Solar Off the Roof – Ground and Pole Mounted Solar Arrays
While roof mounted solar panels are the most common type of solar installation, and usually the simplest and most cost effective, not every house is a good candidate. If your roof gets too much shade, if the layout is complex or cut up, if your roofing material is something that could easily be damaged, and you have a sunny open piece of ground you’re willing to use, a ground or pole mount solar array might be your best option.
Ground-mount and pole mount solar panel systems are placed on the ground rather than on the roof of a building. This allows the solar panels to be located anywhere on the property and mounted at any height, from a few inches to many feet off the ground. You can install one yourself or let us take care of all the details for you.
On a roof, you are limited to the existing pitch and direction of the house, and by the amount of available space. On unobstructed ground you can position more solar panels than will fit on your roof in the perfect orientation and tilt to maximize sun exposure. If your property doesn’t have a south-facing roof, a ground or pole mount solar systems will let you choose the best direction to maximize the energy generation potential of your solar array.
Ground mounted solar generally is in a fixed position on a solid structure. Pole mounted solar is a group of panels on a single (or multiple poles) and can be fixed or adjustable. An adjustable pole mount allows for seasonal adjustments to tilt in areas where it can improve power production. This can be a great option for sites with limited space and for off-grid systems, if you are willing to do seasonal angle adjustments to maximize your production.
Benefits of Ground & Pole Mount Solar Racking
- Greater flexibility of installation size
- No need for roofing penetrations/anchoring.
- Ability to avoid shading.
- Easier access to equipment.
- Fewer required electrical components.
- No rapid shutdown required to meet NEC code.
Drawbacks of Ground & Pole Mount Solar Racking
As with any effective solution, there are some drawbacks to ground mount solar.
- More labor to install.
- May be more expensive.
- Uses up open land space.
- Increased susceptibility to vandalism.
The Bottom Line – Why Choose Ground or Pole Mount Solar Over Roof Mount Solar?
Ground and pole mount solar panel systems are extremely versatile solutions if you use a lot of energy in your home, if your roof has obstructions and/or if your roof does not have ideal south or southwest sun exposure. All you need is sufficient open ground space and an appreciation for the beauty of your electricity generating equipment.
Not sure if a ground mount solar system is right for you? We’ve helped hundreds of full service and DIY clients go solar with ground and pole mount racking solutions. Let us know how we can serve you.