Installing Solar Panels

When installing solar panels it is really important to get the job done right. That means not only making sure they don't blow off or fall off your roof, but also insuring that they are pointed the right direction to capture the maximum amount of solar energy. Because there are many types of roofs and structures that solar panels can be mounted to there are different types of solar panel mounts.


There Are Several Ways to Mount Solar Panels

On top of a pole - This is relatively easy to do, just plant a steel pole in cement, and mount the solar panel and rack on top. Of course you should make sure the pole is strong enough and to code specifications.

      Photo by RaBoe/Wikipedia


   Photo by Keith Williamson


On side of a pole - This is usually used on existing poles and usually for a small number of panels. These are usually used for remote lighting where electricity is hard to come by or you want to light your yard with solar energy!

On the roof - This works great if you have enough roof area to catch enough solar rays. Depending on what your roof is covered with will determine how the solar panels are mounted to the roof. The solar panel mounts may have to penetrate the roof to attach to the roof structure and care must be taken to make sure there is a waterproof seal.

    Photo by Heiner Werner


   Photo by David Monniaux

On the ground - If you have enough yard area you could mount the solar panels on a ground solar panel mount. This will require a foundation and a pretty precise installation. A disadvantage to the ground mounting is that the panels are susceptible to theft and tend to accumulate snow if you live in an place that tends to get a lot of snow.
 

On a tracker - This would be the most expensive but also the most effective. Tracking solar panel mounts point the solar panels precisely at the sun to catch the maximum amount of solar energy all day long. But tracking solar panel mounts are the most complicated and expensive.

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