Solar energy is more economical than ever in Florida, and it's a great time to get solar installation services for your home or business. However, adding solar panels brings with it a number of other decisions that will affect how much energy your panels actually produce and save.
One of the most basic decisions you will need to make is whether to have your solar system ground-mounted or roof-mounted. Here are the pros and cons of each method.
Roof-mounted Solar Installation
Integrating solar panels amidst one's roofing is by far the most common solar installation method in use today. Why is this method so popular? First, because there is obviously an abundance of sunlight on most people's rooftops. Second, because it is a bit faster, easier, and cheaper to install than is a ground-mounted system.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you want your solar panels to last 20 years or longer - and it is much more convenient to change your roofing at the same time you install new solar panels. Most recommend to re-roof your building when you put in solar panels if the roofing is over 10 years old already or is expected to last less than 20 years more.
Also, you need to consider the size of your roof compared to how much solar energy you want to produce. And realize that panels need the right roof position and angle - gently sloping sections of asphalt shingle roofs are ideal. No obstructions that cast shadows on the panels can be allowed.
Finally, panels normally need to face south, so if your home faces south - they will be rather visible (on the front roof). If your home faces north, you can "hide" your solar panels on the back roof.
Ground-mounted Solar Installation
Though less common, ground-mounted solar panels are certainly not un-common either. They offer several benefits, along with some drawbacks.
Ground-mounting means spending a little more on installation and using up more of your lot - while using up rooftop space doesn't reduce usable space unless you hang out on your roof a lot!
Also, ground-mounted systems are easier to access and thus easier to clean. A roof-mounted system virtually requires a professional annual checkup and cleaning, while ground-mounted ones can be easily cleaned and cared for by homeowners.
The biggest benefit of ground-mounted arrays is that you can install them at the exact most ideal angle to gain maximum sunshine - and in fact, you can get mounts that actually track the sun throughout the day. That can add up to significantly more solar energy produced over the year, but you also have to spend more on installation and may need multiple mounting stands to equal the number of panels you have installed on your rooftop.
There is no right or wrong blanket answer as to whether ground or rooftop solar panels are best. It depends on your roof, your yard, and your personal preferences.
For a professional assessment of your property in regard to solar installation and whether a roof-mounted or ground-mounted systems would be more cost-effective, contact the solar installation experts at Sheegog Contracting, in Central Florida, today!