Most homeowners are familiar with roof-mounted solar panels since they're the most common. Typically, the roof is an excellent location to harness solar energy. The panels are typically elevated enough to have an unobstructed view of the sun, which allows them to create ample amounts of electricity.
However, roof-mounted systems aren't the only ones that exist. Homeowners also have the option of installing a ground-mounted solar electric system. In this system, the panels are attached either directly to the ground or to a pole that rises a few feet into the air.
When should you opt for a ground-mount solar electric system instead of a roof-mounted one? Read on for three situations where it's usually the better option.
1. You Plan to Replace Your Roof Within the Next Few Years
If your roof is nearing the end of its effective lifespan and needs to be replaced soon, it's generally recommended to replace your roof before adding solar panels. When a roof has panels on it, they need to be removed before the roof can be replaced. Afterwards, the panels will need to be installed on the new roof. You'll end up paying installation costs twice, along with the removal cost, which can add up quickly.
However, replacing your roof and installing solar panels at the same time is a considerable expense for most homeowners. If you don't have the funds to replace your roof before you install a solar electric system, ground-mounted panels are a better option. Installation costs for ground-mounted panels may be slightly higher than for roof-mounted ones, but you'll avoid paying repeated installation costs when you finally replace your roof.
2. Your Roof Is Too Small for Your Energy Requirements
Solar panels work best when they're mounted on a south-facing roof. East-facing or west-facing roofs are suitable locations for the panels as well, but they're less efficient in these locations compared to a south-facing roof. Depending on the layout of your roof, you may not be able to generate much solar electricity.
If you don't have enough space on your roof to meet your home's energy needs, then ground-mounted panels can provide you with a solution. Ground-mounted panels can be installed anywhere that receives enough sunlight, which allows you to power your home with a solar electric system despite having an unsuitable roof layout.
3. You Want to Maximize Efficiency
Finally, ground-mounted solar panels can be more efficient than roof-mounted ones. When you install ground-mounted panels on a pole with a motorized tracking system, the panels can be rotated throughout the day to ensure that they're always facing the sun. This allows them to generate the maximum amount of energy regardless of the time of day, which makes them more efficient than roof-mounted panels. Due to the increased efficiency, you can often power your home with fewer panels using a ground-mounted solar electric system rather than a roof-mounted one.
Overall, ground-mounted solar panels are the perfect solution for homeowners who want to harness solar energy without having to install panels on their roof. If you think that a ground-mounted solar electric system is the right choice for your home, call a solar panel installation company in your area. They'll inspect your property and tell you if yours would be a suitable fit to install ground-mounted solar panels.