Roof-Mount vs Ground-Mount Solar Panels: Things to Know Before Installation
Considering the current economic and environmental conditions, it’s safe to say that solar is the future. And thanks to government incentives, this is the ideal time to invest in solar panels and make your property future-proof.
But before you go about it, it’s important to decide which type of panels would be the right fit. Depending on the location of installation, we can categorize solar panels into two types—roof mount solar panels and ground mount solar panels. Knowing the pros and cons of each type will help you make an informed choice. So, let’s dive right in!
What is A Roof Mounted Solar Panel?
Roof mounted solar panels don’t need any additional space. You can install the panels on your rooftop with the help of racking, and that’s it—not an inch of space goes wasted. Having a strong, well-built roof is a prerequisite because otherwise, the roof will not be able to bear the weight of the panels. The roof solar PV system can go on top of residential houses, buildings, and commercial properties.
- Your rooftop acts as the base for the installation, so the process is less labor-intensive and less expensive
- You don’t have to sacrifice any real estate in your garden, front yard, or backyard—the panels will utilize the unused space in your property, i.e, the roof
- Solar roof doesn’t affect the aesthetic appeal of your home
- It’s easy to keep the panels out of reach of children, pets, and outsiders
- The panels are not easily accessible, which makes repair and maintenance difficult
- Your roof may not have access to unobstructed sunlight because of adjacent tall buildings or trees; this can affect the efficiency of the panels
- If your roof is not in the best condition, you cannot opt for roof mounted solar panels
- You have to stay limited within the boundaries of your roof—there’s no room for expansion
What is A Ground Mounted Solar Panel?
Ground mount solar panels are installed on the available stretch of land around your house. All you need is ample exposure to sunlight, and a spacious area to install the system. Metal frames fixed to the ground hold the panels in place. In projects where installing roof solar panels are not feasible, a ground mount can be a great alternative. Even though the installation cost is on the higher side, you get perfect alignment and maximum sun exposure, so naturally, it’s more efficient. When you have a high energy requirement and you need a large number of panels, ground solar panels are the best option.
- You can install ground solar panels in an optimized alignment to ensure maximum exposure to sunlight
- In case you need repair or maintenance, the panels are easy to access
- The panels have a solid and sturdy foundation
- You can expand the number of panels if your energy requirement increases
- The panel has nothing to do with the condition of your roof
- Ground solar panels cost more
- The installation process is complicated and labor-intensive
- The panels require a large amount of space
- You cannot use the area of installation
- Can be troublesome if there are kids and pets at home
Things to Consider Before Installation
If you’re planning to install roof solar, having a strong, damage-free rooftop is a must. The solar company will check your roof and make sure it’s sturdy enough to carry the weight of the solar system. The location of your house, whether your roof gets enough sunlight or not, and if you have any tall trees or large houses around—are some of the factors the company will check before the installation. And in case your roof is not in the best condition at the moment and you plan to repair or replace it, get the job done before installing solar panels.
For roof mount panels, your roof should have enough space to conveniently install the panels. If there are too many obstructions in the roof, it may not be suitable for roof solar. As for ground mount solar, you need to have a considerable amount of space around your residential or commercial property. The area where you’ll install solar panels will not be accessible.
The soil type of ground can have a significant impact on the solar panel installation when you choose ground mounted solar panels. In some regions, the soil can be rocky and too hard to dig. These conditions make the installation process lengthy and more labor-intensive and shoot up the total cost. If the estimated cost is beyond your budget, going with a solar rooftop is your best bet.
Solar installation is a long-term investment for your home. Whether you buy it with an upfront payment or through leasing, you’ll have to shell out a significant amount of money either way. So before you decide which type of panels you’ll install, have a close look at your budget. Ground solar panels cost more to install, as compared to solar rooftop installation. If your roof is in a good condition, you don’t plan to go off-grid in the future, and your property location meets all other criteria, going with roof solar will save you big bucks.
In case you decide to go completely off-grid in the future, ground mounted solar panels would be the better option. As they are installed on the ground, expanding the panels is easier. But if you don’t have any such plans, a rooftop solar system will be more than sufficient to power your home.
Which solar panel takes less space?
Roof mounted solar panels remain within the limits of the rooftop. As compared to ground mount solar panels, they take up less space.
Which solar panel is the least expensive?
Roof solar installation is the least expensive because there’s no need to build a new foundation. The process involves less complication, less labor, and less equipment.
Which solar panel is easier to install?
Installing solar panels on the roof is easier because your rooftop is used as the base.
Which solar panel offers optimum alignment?
Ground mounted solar panels are installed on the grounds, so getting the right alignment is easy. As for roof solar, you have to depend on the slope and direction of your roof.