What is a Solar Power Mount and How Do I Do It?

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According to the United States Department of Energy, a well-planned solar power system accounts for about 40 percent of home’s energy. One thing that contributes to this success is a solar power mount, key equipment to hold the solar panels. Solar power mounts are lightweight and allow the tilting of the panels into the desired positions. This makes it an important investment to think about it when planning your solar installation project.

In recent years, buying solar panels has become an easy affair due to reduced costs and availability. There are also many reviews comparing solar installers, solar panels, and solar inverters. Solar panels provide hope for reliable home-energy production. However, some aspects of solar installation may be confusing. Today, we talk about solar power mounts.

Solar power mounts play an integral role in your solar panel system. They come in several variations, no matter your ground mounting system or roof style necessities. Your installer will recommend the best option for your consumption needs.

Suppose you’re wondering how to go about your newly acquired solar panel. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. This is an expert review of solar panel mounting solutions, including the pros and cons of ground-mounted and rooftop solar systems.

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What is Solar Panel Mounting and Racking?

Solar panel racks and mounts are specialized equipment that installs solar panel arrays in a stable and secure position. Mounting can get done in many ways: on ground poles, building roofs, and tracking. Mounting optimizes your solar panel’s stability and location. In addition, it enables the solar panel to be adjusted satisfactorily, depending on seasons, latitude, or time of the day.

A solar panel mounting system also maximizes sun exposure and your solar panel’s overall efficiency and performance. In addition, proper mounting of your solar panels dictates how much energy you can expect from your investment. Solar power mounts account for approximately 10% of the total cost of a standard solar panel system. The average price depends on the equipment needed, the racking you use, and the labor charges for installation.

All mounting and cracking products must meet structural integrity and durability guidelines regardless of your mounting option. Settling on a flawed system puts your solar system at risk of experiencing damage during weather events or high winds. The last thing you will want to sacrifice is your investment and the source of your electric power.

solar panels with a blue sky and mountains in the background

What are the Most Important Solar Panel Mounting Components?

The solar mounting system features three major components. Each component is as important as how it supports your panels in ensuring you get maximum solar power from them. The three major elements include:

  • Roof attachments
  • Mounting rails
  • Module clamps

Roof Attachments

The roof attachments are well-designed fasteners drilled into the roof to hold the racking system in place. They allow a secure and efficient extension of the mounting rails. A metal flashing shield often surrounds them.

Mounting Rails

Mounting rails are constructive materials that are drilled-in roof attachments. They are usually attached to an enclosure profile or a mounting panel. Mounting rails hold and securely support your solar panel. They typically come in different lengths and thicknesses.

Besides, thin mounting rails such as XR10 IronRidge should not be installed in areas that experience snow accumulation. The extra weight involved will bring about a significant challenge. On the other hand, rails with XR1000 Ironbridge can be installed since they can handle heavy snow loads.

Module Clamps

Solar panel mounting clamps are a standard option during roof mount installations. They fasten the solar modules (solar panels) onto the mounting rails. Module clamps come in different sizes and shapes depending on the corner and angle of the solar panel. Each clamp set may also feature threaded holes to allow the attachment of additional objects.

rows of tilted solar panels in a field

What to Look at When Selecting the Best Solar Mounts for Your Project

Before investing, it’s essential to know what to look for, given the market expansion for solar mounts. Therefore, it would be best to consider specific vital parameters before selecting the best solar support for your home or business.

The Solar Racking system

The solar racking system holds the solar panels. The system design is in landscape and portrait orientation. In places with severe weather conditions such as a lot of snow, installers will need to build solar racking systems at steeper angles to allow accumulated snow to slide. Understanding your solar panel potential during different seasons is critical in ensuring you get maximum power.

Affordability

A solar mounting system is one of the most affordable ways to install your solar system. It makes good use of your existing roof space. If you own a property with limited space, solar mounts are the best option for you. A fixed roof mount is the most cost-effective option.

Maintenance

Ground solar systems are easier to maintain and clean than roof-mounted solar panels. In addition, it is more convenient and safer since you do not need to go up to the roof. On the other hand, ground solar panel mounts are a relatively more expensive option since they require pounding or drilling deep into the ground. However, ground-mounted solar systems produce more electric power.

Mounting material

Solar power systems are costly, so you need to check the material used for mounting. For example, you wouldn’t want to install your solar panels that last only a few years and spoil before you benefit from the returns. Also, ensure that all the components that make up the solar mounting system are durable, strong, and resistant to corrosion.

two men installing solar panels on roof

Ground-Mounted Solar Panels versus Roof-Mounted Solar Panels

A mounting system serves as the basis of the solar arrays. It allows individual solar panels to remain in position and secures the ground surface or the roof. There are two major solar power mounting systems, which include: roof mounts and ground mounts.

Roof Mounts

Solar panel roof mounts will hold your solar system and panels in the existing space on the roof. They feature modern structures that can support the entire system’s weight. The mounting system stabilizes your solar panel on the top without compromising its stability. In addition, roof mounts are relatively cheaper because they use the existing roof structures as the foundation.

Pros

  • Utilizes unused space
  • Less expensive
  • Requires fewer parts, pieces, and components to install
  • Labor cost is relatively low
  • Easier to permit

Cons

  • Harder to troubleshoot errors
  • Harder to access, especially if the roof is slippery or steep
  • Higher panel temperatures translate to lower energy output.
  • The limited size of the system due to space constraints on the roof

Ground Mounts

Solar panel ground mounts allow you to install a solar panel anywhere within your property. They are often pitched as stand-alone structures and built into ground-level foundations. As a result, they are comparatively undemanding to maintain and clean. Ground mounts also offer more excellent orientation of arrays, thus maximizing production. However, they come with a higher cost in terms of installation.

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Stronger overall racking
  • Easy to access
  • Easier to troubleshoot
  • Cooler panel temperatures translate to higher energy output.

Cons

  • More labor-intensive installation
  • Relatively expensive to install
  • More parts, pieces, and components are required.
  • Not aesthetically pleasing to everyone

Solar panels installed on a brick suburban home.

Which Solar Panel Mount is the Best?

The best solar panel mounts should be cost-effective and allow individual panels to remain secure throughout their lifetime. Here are the top solar panels in the market today:

Fixed Roof Mounts

A fixed roof solar power mount is the least expensive as it takes advantage of the existing roofing structure as the foundation of the solar panels. It will help you save money on labor costs, racking materials, and complete installation. A fixed roof mount might be your only ideal option if you’re in a small property with limited space.

Tilt Legs Mounts

Tilt leg mounts feature in houses with flat rooftops. This mount ensures your solar panel is lifted to a fixed angle so it can directly face the sunlight. In addition, tilt leg mounts are commonly used in commercial settings to adjust panels to a proper angle.

Ballasted Roof Mounts

Ballasted roof mounts allow you to install your solar panel on the roof without impacting your roof. With this solar power mount, the solar panels directly sit on top of the roof and are often cemented to the surface using concrete blocks. Therefore, ballasted roof mounts only work with low-slope or flat roofs. In addition, proper installation must withstand the additional weight of the concrete blocks.

Why ONIT Home for All Your Solar Energy Needs?

Are you considering investing in solar power energy in your home or business property? At ONIT HOME, we’ve got you covered. Our list of solar panels and solar power mounts can provide your property with clean and reliable solar power 24/7. With our panels, you will manage to control your electricity usage and increase your home’s value. ONIT Home knows how to help you make the most out of your solar energy investment.

Visit our website for more information about the solar power mount you need or call us at 1-833-433-0331 to speak to our representative. We’ll guide you to select the appropriate solar power mount. Need assistance with solar power! We’re ONIT!