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If you've begun to investigate home solar power, then you understand that the solar panels need to be placed outside in direct sunlight. There are two places the panels can be put. The first one is on your roof. The second place is on the ground, somewhere on your property.
Many people think that solar panels must to be installed on the roof. This is not true. You can have an array of panels in your backyard. The decision about where to place the panels is an important one, and you should make sure you fully understand the benefits and drawbacks before moving forward.
Here are the issues to consider.
Maintaining The Panels
The solar panels will need occasional maintenance. If the panels are on the roof, then you or a professional solar panel repairman will have to climb onto the roof. If you have a Ranch style home, or another one-story style house, then this is not a big issue. If, however, you have a two-story home with a pitched roof, then accessing the roof is a much more complicated task.
This is one reason why people sometimes prefer to situate the solar panels on the ground. Remember, they won't be laid flat on your lawn. They are positioned on stands so that they are off the ground. You don't have to worry about them getting crushed by lawnmowers or someone walking across your property.
Ground Installations Are More Flexible
When you install solar panels on your roof, you have to lay them flat on the surface of the roof. You can't tilt them to get the perfect angle. When you install the panels on the ground, you can tilt them to achieve maximum exposure to the sun.
Heat Is An Issue
Solar panels become less efficient the hotter they are. This is another reason that some people favor ground panels. There is more airflow around ground panels. The solar panels on a roof don't get the same air currents moving around them because they are attached to the roof. This prevents airflow on the bottom side.
Damage From Animals and People
With all the benefits of a ground mounted solar array, one might wonder why people would mount it on a roof. One reason is that the panels are safer on the roof. Animals can knock over the solar panels and destroy them. Deer, stray dogs, raccoons, and lots of other wild animals can cause expensive damage.
Do You Have The Room On Your Property For A Ground Array?
Even if you have a backyard, consider if you want to fill it up with solar panels. You won't be able to let your kids run around and play ball. You will have to be careful when mowing and doing landscaping. It might also not be aesthetically pleasing. Roof mounted solar panels are out of sight, you will hardly ever see them. Ground mounted panels are things you will see every day. You might not want to wake up every morning and see an array of solar panels in your yard.