Mounting Solar Panels on the Ground | Solar Panel Ground Mounting Kit
What is a ground-mounted solar system?
Ground-mounted solar panel systems, as their name suggests, are typically mounted on the ground. One mounting option is a ballasted foundation system, where the panels are laid flat and secured with specially designed mounting feet to an engineered foundation of concrete piers or pavers. Standard racks allow for mounting at a fixed angle, usually tilted towards the southern sky for maximum exposure to sunlight.
Another mounting option, which is becoming more common due to its aesthetic appeal and lower installation of solar panel cost, is a rail-less mounting system called “direct mounting.” In direct mounting, solar modules can be directly attached without additional hardware. The module itself may have a pre-engineered structure that facilitates direct attachment. This type of mounting does not require high-strength adhesives or mounting rails but may require ground mount solar panels specific to each solar panel manufacturer. The mounting structure must be engineered and installed by a qualified contractor.
Installing solar panels on the ground is ideal for situations where you have enough land space available, such as single-family homes with large yards, commercial rooftops, parking lots, and other open areas where a financing option like a power purchase agreement (PPA) might not work due to the limited roof space. Ground-mounted systems can also be more aesthetically pleasing than rooftop installations because they take up less space and blend into the surrounding area. However, ground-mount requires that an acre of land or similarly sized property is available in order to provide a sufficient amount of sunlight exposure throughout each year in your location.
With a ground mount system, it’s important to consider shading as a mounting option. Shading from trees or structures can decrease power production over the course of a year by as much as 30%! If you plan on mounting your solar system near trees and other structures, be sure that you will not lose significant amounts of energy due to shading. This is another reason why ground-mount is an excellent choice: clear access for sunlight throughout most of the day.
Ground-mounted solar systems are typically large projects that require permits and approvals from local authorities before installation begins. The cost of ground mounting can vary depending on what type of mounting structure you choose and how many panels you need to install. Ground-mounted solar systems typically cost between $23,000 and $50,000 or more.
In-ground mounting, it is important to consider the local zoning restrictions and availability of land space before choosing a mounting option. Be aware that large solar systems can be a target for ” solar rights ” thieves, so always have your system installed by a trusted contractor.
Solar Panel Ground Mounting Kit
A solar panel ground mounting kit is a set of tools that can be used to mount the panels at an angle. It includes a mast, cross-arm, and hardware for attaching the system to a pole or a building. The kit is easy to use and made from high-quality materials.
Types of ground mount solar panel installation
There are multiple types of ground mounting systems used to install solar panels such as:
Standard ground mount solar panels
This mounting system is the most commonly used when mounting solar panels on the ground. It consists of a mounting rack that mounts onto the roof or eaves of a building with bolts, and then it has one or more horizontal rails that are mounted to the ground for anchoring.
Standard ground mounting is usually done with concrete solar mounts, which are placed in a hole and filled with concrete.
Ground-mounted solar panels are most often installed on ground-mounted systems, which employ metal framing driven into the earth to support your solar panels at a consistent angle. Some standard ground-mounted solar panel installations may be adjusted manually a few times each year to compensate for seasonal changes in the sun.
Flat mounting ground mounted solar panels
This mounting system is a variation of standard ground mounting. It uses the same mounting rack on the roof or eaves, but the mounting rails are attached to a flat mounting base instead of being anchored to the ground. The advantage of this system is that it allows for easier routing of wires from the solar array across a yard to an inverter inside a building.
Pole mount solar panels
Pole mounting solar panels are an alternative to ground-mounting. Pole mounts, in some cases, may be more cost-effective and easier than ground mounts because they do not require digging or expensive trenching requirements.
This mounting system consists of a mounting rack that is attached to a pole and then the solar panels are attached directly to the mounting rack. Because this type of mounting system does not use rails, you must slightly adjust the angle slightly every month or so throughout the year in order to get consistent power production out of your solar panel kit.
Pole mounting is ideal for locations where roof installation isn’t possible. Pole-mounted systems usually need more space than other types, but they still typically avoid excavation and concrete pouring because there’s no mounting rack that goes into the ground.
Pole-mounted solar systems have multiple solar panels mounted on a single pole, which raises the panels higher off the ground than a conventional ground mount. Pole-mounted solar systems frequently include tracking systems that automatically adjust the solar panels to receive the most sun possible.
Solar tracking systems
Solar mounting systems using tracking mounts, also known as ground-based solar trackers, move along a fixed angle each day to follow the sun and maximize power output.
Tracking systems can boost the output of your solar panels by 25% or more. There are two types of tracking systems available for ground-mounted solar arrays: single-axis and dual-axis. Single-axis tracking systems move your solar panels across the day to track the sun as it travels across the sky. Dual-axis tracking systems can also be programmed to change in response to seasonal variations in the sun’s position.
The amount of power you produce depends on both the size and type of your mounting kit, as well as weather conditions. Tracking systems not only help maximize production but also simplify solar panel installation. It’s estimated that mounting solar panels are up to 40% less expensive with tracking units than with fixed ground mount solar system.
Solar ground mount kits to install solar panels on the ground
Ground mounting solar panels require mounting materials, a mounting structure, and a way to anchor the mounting structure. Many people choose a ground mount instead of a roof-mounted mounting system because it is not as expensive or difficult to install.
This type of solar panel system is most commonly used on commercial buildings with flat roofs, but it can also be set up on the ground if desired. In addition to an elevated mounting support structure, there are metal rails that run from one end of the array to another for stability. The installation process involves setting into place large pieces of cement that become part of your new mounting system.
Ground Mounts Panels Vs. Roofs Mount Panels
When deciding between mounting solar panels on the ground or mounting solar panels on a roof, there are several things to consider. The main benefit of mounting solar panels on a roof is that it keeps them out of any shade and ensures they get all the sunlight. However, mounting solar panels on a roof can be complicated and expensive because you have to deal with finding an appropriate place for mounting the racking system, plus getting electrical work done correctly so that electricity from your solar panel system runs into your home through the correct wires and not ones intended for powering appliances.
Ground-mounted systems are typically less costly to install than roof-mounted systems because they do not require specialized equipment such as mounting brackets since the solar panels just sit directly on the ground. Although mounting solar panels on the ground does not keep them out of shadow, mounting them lower means they aren’t as likely to be affected by passing shadows from clouds or nearby structures. You can also tilt ground-mounted systems so that you can adjust how much they are shaded during certain times of day and throughout the year.
What are the benefits of ground mounted solar panel?
The ground-mounted solar system is the most popular type of solar system in use today. Here we will discuss what they are, how they work, and some of their benefits.
Pros of ground-mounted solar panels
One of the main benefits of purchasing ground-mounted solar panels is that you can maximize your exposure to the sun’s rays. Clouds are less likely to obstruct the sun when it is shining on a single mounting location. If you have shading issues with some portions of your home, mounting solar panels on the ground frees up space for other uses while keeping your energy costs low.
Mounting solar panels on the ground
Ground-mounted solar panels are also the most durable type of mounting system available. Many mounting systems require that you drill into your roof or other parts of your home to attach them. This can lead to leaks and other issues, but mounting the panels on the ground means you needn’t worry about these problems. You can also easily maintain them yourself or hire someone to do so if you prefer paying others for services like this rather than doing it yourself.
Requires no roof drilling
As ground-mounted solar panels require no holes in your roof, you do not need to worry about leaks or other issues when it comes time to sell. Many people consider mounting panels on the ground a great way to add value to the home when you go to sell because of how it increases solar energy system efficiency and decreases your electricity costs.
Fewer electrical hazards
Falls are the most common cause of death on construction sites. While mounting solar panels on the ground does increase your risk, it is still safer than mounting them to your roof because you do not have to walk across roofs or climb ladders to maintain them. That said, it is important that you take safety precautions just as you would for any other structure addition project.
More efficient cooling
Ground mounting solar panels also allows them to get more direct sunlight because it frees up roof space. Less mounting hardware might also need to be used, resulting in less heat around the mounting area. This means that your panels will work better and allow you to generate more electricity for your home or business.
Over the long term, the ground mount will more than pay for itself
Although you might think mounting solar panels on the ground is more expensive than mounting them to your roof, it actually costs less in many situations. For example, if there are several homes in your community with solar panels on the roofs of their garages or barns, it might be cheaper to mount your panels to the ground instead because you don’t have to pay for mounting hardware. If you build a new home, ground mounting can still save you money in many cases.
Solar tracker options are available for mounting solar panels
If you are looking to get the most power out of your solar panels, mounting them on a solar tracker is an option that allows you to maximize exposure to the sun’s rays. These systems allow your solar panels to slowly turn throughout the day so that they can more efficiently capture sunlight. As these systems can be costly, this solution is best suited for homeowners or business owners who want maximum efficiency.
Easy future expansion
If you decide to expand your solar system in the future, mounting solar panels on the ground is much easier than mounting them to your roof because there are no holes to drill. Ground mounting also takes up less room and keeps your roof free of obstructions that might prevent you from adding more panels later. This saves you time and money over the long term while ensuring that you can use solar power throughout your life at home or business.
FAQs about ground mount solar systems
What is the difference between rooftop and ground-mounted solar panels?
Nothing. A solar panel is a solar panel. The mounting method simply determines where the solar panels are located relative to your home or business, not how they work. Ground mounted solar panels is the most popular mounting style for home or commercial use today because it allows you to maximize available sunlight hours. Solar array mounted on rooftops is good for smaller applications where space is limited and solar ground mount isn’t an option.
How far can a ground-mounted system work from your house?
Typical ground mounting is done with the solar panels being 2 to 3 feet away from your house. This means they are still within easy reach for you to turn them so they face the sun each morning/evening, but they are far enough away that their view of the horizon isn’t blocked by roof structures or trees.
Can I get tilt or azimuth angles for my home solar panel?
No. Solar panels are designed to track the sun over the course of a day, not to be manually adjusted every morning and evening. There are solar mounting options available if you would like to have your panels automatically move throughout the day, but actively adjusting them doesn’t help you in any way and will actually reduce their output by causing more shadowing effects from clouds/shadows on nearby objects.