Ashleigh AngellNovember 5, 20189021
Usually, people go straight for the roof-mounted racking system when they install their solar panels and don’t even see ground-mounted racking as much of an option. However, there are a lot of cases where ground-mounted racking is actually the better option. Want to know if you’re one of those cases where ground-mounted racking is the most viable option? Keep reading this blog to find out which one is the best option for you.
The Pros and Cons of Ground Mounted Solar Racking
First thing’s first, let’s look at the pros and cons of each type of racking system, starting with the ground-mounted solar racking system.
Ground-mounted solar racking is easy to access, easy to clean, and easier to inspect. It’s stronger, and you aren’t confined to the dimensions of your roof. It has a higher energy output, and you won’t have to uninstall and reinstall it if you need to replace your roof.
However, it’s also harder to install, costs more, requires more parts, has a more expensive permitting process, takes up part of your yard, and is not very aesthetically pleasing.
The Pros and Cons of Roof Mounted Solar Racking
Roof-mounted solar racking system is cheaper, need fewer parts to install, require less labor and are therefore cheaper to install, are easier to permit, and don’t ruin the aesthetics of your yard.
However, they’re also harder to access, harder to inspect, and produce a lower output. You’re constrained to the dimensions of your roof, and if you need to replace your roof, you’ll have to uninstall and reinstall them.
Key Consideration #1: Age of Your Roof
When deciding to go with ground-mounted or roof-mounted, you’ll need to consider four key considerations that will help you make the final decision. The first one is the age of your roof. If your roof is younger than five years old, you won’t need to worry about replacing it during the lifespan of your panels. However, if it’s old, you’ll either want to replace it before installing solar, or you’ll want to go with the ground-mounted panels.
Key Consideration #2: Consulting Your HOA
The next thing that will help make or break your decision is your HOA. They’ll have a strict set of guidelines you’ll need to follow, and if either the rooftop or ground mounted system is not part of those guidelines, they’ll be able to sway you in one direction or the other.
Key Consideration #3: Your Rooftop
Your rooftop could also make or break your decision for you. If it’s not facing south, if it’s totally covered in shade, if it has an angle outside of the zero to 45-degree range, ground-mounted solar may actually end up being your most viable option. Consult with your solar installer so they can evaluate your roof and help you figure out if it’s a good fit for roof-mounted solar or if ground-mounted solar would make more sense for you.
Key Consideration #4: Your Soil
Like your rooftop, your soil is also another key consideration. If you have difficult to mess with soil, like bedrock, then putting your panels up on your roof is probably your best bet. If you have difficult soil and a difficult roof, ground-mounted is still probably the best choice.
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