Solar Panel Mounts
Before you mount your photovoltaic system, you will need to balance two factors:
- where the best sunlight is
- where the solar panel array will fit best, in terms of looks and installation.
The best sunlight, of course, is facing south, if you are in the northern hemisphere and facing north if you are in the southern hemisphere.
A thornier problem is the mounting of the solar panel or panel array. For a large system, there are basically two places you can mount your solar panel or panel array:
- on your roof (using roof mounts), or
- on the ground (using pole mounts)
Roof Mounting Tip
One of the problems with earlier generations of solar panel mounting was that there was no consideration for the expansion and contraction of the solar panels. These "big black things" stand in the heat of the sun all day then cool off every night. Consequently, the mounting would shift daily and eventually dig into the roof shingles. Ask your solar installer if he or she is aware of this problem. This is the typical mounting arrangement, and professional installers do account for it, but don't assume that all of them do.
Urban homes and businesses would use roof mounting to support the larger array of solar modules. Roof mounted systems are safe and modest when installed by professionals.
Realistically, most urban areas do not have the space for pole mounted systems. Pole mounts are most useful for small rural systems.
Pole mounts are typically installed by a professional. These can be set anywhere where there is solid ground and can be fitted with optional solar trackers. Solar trackers will make your solar energy system much more effective. Learn more about solar trackers.