What is a ground-mounted solar panel? Full-time Job10 months ago - Training - Detroit - 158 views
What is a ground-mounted solar panel?
Ground-mounted solar panels are solar panels that are installed at the ground level Ground-mounted systems function very similarly to rooftop solar systems – panels are exposed to sunlight which is converted to electricity by solar cells in order to power a single building or, in the case of solar farms, communities.
Here are the top three things that you need to know about ground-mounted solar panels and energy production:
1. In many cases, ground-mounted solar panels can be your best option
While rooftop solar arrays are the most common choice for homeowners, there are many reasons to consider a ground-mounted solar panel system.
Generally, ground mount solar panels cost a bit more than rooftop solar on a per-watt basis because of additional labor and permitting that may be required for the installation. That being said, if your property isn’t ideal for rooftop solar, installing a ground-mounted system can actually save you more money in the long run.
Rooftop solar arrays are restricted by the characteristics of the roof on which they are installed. If your roof isn’t at the right angle, doesn’t face south, or has obstructions like chimneys or skylights, then your solar array will be less productive. On the other hand, ground-mounted solar panels can be located wherever the conditions are best.
In addition, if your home uses a lot of electricity, your roof might not be big enough for a solar energy system that meets your electricity needs. In contrast, ground-mounted solar systems can be sized to match your electricity consumption without the space restrictions of a rooftop system.
2. Not all ground-mounted solar panel systems are created equal
There are two basic types of ground-mounted solar panel systems:
Standard ground-mounts use metal framing driven into the ground to hold your solar panels up at a fixed angle. Some standard ground-mounted solar panel systems can be manually adjusted a few times a year to account for seasonal shifts of the sun.
Pole-mounted solar systems support multiple solar panels on a single pole and elevate panels higher off the ground than a standard ground mount. Pole-mounted solar often incorporates tracking systems, which automatically tilt the solar panels to capture the optimal amount of sunshine.
Tracking systems can increase the production of your solar panels by 25 percent or more. If you decide to add a tracking system to your ground-mounted solar array, you have the option of either a single-axis or a dual-axis system. Single-axis tracking systems move your solar panels over the course of the day to follow the sun as it moves through the sky. Dual-axis tracking systems can also adjust based on seasonal variations in the sun’s position.
Solar Mounting Structures: Racking Matters
Globally, solar installations have been growing at an impressive pace. A large share of growth has been contributed from India, and with 100GW of target by 2022 in its hand, India is on the verge of becoming the world’s biggest solar nation. Continuous reduction in the solar system prices with respect to higher grid rates is resulting in increasing global demand for solar solutions and thus leading to its rapid growth. Solar is undeniable the future and a leading source of renewable energy. Solar panels work best when they receive shade free sunlight for maximum number of hours, mounted at precise tilt angle with face directed towards the south. This is where Solar Panel Mounting Structures comes into the picture. One of the largest areas of innovation within solar panel installation involves the mounting system.
Module Mounting Structures play a vital role in efficient working of a solar power system, both in utility and rooftop. While most of the components of balance of system (BOS) such as inverter, DC cables, junction boxes, transformers, etc. are readily bought from the equipment suppliers, the workmanship of an EPC contractor is reflected mainly through module mounting structures and wiring management.
These structures help panels to rest com-fortably, prevent from being damaged and more importantly position them at precise tilt angle to harness maximum sun’s energy. Mounting structures can be made for rooftops, ground mounting, carports and sun tracker solutions which now have seen a lot of developments in terms of weight, material, adaptability and ease of installation. There have been many technological innovations that have led to reduced cost, faster and better installation, high durability and with enhanced output.
Recent installation of solar project in India has adopted various Solar Mounting Tech-nologies and design which include the structures made of galvanized iron as well as aluminum structures. Some of the projects have adopted a combination of steel structure and aluminum structure where in vertical legs are made off hot dipped galvanized steel and rest of the members are made off extruded aluminum structure. Typically module mount structure comprises of following components.
Moreover, falling cost for module mounting structures has been one of the biggest contributor to the fall in project cost. They have fallen by almost 60% in the past 4-5 years. The manufacturing of structures is a fairly consolidated market with the top five companies in India controlling 80% of the market share. These players have a cumulative capacity of 2,300 MW per year. This might seem like a solid base for future growth. However, the demand in India is cyclical and driven by policies. Timely deliveries for the entire 2,300 MW will already be an issue, leave alone catering to a 4,000-5,000 MW market. The costs for mounting structures can also go up if there is a spike in capacity addition. However, this increase will be short lived as companies can start buying parts of the structure from other steel fabricators.
Any solar system is designed to function for 20 to 25 years thus material plays an important role in the overall solution. The strength of the material is defined by the geography and environment of the location being installed. Hence, there is a growing need for highly durable, rust-free, corrosion-resistant materials in the industry. This is leading to the emergence of evolutionary products like rust-resistant steel that have become highly popular in the solar panel market with its competitive pricing and greater durability. There are several types of steel depending on its weight, strength grade and coating which involves different prices. While selecting the material one should look at the warranty provided by the company for maximum return on investment. Probably, the most competitive solar product market, mounting systems are an important element of solar arrays—they secure solar panels to the roof or the ground. Here, we go over the basic categories of roof-mounted solar systems to help new installers get a grasp on installation.
Types of Solar Mounting Structures
The correct and proper choice of the Mou-nting Structures for solar system projects is very essential in terms of the overall production, efficiency and lifetime of the solar panels. Since it is a costly investment, the choice of mounting systems should not be disregarded as a minor consideration. Solar modules need to be secured, mounted and tightened on a very stable and durable structure, protecting the array against imp-acts from wind, hail, rain, snow and even minor earthquakes. They are either mounted on ground, on roofs or on poles. There are five basic types of mounting structures of which four are fixed-angle types and one variable-angle type:
Roof Mounted Racks
Ground Mounted Racks
Top-of-pole Mounted Racks
Side-of-pole Mounted Racks
Tracking System Mounted Racks
Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are solar power generating products or systems that are seamlessly integrated into the building envelope and part of building components such as façades, roofs or windows. Serving a dual purpose, a BIPV system is an integral component of the building skin that simultaneously converts solar energy into electricity and provides building envelope functions such as:
weather protection (water proofing, sun protection);
daylight illumination; and/or
BIPV systems can be installed during the construction phase of a building or deployed in the course of a retrofit of an existing building when one of the envelope components needs to be replaced. The built environment allows for many ways to integrate BIPV.