Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Solar mounting systems pros and cons.

I have been giving this a lot of thought lately about what is the best way to mount solar panels. Do you use the roof, a pole, or ground mount? So I thought I would lay out the pros and cons of each system. You can be the judge.

Roof mount

1. The roof keeps the panels out of the yard.
2. It's the cheapest way to install the panels.
3. Less likely to have to get a zoning permit.
4. Looks nice.

1. Reaching them to clean them.
2. They get hotter on the roof. Which heat is the enemy.
3. Harder to keep clean especially in the winter.
4. Harder to fix.
5. More dangerous to install.
6. Panels are at fixed angle.

Pole Mount

1. Easier to work on.
2. Panels stay cooler.
3. Less snow build up.
4. Can change the angle of the panels.
5. You can use a tracker on it.

1. More work to install.
2. Cost more than a roof system.
3. Takes up a portion of the yard.

Ground mount (very similar to pole with some exceptions)

1. Easier to work on.
2. Panels stay cooler
3. Less snow build up.
4. Lower to the ground.

1. Cost more to install then pole mounted.
2. Uses more yard space then a pole.
3. Panels are fixed like a roof system.
4. Most labor intensive of all the mounting systems.

Here are few examples of the pros and cons of the different solar mounting systems. I personally like using the pole mounted system. The panels work better, it's easier to install the equipment on and the way we install them it's a nice and clean installation. Most of the systems that I have installed currently are of this type. Some of the customers were questioning the installation before it went in. But once we were done they were happy with the look after it was done.

For more information about renewably energy systems for your home I recommend subscribing to Home Power Magazine. This is a great resource of information.