Solar panels have finally become mainstream after years of being reserved only for those who can afford it. The prices have dropped and the supply has widened enough for a much larger customer base to pick and choose whatever they need. The uses and benefits of such an alternative power source need no introduction.
However, it is not easy to pick all the right parts of a solar panel system and there should be a lot of thought put in the final decision. Although they are obviously a crucial part of the system, there are other factors to consider. One of those is the mount(s) you use to support the panels you have on your property.
No worries, as this article will help you learn everything there is about the different solar panel mounts and make it easier to choose the right one for your circumstance. To find out more about solar panel and their mounts in general, make sure to check out Harness Power.
What is a Solar Panel Mount?
Mounts, or racks, are key components of solar panel systems that keep the panels securely in place atop of different roofs or other locations. Every panel has the optimal tilt at which they harness the most power available from a location. Based on the latitude, the seasons, and the surroundings, the best tilt is calculated for each panel system and the mount has to appropriately follow and support this.
Obviously, the most common locations for mounting panels include roofs, but ground-level mounts also exist. Vehicles like RVs and boats require a different type of mounts entirely. In the following sections, all of these will be further explained.
A mounting bracket is the most common technique of module mounting. This is heavy-duty equipment made from aluminum or stainless steel, and all solar racking and mounting products have to meet these standards. Whichever one you go for, as long as they are of a certain quality, they will keep the panels firmly in place and prevent them from flying away or move even slightly. Overall, they make up only around 9% of the total cost of the whole solar panel system and installation.
If you have determined that the best place for your solar panel is the roof of your property, you are in luck. In general, rooftop mounts are much cheaper than ground mounts. This is because it requires less mounting equipment and less tinkering, which then lowers the final cost of this part of the process. Since it is easier and faster to install, most contractors recommend it, and most customers ask for it. Moreover, the roof is a convenient surface that is not used for anything else other than keeping the elements out of the property. Therefore, mounting a solar panel system on top of it will not get into the way of anything and you will not lose any valuable space.
On the other hand, not everyone can or should go for rooftop solar panel mounts, and the reasons are different. First of all, the property in question may lack the necessary space to fit the whole system, let alone the mounts. Moreover, the roof might face north which is very bad for the total panel output. Finally, to best optimize the performance of a system, it may be more beneficial to install the panels on the ground, making ground mounts crucial. Every property is different, and so is the amount of sunlight it gets throughout the year. Some roofs are not tilted the right way and it would make no sense to install them there. On the ground, all sorts of ground mounts can be specially manufactured and installed to get the best out of the situation. It all comes down to the kind of roof, space, and shade the property has.
Ground mounts come in several different types. The first is a single-axis tilt, in which the panels are attached to horizontal poles that pivot up and down, following the sun during the day. Next, there are dual-axis tilts, which are similar to single-axis as they also move horizontally, but these can also move vertically to get even more out of the sunlit hours in a day. The third is regular ground mounts that are completely fixed and cannot move at all. These are used when there is enough sun during the day without the need to catch more of it based on the time of day. Some of the best models allow manual tilting of panels too
The pricing of solar panel mounts is hard to estimate because it makes up less than 10% of the total system price. On average, the whole system sets back a household some $10,000 on average, but this again depends on everything including the size of the property, the number of solar panels, and other equipment, as well as the part of the world. It almost does not matter how much you will pay for the mounts because they do an all-important job of keeping the panels secured and in place, and there should be no saving on such features. If you get a good overall price, you will not care that much about how much goes for the mounts specifically.
What you should definitely calculate and plan is where the best spot for your solar panel system is on the property, how many panels do you need in total, and what are you looking to get out of harnessing the power of the sun. Some systems are used for heating water, others for general heating and electricity, while others combine everything and power basically everything a home has. Solar panel systems are the future, and they have been considered as such for a long time. There is no better time than now to afford yourself one, especially if you live in a place that gets a lot of sun during the whole year. It is extremely cost-effective in the long run and makes complete financial sense to invest in such a system.