Ground Mount vs. Roof Mount Solar Panels: Understanding 6 Differences

Once someone decides to get solar power installed for their home, they have to start thinking about the different ways it can become part of their home.

Understanding the major differences, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of installing ground mount or roof mount solar panels can mean you solve a lot of problems before they happen.

6 Major Differences Between Ground Mount vs. Roof Mount Solar Panels

While roof mount solar panels are what we might first think about when going solar, there are reasons to consider going with ground mount solar panels instead.

1. Ground Mount Solar Panels Could Save You More Money Long-Term

While purchasing a ground mount system might be a little more expensive than a rooftop system, the savings over the life of the solar panels will offset the costs. On the ground, the panels can be moved, either manually or by a tracking system, to follow the sun each season. That’s difficult to do with a roof top system, which hopefully will allow the solar panels to face south, the best positioning for maximum energy.

2. Roof Mount Solar Panels Save Space

By installing a roof mount solar power system on top of your house, you won’t have to clear land away for the ground mount solar panels. Plus, the roof is out of the way from anything on the ground. However, if you live on a large plot of land, this isn’t really a concern.

3. Your Roof Might Not Be Big Enough

If you live in a house that uses a lot of electricity, maybe two or three stories tall, then the surface area of the roof might not offer enough space for the number of solar panels you’ll need.

4. There Are Two Types of Ground Mount Solar Panels

Basically, when you consider going with ground mount solar panels, you’ll choose between “standard ground mounts” that use metal framing built into the ground, holding up your solar panels at a fixed angle. But there are also “pole mounts,” which have several panels on a single pole, and are general higher up than the standard mounts. Usually, the pole mounts are set up to automatically tilt toward the sun in different seasons with their tracking system. (You’ll have to manually shift the standard mounts.) A tracking system will probably push your costs higher than roof mounts, though.

5. Ground Mounts Are Generally Easier to Install

Rather than drilling into your roof, a ground mount solar power system can be mounted in open space on your property.

Plus, you shouldn’t have issues trying to get around chimneys or antennae. Plus, you’ll probably have to replace your roof at some point during the life of the solar panels, which outlive most roofs. 

6. Cleaning Solar Panels is Easier on the Ground

Getting up on your roof to clear off snow from your solar panels can be dangerous, which makes ground mounts the smarter choice if you have the land. Something to remember for ground mounts, though, is that you’ll have to keep the area in front of the solar panels clear so that snow can slide off without being obstructed.

Different houses need different things when it comes to solar power. Do you have any more questions about the debate of Ground Mount vs. Roof Mount Solar Panels?

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