Most people who buy solar panels have them mounted directly to their roofing. This is often a good place because it provides excellent sun exposure. And roof-borne panels don’t interfere with the lawn or property. However, you might find installing panels on your roof impossible. In this case, ground-mounted solar panels are perfectly viable, and they can efficiently serve dual purposes. Here are a few creative uses you might consider.
Deciding on ground mounted solar panels
When shopping for a solar array, you need to consider how you want to mount your system. Since your new energy platform is an investment, you’ll want to carefully examine all the positives and downsides of each of your options. If your roof faces the sun for much of the day, a roof arrangement may suit you perfectly well. Some homeowners don’t have this advantage, though. Whether your roof is blocked from the sun, mounting panels to the ground gives you flexibility.
Additionally, ground-mounted solar panels may be a safer alternative. Consider that every electrical component in your home slightly increases fire risk. A fire on your roof can spread to your home. But one that begins on your lawn is less likely to. It can also be challenging to maintain equipment positioned precariously on your roof. Whether you plan to perform minor repairs by yourself or hire helpers instead, walking on a slanted surface high above the ground can be dangerous. If you expand your home or energy use in the future, you may need more power. It’s much harder to add additional panels when positioned on a limited surface. You can use your entire property when you put them on the ground.
Creative uses for ground mounted solar panels
If you’re worried your panels will interfere with how you enjoy your yard, don’t be. There are many creative ways to integrate your power supply into your home’s amenities. Your imagination and budget are your only limitations.
Shade plant sanctuary
Not all plants require intense, direct sunlight. Many, especially those most suitable for home gardens, thrive in the shade. If your front yard is far enough from your house that it doesn’t get enough shade, consider using your ground-mounted solar panels to create the shade you need. Since you can always angle your system away from the street, this setup can look nice to drivers or pedestrians.
Privacy block for neighbors
If your neighbors live nearby, you might not want them watching everything you do. Whether you’re friends or not, it can feel intrusive to know that anyone next door might be watching you and your kids relaxing in the yard. Solar equipment makes a perfect shield against an undesirable line of sight.
Whether you don’t have a garage or filled yours with too much stuff, it’s always good to shield your vehicles from rain, snow, and other inclement weather. A makeshift garage with ground-mounted solar panels may sound like a complicated and expensive undertaking. Still, compared to the cost of adding a whole new section to your house, you’re saving money.
Have you ever wished you could extend your porch area so more people could enjoy it? Do you lack a porch and wish you had one? While turning your solar system into a serious covering can cost a little extra, it’s well worth it. A porch adds enjoyment to your home and can serve as a place to gather the whole family or hang out on days off.
As with everything in life, ground systems have a few disadvantages. For most customers, the most important is cost. While installing a mount directly on your lawn can be reasonably cheap, even the most affordable ground setups are more complex and require more parts than roof arrays. Of course, more creative and elaborate projects cost more money. The logistics of permitting and wiring your ground array can be complicated.
Depending on where you live and how far from your home you want to place your array, your plan may or may not be feasible. Before you purchase or begin any construction, check that your plan complies with local zoning regulations. Using ground-mounted solar panels to your advantage is a great way to support the environment while optimizing your home. When you’ve completed your project, you’ll feel that you’ve done something good for your family and the planet.
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