Solar panels harness the power of the sun’s rays to generate clean and sustainable electricity. But this is only possible if they are installed properly. This is why solar panel mounts are essential when buying an array for your home, business, or RV. With the right mounting system, you can set up the solar panels in the best possible way to get enough solar power.
In this article, you will learn the importance of mounts in a solar panel array. Moreover, there’s a list of all the common types of mounts you can get and use for your solar panel system at home. Lastly, discussed below are the factors to consider when installing a mounting system to ensure proper installation.
Importance of Solar Panel Mounts
Solar panel mounts are crucial in the efficiency and longevity of solar energy systems. Properly designed and installed mounts ensure that solar panels are positioned at the optimal angle and orientation to maximize their exposure to sunlight throughout the day. This alignment significantly increases the energy production of the solar panels, making the system more cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Additionally, solar panel mounts help protect the panels from adverse weather conditions and potential damage from wind, snow, or heavy rain. They also enable easy maintenance and cleaning, which is essential for maintaining peak performance over the long term.
A solar panel mounting system’s main responsibility and purpose is to give the panels a stable base or foundation. These frameworks allow the panels to be positioned safely and at an optimal tilt angle for collecting solar energy. The mounts ensure the panels are secured so they don’t fall and get damaged.
Types of Solar Panel Mounting Systems
There are currently five main types of mounting systems you can get for your solar panel array:
1. Roof Solar Mounts
This is a popular mounting system used by many for home residences. Roof mounts use your home's existing roof space and come in two varieties: flush or tilt.
Flush mounts are fixed mounting systems installed to sit perfectly flush with the roof surface. They’re designed to support the panels so that they run parallel to the roof. This way, it follows the roof’s natural angle. This is common in homes with angled roofs.
For houses with flat roofs, the tilt panel mounts are more suitable. Solar panels need the right position and angle to receive and collect sunlight. This means they can’t simply be installed and laid flat. With tilt mounts, the panels will have a base structure that will tilt the panel to an ideal angle for electricity generation.
2. Ground Solar Mounts
These racks are mounted on any place in your home property besides the roof. Compared to roof mounts, these are more expensive since they need drilling into the ground for installation.
Ground mounting systems are adjustable and can be angled so you can capture solar energy at various times of the day. Depending on the ground conditions in your land, these mounts require a more solid foundation. Hence, a concrete base is needed.
Because these mounts are at a height where there’s enough space between the panels and the ground, there’s more airflow between them. This helps keep the temperature of the whale system lower.
3. Pole Mounting Systems
These mounts are quite similar to ground mounting, only that the panels in pole mounts are attached to poles at elevated angles. There are two ways panels can be attached or mounted to pole-mounted racks: on top of the pole or on the side of the pole.
The poles of these mounts are usually settled into the ground with a concrete fitting to ensure stability. They’re also made durable and high-quality to ensure that they can support and hold the mounts and the panels.
4. Tracking Mounting Systems
These have mounts that can also be used for other types of mounting systems. The mounts are installed on the ground, and the system automatically tracks the sun. They come in two varieties:
- One Axis: These mounts allow the panels to track the sun’s movement from east to west.
- Two Axes: These track the sun’s movements for both east to west and north to south.
These are automatic systems so owners can collect solar energy throughout the day. However, they’re rarely used since they’re expensive to install and operate.
5. Floating Mounts
Floating mounts are crafted to hold solar panels afloat on water bodies like lakes, ponds, and even oceans. These platforms keep the solar panels above the water’s surface. While they’re a fascinating concept, they may not be a practical choice for most residential solar installations. This is due to their specialized nature and scale.
Factors to Consider When Installing Your Solar Panel Mounting System
The efficiency of mounting systems depends on their proper installation. To ensure this, make sure to consider the following factors when installing your mounts:
Determine the tilt angle of your solar panels based on your location’s latitude. This is because it’s believed that the mounting systems placed at a tilt angle equivalent to the latitude allow the panels to generate the maximum energy output. Remember, the sun moves throughout the day, and the panels should be tilted at an angle to collect energy.
You should also consider where you plan to install and mount the panels. Remember that different locations receive different amounts of sunlight. Before installing solar panel systems, check your latitude and longitude location and your daytime duration.
- Surface of Installation
Whether you’re installing the system on the ground, roof, or water, make sure that it can support the weight of the whole system. The surface should be sturdy enough even after drilling and attaching the structures.
- Shadow Area
Check for any shadow areas in your property, like tree shades and obstacles. Shade would hinder the capability of the panels to collect and generate electricity. That’s why, to ensure the maximum functionality of the solar panels, mount them in a place with no shadows.
Solar panels need mounts for safe and effective operation. Luckily, various mounting options are available to accommodate different locations and needs. To ensure a successful installation, consider your location, surface type, tilt angle, and potential shading.
If you want to look at quality solar panel mounts, check out our mounting systems collection. We have all kinds of mounts and other mounting accessories to install your solar panels properly.