Most of the PV installs in any community happen to be placed on top of a home’s roof. While this is aesthetically pleasing, space saving on the property and out of the way from people’s hands, there are both concerns and advantages regarding the same when compared with the ground-mounted systems for residential use.

  Rooftop system Ground-mounted system

Why ground-mounted is better

Spatial limitations Some roofs are too small or have too many obstacles in the way Instead of depending on the pitch and orientation of the roof, a ground mount system can be installed to capture as much sunlight as possible and maximize electrical output.
Angle and orientation If the angle and orientation of the roof is not ideal then you will lose some percentage of your overall production. More flexible in both regards
Maintenance Time intensive and dangerous Allows you to walk right up to the array and easily navigate around it
Performance Having the array on the roof and within inches of a hot surface always result in comparatively poor performance Due to more airflow to cool down the panels , the performance is much better than rooftop
Tracking Though in existence, the options are very limited and makes the overall system complex Plenty of tracking systems available for ground mounted systems
Durability of roof Most roofs may require replacements before the end of PV systems lifetime Ground mounting will make sure you will not have to take down and reassemble your array when a new roof is needed
Complexity and penetration of roofs More the hole penetrations you have more the chances for failure in the future ground mount will guarantee not to interfere with your existing structure
Freedom of mounting Must conform around roof vents, antennas, and other misc obstructions Allows you the space to mount the panels anyway you like
Shading If your roof is surrounded by trees, a ground-mounted system can help you capture more direct sunshine You can set up your solar panels in the sunniest regions of your yard to avoid shading
Room for expansion It is always not easy for expansion It is usually not as much of an issue

Concerns regarding ground-mounted

For houses with smaller rooftops, ground-mounted systems offer many more options. But they are not perfect in all situations. Below are a few reasons why you may want to avoid ground-mounted PV systems:

Less land—when setting up solar panels in your yard, you lose some recreational space.

Aesthetics—this is largely subjective. Some may think ground-mounted PV systems are unsightly.

Time—ground-mounted installations require underground wiring and additional digging to stabilize the panels. This adds both time and money to the installation process.

Conclusion

From our experience, there is no single best option. Both of these solutions have important benefits, and the optimal arrangement ultimately depends on personal preference and property type available to install the solar power plant.

Subscribe to FREE Solar Mango Newsletter - News and Opinions on Implementing Solar

 Related Articles