Installation of panels on the ground

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Disadvantages of mounting panels on the ground
Disadvantages of this type of installation

When choosing a location for installing photovoltaic panels, we may be faced with a choice: roof or ground? Although installing panels on the roof is a more popular solution, mainly due to the possibility of developing the roof surface without loss of plot area, it is not always possible. Sometimes an unusual shape, a sharp angle of inclination, or an exceptionally high degree of shading of the roof completely eliminate it as a place for investing in photovoltaics and then the last option is to develop the plot and install the installation on the ground. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this installation method?

Disadvantages of mounting panels on the ground

Ground installation undoubtedly beats all other methods when it comes to optimizing the battery’s angle of inclination in relation to the incident sunlight and positioning it in relation to the cardinal directions in order to increase yields. It is best to plan the installation of the panels on a plot that has good sunlight from the south, because this arrangement ensures the longest exposure to the sun during the day.

Greater ventilation – the rules for arranging batteries relative to each other are similar to those on a flat roof, so it is necessary to maintain appropriate spacing to ensure that the panels do not shade each other. This, in turn, directly increases the air flow, and thus directly reduces the temperature of the operating installation, thus minimizing the risk of overheating.

Although the panels fail sporadically and actually operate maintenance-free, the necessary minimum maintenance (mainly washing twice a year) unfortunately requires us to go to the roof or hire a specialized cleaning team. The location of the installations on the ground makes them incomparably more accessible than those installed on the roof, where we must be thoroughly prepared for cleaning due to the high risk of falling from a height.

Panels on the ground are much safer to install, which often affects the speed of work. And although installation on the ground requires slightly different construction methods, which are apparently more complicated, the free access to the installation compensates for the construction of frames. Additionally, some manufacturers use solutions called intelligent tracking systems that correct the position of the panels in relation to the angle of the sun’s rays, which is particularly important outside the summer season, when the sun is lower and does not illuminate the battery surface so well.

Disadvantages of this type of installation

First of all, it involves allocating a large area of ​​land for investment, which not everyone has access to, and which, unlike the roof area, is difficult to part with, especially in the case of carefully landscaped gardens. And since we are talking about gardens – it is also important to find a place that will be as shaded as possible, which is why it is often necessary to cut down nearby trees, which in the future will also contribute to increased dust on the panels, and falling leaves or needles will significantly reduce cell potential. It is also important for the aesthetics of the plot – the installation cannot be pushed into the background, because due to the distance of fences or neighboring plantings and buildings, it often occupies the central part of the area. So this is definitely not a solution for small yards.

Unfortunately, installing panels on the ground is also slightly more expensive. This is due to the need to install corrosion-resistant galvanized steel frames on which the PV cells will rest. Panels on a flat roof are also installed in a similar way. We have already written about methods of installation on various surfaces. We encourage you to read this article.

The disadvantages are actually a cosmetic matter, so if we want to install photovoltaics, and for various reasons we cannot mount the installation on the roof of a house, garage or other outbuilding, installation on the ground is, of course, an ideal solution also due to the possibility of optimizing the yields. However, this is not a solution for aesthetes, which for some may be a value in itself that will outweigh the undeniable advantages of such an investment. The choice of installation method is always the responsibility of the investor, but if you have any doubts, contact a specialist to choose the best solution for you and your home.