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Ground vs Roof Mounted Solar Panels: What’s the Difference? (2024)

Ground vs Roof Mounted Solar Panels

Installing solar panels can be a great way to reduce your environmental footprint, and many electric companies will pay you for any extra power that you create. However, many people are confused about what type of solar panels they should get: roof or ground panels. Keep reading as we discuss the pros and cons of each.

solar power divider

Overview of Roof Mounted Solar Panels

Power and Flexibility

Adding solar panels to your roof is a great way to create power without using up any of your valuable yard space. Another great feature of rooftop solar panels is that they are out of reach of animals and vandals that might damage them, and it’s easier to obtain a permit to use them than it is for ground-based panels.

solar panels on the roof
Image Credit: schropferoval, Pixabay

Installation and Cost

The roof provides a solid foundation to mount the rails that hold the panels, so it’s often less expensive to install them; ground panels might require ground leveling. However, the high altitude adds a danger factor that can increase costs. The height of the panels also makes it harder to maintain them if there’s a problem. Another problem is that the rails can cause holes in the roof, and you will need to remove panels to do any roof repairs.

  • Inexpensive to install
  • Utilizes free space
  • Easy to obtain a permit
  • May create holes in your roof
  • Hard to maintain
  • Power limited to roof space

Overview of Ground Mounted Solar Panels

Power and Flexibility

Ground-mounted solar panels produce more power than rooftop panels because fewer obstructions prevent the light from reaching them. You can also set them up to face in any direction, unlike rooftop panels. You can even use them to create simple structures, like a carport, which will help produce power and protect your vehicle. The downside is that since they are close to the ground, they are more susceptible to damage from animals and individuals. They also use up valuable yard space that you could put to another use.

solar panel on the garden
Image Credit: Piqsels

Installation and Cost

Ground-mounted solar panels are more difficult to install than roof-mounted panels because you will need to prepare the ground to hold the racking. This ground preparation can cause the installation to be more expensive, especially if you’re hiring a professional to do the work. The good news is that these panels are easier to access if there’s a problem, and you won’t need to remove them to work on your home.

  • Easy to install
  • Flexible positioning
  • Easy access
  • Produces a large amount of power
  • Expensive to install
  • Takes up yard space
  • Susceptible to damage

solar power divider

When to Use Each Type

Roof mounted solar panels are ideal when you have limited yard space and are happy with whatever power that you produce. Roof panels are budget friendly and less likely to be damaged, so they are good for a city home or one frequented by dangerous wildlife, like bears. Ground mounted solar panels are perfect when you have plenty of space that you aren’t using and the budget to level the ground to hold the racking system. They are also best when you want to produce more power than you need.

close up of solar panels reflecting the clouds
Image Credit: jniittymaa0, Pixabay

Which Is Right for You?

The low cost of installation and easy-to-obtain permits make roof panels a better choice for most people. They enable you to reduce your environmental footprint while saving on your electric bill. However, if you have plenty of land and want to create enough power to live off the grid, ground panels are better.

When to Use Roof Solar Panels When to Use Ground Solar Panels
To reduce your electric bill When you have plenty of land
To reduce your environmental impact When you want to create more power than you need
To use solar power in a city When you need easy access to the channel
When you have a tight budget When you have a large budget
For off-grid living

solar power divider Conclusion

We believe that roof mounted solar panels are better for most people because they are less expensive to install. You can reduce your environmental footprint and receive enough power to run several rooms in your home. Floor panels are better for large projects, as plenty of power will be created.

See also: Tracking Solar Panels vs Fixed: Pros, Cons & Differences

Featured Image Credit: (L) Chelsea, Unsplash | (R) NxTide, Pixabay


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