ground to maximize the energy output. Ground-mounted systems are more efficient since they have more air circulation under the panels. This allows them to remain cool. Systems mounted on the ground are easier to access for maintenance. This could reduce the cost of labor.
Ground-mounted systems aren’t the ideal choice for all. Rooftop systems may sit on top of your roof, and they can take up valuable space on your property. Ground-mounted systems may require you to utilize valuable space. This can be a problem for homeowners who utilize the land for recreation, gardening or farming. In some cases, you may be able to combine ground-mounted and farming systems using the agrivoltatics. Ground-mounted solar panels are more vulnerable to damage by wildlife and people trying to alter the equipment. Ground-mounted solar panels are more costly when you don’t require major roof repairs to install a rooftop solar panel (which is likely to be required to complete in the future).
Nevada Solar Power Installers is the best place to start your solar journey.
You can request seven estimates from local installers through the Nevada Solar Power Installers Marketplace. This allows you to select the best system that matches your needs, and will be at the best cost. Register your property today to talk about your needs with our Energy Advisors, who will answer all your questions throughout all the process.