Solar panel (also known as pv panels) mounting come in all sorts of shapes and sizes depending on their purpose. Some can be stand-alone, where as others can be mounted on a pole enabling them to track the sun through the day. Here I will advise the main types pv panel mounting and what is best for your solar power system.
Main Solar Panel Mounts
There are 3 main types of pv panel mounts.
- Flush Mounts
- Roof – Ground Mounts
- Pole Solar Mounts
Each has their advantages and disadvantages to take into consideration before you make your decision how to mount your domestic solar panels.
This is the cheapest and easiest way to mount your local solar panels. You can do this by fastening a couple of metal brackets either side of your solar panel and raising it a few inches from the surface underneath.
Advantages: Do not cost much, simple to install, low wind resistance and light weight. Suitable small sized panels on roofs and those you see a top of RV's (Recreational vehicles)
Disadvantages: Not suitable for large solar panels, can not be used in some types of roofs. No flexibility in tilt or orientation. Solar panel (s) have to be pre-wired before installing.
ROOF – GROUND MOUNTS
As the name exemplifies this type of mount can be used on both your roof and on the ground. It consist of a metal triangular frame with a set of telescopic legs. This enables you to change the angle your solar panel is pitched at. This allows you to optimize their vertical orientation for greater amount of solar exposure during the day.
If you live in Portland (Oregon), with latitude of about 45 degrees, your domestic solar panel should be set at an angle of 45 degrees from the horizontal.
Advantages: Reasonably priced, common fittings to a wide variety of panels. Can be positioned almost anywhere and available with adjustable tilting for best sun angle.
Disadvantages: May require heavy duty fastenings in areas with very high winds. Not the most pleasant of mounts on the eye and some states may have restrictions on what you are able to erect.
Pole mounts come in three types.
- Top of pole mounts
- Side of pole mounts
- Poll tracking mounts
Top of Pole Mounts are made up of a rack and rail component that is fastened to a metal sleeve that sits on top of the pole
Sides of Pole Mounts are essentially similar to top of pole mounts the only difference being the mechanism is fastened side on
Again Tracking Pole Mounts are similar to top of pole mounts, the only difference being they have a device allowing them to follow the suns daily path.
Advantages: Your domestic solar panels are easy to wire up due to the easy access to them. Panels can be raised to a height where by they avoid shading from other obstacles.
Disadvantages: construction costs, digging a hole and making sure your pole is anchored securely.