Ground-mounted solar panels are in many ways better structured and more efficient than the predominant urban rooftop solar panels. Floor-mounted panels are generally put to use in rural and suburban settings where ground space is amply available for use. However, ground-mounted solar panels systems can be installed anywhere where there’s enough ground space to accommodate them; in the cities as well.
In practice, ground-mount solar systems are positioned on the ground instead of the rooftops and are comparatively well manageable and more efficient throughout their lifecycle. For their closeness to the ground, they incur slighter than usual power losses and can be used for multiple other purposes i.e., agriculture, layering water reservoirs to prevent evaporation, and for cattle farming as well.
In contrast, Rooftop solar panels offer limited capacity in power generation and available space for future extensions. Plus, rooftop PV panels are prone to lightning strikes more often than ground-mounted systems. Another great benefit lies in the ease of installation for ground-mounted panels, as they do not require extensive bolted racking which involves drilling multiple unnecessary holes on rooftops. If your backyard is spacious enough to lodge the spread-out panels, ground mounting is a much better solution.
Some pivotal benefits of ground-mounted panels include:
Ground-mounted solar panels are good at producing more power per square foot than rooftop PV cells. With equally similar power ratings, ground-mounted systems deliver power at around a 22% efficiency ratio to rooftop solar panels that have about 18-19% efficiency. In addition, ground-mounted panels are easier to automate and extend their energy production capacity because of the availability of space.
The efficiency of the solar energy system increases when there’s lesser resistance among the panel components. For rooftop panels, the heat island impact and concentrated heating from the rooftops and adjacent buildings make solar panels less efficient. Ground-mounted panels, however, are in closer proximity to the ground. The adequate air passage beneath the panels allows for consistent cooling throughout the day, keeping resistance phenomenon and losses at bay.
Bad Drilling! No More
Solar panels on rooftops require robust fastening to withstand strong wind currents and torrential rainfalls. Solar panels installed on floors require a little of it. Ground-mounted solar panels require four times slighter fastening than rooftop panels do. Also, if the racking is drilled at the wrong place on a rooftop, one must fill it in with concrete to prevent leakage later, incurring further damages. For a ground-mounted system, a wrongly drilled hole won’t be a problem at all. Leave it alone and it won’t seep in through the corridor.
Open to Extensions
With burgeoning energy prices, the ever-increasing demand for electricity, and global climatic change, your energy demand is likely to rise with time. Ground-mounted setup delivers room for extensions when it is required. Unlike limited space available on rooftops, backyard solar panels offer adequacy to add more panels when needed.
When installing the system in the backyard, leave some space open for further expansions in the future. This provides users the leverage to extend their production accordingly to the increased demand for electricity.
Easily Repaired and Replaced
Before thinking of a replacement strategy, make sure that your ground-mounted solar panels are placed at a perfect spot that is not shaded by trees and adjacent buildings. The best thing about floor-based panels is that they invite minimal repairing costs with effortless replacement when required.
Rooftop solar systems will require professional machinery to add or replace panels from high above the ground level. Whereas in floor-mounted systems, simply unbolt the panels and move them away or replace the damaged one with another, without or with minimal professional support.
Also, when rooftop panels are replaced in another location, all the drilled holes must be filled up to prevent leakages. In the ground-based installation, the drilled marks can be left alone.
The Price Factor
You’ve heard it a lot! The price factor is important when installing a standalone solar system in your backyard or on the rooftops. The upfront costs are higher in backyard panels if you are required to lay a concreted base below the system.
Else, they are highly profitable in the long term. The payback costs of ground-mounted panels are covered a year or two ahead of the expected return on investments for rooftop systems. Plus, the efficiency is a few percent higher than rooftop solar panels, which helps in harnessing more energy. With tracking systems added to the equation, these solar systems will add a lot more to your energy bucket with similar installed capacity.
Many governments worldwide, especially in the USA and Europe offer generous tax breaks and incentives if you are meeting the energy production goals set by the government. To get the best out of your solar setup, look up incentive schemes before installing your ground-mounted solar system.
Solar energy is the cleanest and possibly the cheapest source of energy in the 21st century. With consistent improvements in technology and design alongside its growing market, consumers have been looking for ways to harness more solar energy with slighter one-time costs. Of all, ground-mounted solar panels are becoming the top-priority choices for agricultural and residential purposes as it incorporates minimal installation costs and provides more efficient power production compared with rooftop solar systems. Likewise, backyard solar panels offer versatile applications by trapping the sun rays to produce clean and green energy and shade the surface below to rear livestock and do agribusiness in the countryside.