Roof Mount vs Ground Mount – What Is Right For You?
Doing solar right means that you can’t have a one size fits all approach. One of the most important decisions to make early on is if your solar array will be mounted on your roof or on the ground. Understanding the costs and benefits of each option will help you make an informed choice about what is right for you.
Why consider a ground mount?
Ground mounts offer a lot of versatility and simplicity that roof mounts often lack. Arguably the biggest benefit is that the solar panels can be mounted on the racking at any angle and facing any direction. Especially in Wisconsin, this means they can be tilted for optimal energy production, taking the maximum advantage of the sunlight we get. Ground mounts can also be installed in just about any location that receives enough sunlight. This opens up options for placing the panels somewhere discreet where they won’t be noticed or right out front where they can be displayed, depending on your preference of course. Ground mounts also allow for easy access in the event that it would need any sort of maintenance.
Why consider a rooftop solar installation?
The vast majority of residential solar installs will be on the roof. The main reason is that rooftop solar utilizes space that is otherwise left empty. Especially in areas where space is at a premium, such as Madison or Milwaukee, this allows homeowners to take advantage of solar energy without sacrificing valuable yard space. Another benefit to the roof mount that is often overlooked is that it limits access to your investment from strangers and other potential threats. Roof-mounted solar panes also can protect your roof from exposure to the elements, prolonging the life of the protected area.
What should I be aware of with a ground mount?
Just as rooftop installs conserve space by utilizing the roof, ground mounts have the problem of requiring a large amount of space with good sun access. Ground installs also usually require trenching or directional boring to bury the conduit run that carries electricity from the array to your house. Depending on the distance from your house to the location of your solar array this can increase the cost of the install.
What should I be aware of with a roof mount?
One of the major considerations with roof-mounted solar panels is the age and condition of the roof in question. Modern solar panels have a warrantied lifespan of at least 25 years, which means if your roof needs to be replaced during that lifespan it’s worth considering a roof replacement before your solar installation. Roof arrays are also limited by the shape and size of the roof. Many roofs have limited southern facing exposure or complication protrusions such as vents, skylights, or chimneys. Some homeowners also feel that roof-mounted solar can negatively impact curb appeal.
There are a lot of factors that go into this decision and while ultimately the choice is yours, your neighborhood team of local experts at Arch Electric is here to assist you and guide you through the process to make the best decision for you. If you are interested in contacting our experts to learn which array is right for you contact us today!