Ground-Mounted Solar Panels

The type of mount system used for your installation will depend on the location of the solar panels. Most solar panels are installed on roofs. Rooftop solar does not require building additional structures to support the panels and is generally the less expensive than ground-mounted systems.

In some cases, the roof of a building may not be well-suited for a solar installation. This could be due to the complexity of the roof, the roof’s integrity, shading, among other factors. In this case, a ground-mounted system is an alternative option. There are generally two different types of ground mount systems:  A standard ground mount and a pole mount.

Standard ground mounts use a framework of metal arranged in a grid pattern to provide support for the solar panels.

Pole mounts attach panels to the side or top of poles held in place by concrete, or driven directly into the ground.

Most ground mount systems are made out of a combination of aluminum and stainless steel metal, where the former is used for the bulkier components and the latter for smaller components like bolts and rivets. Some designs allow orientation of the panels to be adjusted manually or mechanically to increase energy production. The introduction of moving parts can result in additional costs and maintenance requirements.

Ground-mounted systems allow for increased air flow around panels. This can result in cooler cell temperatures for your panels, which create slightly higher efficiency, and thus higher energy production. Additionally, the panels are easier to clean and maintain.

Ground-mounted panels do require an amount of clear ground space that limits their ability to be installed in densely populated areas.

**Information courtesy of  NABCEP PV Installer Resource GuideCircular  and