For solar-powered lighting systems, where or how you install solar panel mounts matters. Some mounting options offer better exposure to natural sunlight, while others actually reduce efficiency by incorporating incorrect tilt angles.
With this in mind, below are top selections for mounting solar panels.
As the name suggests, ground mounts hold PV panels close to the ground, in a tilted configuration. There are a handful of advantages to ground-mounted solar panels. First, the units are easily accessible for maintenance and cleaning. Next, the system is less prone to accidental drops from elevated positions.
However, because the panels are openly accessible, they are more prone to theft and contact with animals in the area. Additionally, ground-mounting is not suitable for locations with limited space or rocky terrain.
Roof mounting is a very cost-effective and efficient solution for solar-powered systems. This option keeps the panels elevated and away from harmful elements on the ground. Moreover, the units can be mounted flat on the roof, since the surface is already tilted or flat. Roof mounting solar panels may also provide insulation for buildings.
A drawback with roof-mounted solar panels is accessibility. Operators must use a ladder or roping mechanism to reach the units. This can be extremely dangerous for high locations, during storms and wet weather.
Lastly, pole mounted solar panels incorporate the best features of roof and ground mounting configurations. The panels (up to 16) are secured on a pole, roughly 4 to 12 feet from the ground. This option is perfect for buildings with limited space on the roof and ground.
Pole mounting is recommended for locations with several obstructions (such as trees or large ornaments), as a standalone pole can be setup in open sections of the space. Operators can maintain the PV panels without needing to climb a high location.