What is a ground-mounted solar panel?

Ground-mounted solar panels are solar panels that are installed at the ground level Ground-mounted systems function very similarly to rooftop solar systems – panels are exposed to sunlight which is converted to electricity by solar cells in order to power a single building or, in the case of solar farms, communities.

Here are the top three things that you need to know about ground-mounted solar panels and energy production:

1. In many cases, ground-mounted solar panels can be your best option

While rooftop solar arrays are the most common choice for homeowners, there are many reasons to consider a ground-mounted solar panel system.

Generally, ground mount solar panels cost a bit more than rooftop solar on a per-watt basis because of additional labor and permitting that may be required for the installation. That being said, if your property isn’t ideal for rooftop solar, installing a ground-mounted system can actually save you more money in the long run.

Rooftop solar arrays are restricted by the characteristics of the roof on which they are installed. If your roof isn’t at the right angle, doesn’t face south, or has obstructions like chimneys or skylights, then your solar array will be less productive. On the other hand, ground-mounted solar panels can be located wherever the conditions are best.

In addition, if your home uses a lot of electricity, your roof might not be big enough for a solar energy system that meets your electricity needs. In contrast, ground-mounted solar systems can be sized to match your electricity consumption without the space restrictions of a rooftop system.

2. Not all ground-mounted solar panel systems are created equal

There are two basic types of ground-mounted solar panel systems:

Standard ground-mounts use metal framing driven into the ground to hold your solar panels up at a fixed angle. Some standard ground-mounted solar panel systems can be manually adjusted a few times a year to account for seasonal shifts of the sun.

Pole-mounted solar systems support multiple solar panels on a single pole and elevate panels higher off the ground than a standard ground mount. Pole-mounted solar often incorporates tracking systems, which automatically tilt the solar panels to capture the optimal amount of sunshine.

Tracking systems can increase the production of your solar panels by 25 percent or more. If you decide to add a tracking system to your ground-mounted solar array, you have the option of either a single-axis or a dual-axis system. Single-axis tracking systems move your solar panels over the course of the day to follow the sun as it moves through the sky. Dual-axis tracking systems can also adjust based on seasonal variations in the sun’s position.

Solar Mounting Structures: Racking Matters

Globally, solar installations have been growing at an impressive pace. A large share of growth has been contributed from India, and with 100GW of target by 2022 in its hand, India is on the verge of becoming the world’s biggest solar nation. Continuous reduction in the solar system prices with respect to higher grid rates is resulting in increasing global demand for solar solutions and thus leading to its rapid growth. Solar is undeniable the future and a leading source of renewable energy. Solar panels work best when they receive shade free sunlight for maximum number of hours, mounted at precise tilt angle with face directed towards the south. This is where Solar Panel Mounting Structures comes into the picture. One of the largest areas of innovation within solar panel installation involves the mounting system.

Module Mounting Structures play a vital role in efficient working of a solar power system, both in utility and rooftop. While most of the components of balance of system (BOS) such as inverter, DC cables, junction boxes, transformers, etc. are readily bought from the equipment suppliers, the workmanship of an EPC contractor is reflected mainly through module mounting structures and wiring management.

These structures help panels to rest com-fortably, prevent from being damaged and more importantly position them at precise tilt angle to harness maximum sun’s energy. Mounting structures can be made for rooftops, ground mounting, carports and sun tracker solutions which now have seen a lot of developments in terms of weight, material, adaptability and ease of installation. There have been many technological innovations that have led to reduced cost, faster and better installation, high durability and with enhanced output.

Recent installation of solar project in India has adopted various Solar Mounting Tech-nologies and design which include the structures made of galvanized iron as well as aluminum structures. Some of the projects have adopted a combination of steel structure and aluminum structure where in vertical legs are made off hot dipped galvanized steel and rest of the members are made off extruded aluminum structure. Typically module mount structure comprises of following components.

Moreover, falling cost for module mounting structures has been one of the biggest contributor to the fall in project cost. They have fallen by almost 60% in the past 4-5 years. The manufacturing of structures is a fairly consolidated market with the top five companies in India controlling 80% of the market share. These players have a cumulative capacity of 2,300 MW per year. This might seem like a solid base for future growth. However, the demand in India is cyclical and driven by policies. Timely deliveries for the entire 2,300 MW will already be an issue, leave alone catering to a 4,000-5,000 MW market. The costs for mounting structures can also go up if there is a spike in capacity addition. However, this increase will be short lived as companies can start buying parts of the structure from other steel fabricators.

Any solar system is designed to function for 20 to 25 years thus material plays an important role in the overall solution. The strength of the material is defined by the geography and environment of the location being installed. Hence, there is a growing need for highly durable, rust-free, corrosion-resistant materials in the industry. This is leading to the emergence of evolutionary products like rust-resistant steel that have become highly popular in the solar panel market with its competitive pricing and greater durability. There are several types of steel depending on its weight, strength grade and coating which involves different prices. While selecting the material one should look at the warranty provided by the company for maximum return on investment. Probably, the most competitive solar product market, mounting systems are an important element of solar arrays—they secure solar panels to the roof or the ground. Here, we go over the basic categories of roof-mounted solar systems to help new installers get a grasp on installation.

Types of Solar Mounting Structures

The correct and proper choice of the Mou-nting Structures for solar system projects is very essential in terms of the overall production, efficiency and lifetime of the solar panels. Since it is a costly investment, the choice of mounting systems should not be disregarded as a minor consideration. Solar modules need to be secured, mounted and tightened on a very stable and durable structure, protecting the array against imp-acts from wind, hail, rain, snow and even minor earthquakes. They are either mounted on ground, on roofs or on poles. There are five basic types of mounting structures of which four are fixed-angle types and one variable-angle type:

Roof Mounted Racks

Ground Mounted Racks

Top-of-pole Mounted Racks

Side-of-pole Mounted Racks

Tracking System Mounted Racks

Building-integrated Photovoltaics

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are solar power generating products or systems that are seamlessly integrated into the building envelope and part of building components such as fa?ades, roofs or windows. Serving a dual purpose, a BIPV system is an integral component of the building skin that simultaneously converts solar energy into electricity and provides building envelope functions such as:

weather protection (water proofing, sun protection);

thermal insulation;

noise protection;

daylight illumination; and/or



BIPV systems can be installed during the construction phase of a building or deployed in the course of a retrofit of an existing building when one of the envelope components needs to be replaced. The built environment allows for many ways to integrate BIPV.

How are Roof Solar Panels Installed?

Installing solar panels on your roof is a complex project, one that many across the country are starting to explore. While most people know what solar panels are, many aren’t aware of the details involved in setting up a complete rooftop solar power system.

But first things first.

While this article outlines the different elements involved in installing a solar power system (not to mention several steps pertaining to the actual installation of the solar panels themselves) we highly recommend that you hire a certified professional to get the job done right. The purpose of this article is to arm you with more information on the process itself in order to better equip you for a project of this size and undertaking.

Types of Solar Power for the Home

There are a few ways in which you can generate power for your home through installing solar panels. It is important to understand your options in order to correctly set up your system and start benefitting from solar power. If you need more help deciding on the best option for your home, get in touch with a contractor. They will provide the additional information you need.

In general, there are three main types of solar power for the home. These include:

Grid Connected (no batteries)

This type of installation is the cheapest and easiest.

With this type of solar power, the system is connected to the grid without any back-up because you are using the grid in place of the battery. If your house requires more power, it will simply consume what it needs from the grid. When your system generates more electricity than you can consume, that power is given to the grid (local utility).

The credit amount you can receive for this excess power depends on your utility. One thing to keep in mind before you choose this type of solar power is that if the grid goes out, so does the power in your home.

Grid Connected (with batteries)

The main difference with this type of solar power system is that you will have batteries in addition to your connection to the grid. What this means is that the batteries will act as storage for power so that if the grid experiences a power outage, the power from your battery will keep your lights on. If your solar power system generates more energy than you consume, it will continue to go into the grid. This type of system can be quite expensive and are much more complicated to install. It is for this reason that this type of system is often used in hospitals (for example) because they have specific needs that require power at all times.

Off Grid

With this type of system, you are not connected to your utility. The system will generate, store and consume its own power, without any help from external resources. This installation is tricky because the contractor will need to know the exact amount of power you require. This system is more often used in rural areas where the cost of bringing in power from a utility is very high. This option is not really recommended if you live in a major city or populated area.

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