The correct as well as proper choice of mounting solar structures for solar panels is very essential for the production, overall efficiency, and lifespan of your solar panels. Mounting solar structures are a costly investment and shouldn’t be taken lightly at all. This is the reason why it’s very important for one to learn about the type of solar PV modules mounting structure.
Additionally, apart from these mounting structures, you may also need some mounting structure components like solar panel mounting brackets, solar panel mounting clamps, solar panel mounting strut channels, etc. In this, you’ll learn about all these things in detail.
5 Types Solar PV Modules Mounting Structure
Basically, there are five types of solar PV modules mounting structure. Among them, one is the variable-angle type and the other is the fixed-angle type.
1. Rooftop Solar Mounting Structure
This is one of the main types of solar PV modules mounting structure. Generally, most homeowners go for roof-mounted solar structures. They are so popular because of their cost. Compared to ground-mounted systems, the roof ones are quite cheap. It’s because, in this system, the main structure that is needed to sustain the solar panels is the rooftop itself. This saves a lot of costs. This working of this system depends on the type of roof it’s working with.
a) Sloped Roof
In most houses, there is a sloped roof design. Therefore, the rood mount solar systems need to adjust the solar panels at an inclined position. In order to do so, manufacturers offer the following options:
1. Railed Mounting System
It is one of the most common rooftop solar mounting structures. It has a set of rails attached to the rooftop. Each panel is attached to the rails via clamps and these rails are then secured to the rooftop by bolts and screws.
2. Rail-less Mounting System
In this type of installation, screws, and bolts are used to secure each panel on the roof. Its major advantage is that shipping, as well as manufacturing costs, are reduced. Hence, its installation process is faster.
Because the solar panels aren’t restrained by their positioning on the rails, the installer can place them anywhere. However, the main con of this system is the learning curve of its installation. You need an installer who is perfectly experienced in performing rail-less mounting systems.
Furthermore, there is a point to note, don’t use a rail-less mounting system when the panel is being installed on crooked or installed or tile roofs. Additionally, these systems have more attachment points, they could make more holes in the roof.
Recently market trends are changing and rail-less systems are becoming more attractive for investment purposes. This is because the long-term saving of this system is much higher in comparison to the rail-mounted system.
3. Shared-Rail Mounting System
This system works the same as railed systems. The only difference is in the number of rails needed to be installed.
In rail systems, for two solar panels, you need 4 rails. However, in the shared-rail system, for 2 panels, you’ll need just 3 rails. The panels will use one rail in middle and 2 rails on the edge. This technique reduces solar panel installation time along with cost. It also creates fewer holes in your roof.
b) Flat Roof
They are often found in utility or commercial buildings. However, there are many households with flat roofs also. Mainly a Flat Roof Ballasted Racking System is used as a mounting system for flat roofs.
This system is made up of a previously assembled structure with some ballasted blocks. These blocks go to the bottom and support the solar panel’s system while attaching the panels and the mounting system with the use of clips and clamps.
The greatest advantage of this mounting type is its fast and easy installation. There is very little or no need of drilling holes in the roof. Additionally, it offers some bits of flexibility. You can adjust its title typically between 5 and 15 degrees. With this, you have learned about rooftop solar mounting structures.
Also See: Top 10 Rooftop Solar Companies in India
2. Ground Mounted Solar Systems
As the name suggests, these systems are located on the ground. Their biggest advantage is that they have a wide range of options to choose from, depending on your needs, proposed design, and location. These systems are one of the primary types of solar PV modules mounting structure and they also further have options you can choose from-
1. Foundation mounts
These mounts are the most common ground-mounting structures. To install them, you’ll need to prepare the land for excavation, this is needed to put mechanical tubing or vertical pipes surrounded by a concrete foundation in place.
For its installation, you’ll need to do a geotechnical analysis and site assessment of the soil. This helps determine if the soil is strong enough to hold the mounted structure. The fountain pressure differs depending on the type of soil (sand, gravel, crystalline bedrock, sedimentary rock, etc).
The soil type decides whether helical pipe, concrete foundation, or ground screws are needed to anchor the solar system in place.
2. Ballasted Footing Mounts
If the soil isn’t suitable for excavation or drilling, then ballasted footing mounts are the solution. This mounting structure consists of a pre-cast concrete block that is anchored to the ground. This structure is popularly used for residential solar panel installations.
3. Pole Mounts
These mounts are cost-effective and simple solutions for installing small solar systems. They are ideal for residential purposes.
The major advantage of these mounts is that you don’t need to create a complicated foundation or even level the land. Instead, you just need to put a simple steel pole with a concrete anchor is placed on the ground. This is a simple structure that provides enough support to the solar panels. In some special cases, due to extreme weather conditions or unsuitable soil, special adjustments are made.
Also See: How to Remove Solar panels from Roof?
4. Multi-Pole Mounts
These have the same principles as pole-mounted structures. The only difference is that instead of being separated, all solar panels in this structure are laid in a single horizontal line. With additional vertical pipe supports, the solar system can horizontally extend as much as desired.
The biggest advantage this system has over other solar ground mounting systems is that it allows the installation of bigger systems with a greater and simpler tilt variability. Unlike the pole-mounted system, this system just needs one adjustment for all the panels. Additionally, it doesn’t require soil perforations like other traditional systems. It is an ideal system for shading purposes or carports.
This is a fairly new solar panel mounting option in the market. It was developed as a ground-mounted system that has solar cells arranged as petals that form a flower. Every morning when the sun rises this system opens and in the evening it closes.
The major advantage of this system is the high efficiency of its petals. The product parameters state that a 2.5 kW SmartFlower structure is equal to a typical 4 kW ground-mounted system. The increased output is a result of solar cells that are equipped with a dual-axis tracking system. This ensures that with a minimum tilt angle, you get maximum irradiance. The con of this technology is its high cost.
Compared to any typical ground-mounted system this technology is far faster and simpler. This is because the solar cells and mounting structures are already pre-assembled.
The installation process of this structure is
- Define the active area of the solar flower
- Drill 4 screws deep into the ground
- Fix the anchor to the tower back
- Place the mounting structure over the installed ground screws
- Connect the wind guard structure with the wiring
3. Top of The Pole Mounts
Another popular option for solar mounting structures is Top Pole Mounts. Generally, these are designed with strong backs, elevation pivots, and heavy steel mounting sleeves. They can endure hard weather conditions and efficiently support big solar panel arrays. With these structures, you can easily change the tilt angle in a range of 15° to 60°.
4. Side Pole Mounts
These mounts are mostly used for very small solar panel installations and lightning purposes.
5. Tracking System Mounted Racks
These types of solar-mounted structures are used in all kinds of solar tracking systems, solar water pumping systems, and the like. This system allows for maximum sun radiation that can help generate electricity. It especially pays off in hot climates.
For tracking systems, there are two different structures: one-axis and two-axis. The one-axis trackers track the sun’s movement from the east to the west. On the other hand, the two-axis systems track the daily and seasonal course of the sun. They are widely used by PV concentrator systems. Solar trackers are automated systems that allow solar panels thoroughly track the sun’s path throughout the day for optimal sun exposure as well as collection.
Although these tracker increases the efficiency of your panels and reduces their panel upkeep, they are still not commonly very much used because of the massive increase in total costs.
Components of Solar Panel Mounting
Now that you have learned about the racking matters in solar mounting, you should also try and explore the different types of components used in solar panel mounting.
1. Solar Panel Mounting Brackets
Solar panel mounting brackets are used to mount solar panels on the rooftop of a vehicle or house and keep the panels in place. They are adjustable and are mostly made up of stainless steel. They are suitable for any flat surface and help optimize the performance of solar panels by tilt positioning them.
2. Solar Panel Mounting Clamps
After learning about solar panel mounting brackets, let’s also learn about Solar panel mounting clamps. They are used to mount solar panels on RCC or Tin roof structures. Usually, they are high-quality Aluminum end as well as mid-clamps. They are also ideally corrosion free.
3. Solar Panel Mounting Strut Channel
Just like solar panel mounting clamps, solar panel mounting strut channels also are mostly used in rooftop and ground-mounted solar structures. Usually, they are made out of steel or aluminum and are anti-corrosive. After this, let’s explore solar panel mounting screws.
4. Solar Panel Mounting Screw
Solar panel mounting screws are used to make solar or PV module installation easier and quicker. When you are using solar panels and roof mounting structures on aluminum or wood substrates, these screws reduce assembly time. Additionally, they also increase the pull-out value of such installations.
Also Read: Grid Tied Solar System Components
5. No Drill Solar Panel Roof Mounts
No drill solar panel roof mounts are used to provide side support to large and small solar panels. They are designated for any type of aluminum frame solar panels. They are non-corrosive and are durable to last long. They help in making solar panel installations more flexible and easier.
Different solar panel mounts are used for different shingle roofs. Like, there are specially designed solar panel mounts for asphalt roofs. After this, let’s explore solar panel roof mounting aluminum rail.
6. Solar Panel Roof Mounting Aluminum Rail
Solar panel roof mounting aluminum rail structures provide support for mounting solar panels, they make this process easier. The advantage of aluminum rail is that it’s anti-corrosive and that’s why it’s best for mounting solar panels.
7. Solar Panel Mounts for Shingle Roof
Solar panel mounts help secure solar panels on the rooftop. There are different types of solar panel mounts for different shingle roofs. For instance, there are specially designed roofs for asphalt shingle roofs.
Also See: 5 Rooftop Solar Panels Benefits
Solar Panel Shingle Roof Mount: DIY or Left to Professionals?
Although solar panel shingle roof mounts aren’t that complicated, still they should be left to the professionals. This is because the professionals have experience as well as expertise in to job this job correctly and safely.
There are many benefits of hiring a professional installer-
- These installers have the necessary equipment and tools to do this job with safety and precision.
- They are also familiar with the local building codes. If you are complying with local building codes, the solar panel installation can become quite tricky. But if you hire professional installers, they’ll know how to meet all the necessary codes.
- The best part about professional installers is that they have insurance. So, if anything goes wrong during the installation process, you’ll be protected by the insurance policy of your installer.
- The installers also help you avoid invalidating your roof warranty cause if you try to install the panels yourself, you may avoid your roof warranty. Any professional will ensure that your panels are installed correctly and they don’t damage your roof.
Hiring a professional is a very safe option while installing solar panels. To avoid any potential problem in solar panel shingle roof mounting seek professional help.
With this, we have come to the end of a blog that gave you thorough information about the major types of mounting structures for solar panels and the major components of such structures. Now you know what structures are there, what structure is best for you, and how you should get it installed. This blog has given you a deep insight into the racking matters in solar mounting.
Recommended: What are Solar Street Light Components?