Solar panel mounting systems are one of the main issues that specialised companies, such as MyGreenHouse, analyse carefully in order to ensure the efficiency of their domestic photovoltaic installations.
The most important issues of all are the orientation of the solar panels, the geographical location of the home, the power of the panels, and avoiding elements that could cast shadows on the photovoltaic modules. However, it’s also imperative to think about the best mounting systems for the solar panels.
What are solar panel mounting systems?
Solar panel mounting systems are supports that allow the panels to be attached or fixed to the roof, the ground, or the façade of a building
They are essential elements that help to maximize the solar radiation received, as they determine the orientation of the solar panel with respect to the ground.
In fact, if the mountings are not positioned correctly, then the sizing and performance calculations of the installation will be invalid, thus reducing its energy production.
Types of solar panel mounting systems
Solar panel mounting systems are currently available for a variety of different scenarios.
- Fixed or mobile solar panel mounting systems
Photovoltaic panels require strong structural mountings to withstand wind gusts, rain or snow.
Fixed solar panel mounting systems provide photovoltaic modules with a fixed inclination according to the latitude of the geographical area in question. They are simple, cost-effective, safe, and maintenance-free.
As for mobile mountings, they are equipped with one or more axes that can be moved to direct the panels towards the sun. The “disadvantage” of these systems is that they are mechanically more complex, more expensive, more difficult to install, and require more maintenance.
- Solar panel mountings according to their shape
There are different types of solar panel mountings which vary in shape.
For example, B and H type mountings are placed on columns, and the panels are suspended in the air. V-shaped mountings are placed on the ground or on flat terraces. Type A mountings are used for large panels – between 280 and 325 W – and these are fixed on the ground. Finally, in type S mountings, the panel rests on a ground mounting that was previously fixed at a specific orientation.
- Solar panel mountings according to their material
The most common solar panel mounting systems are made of aluminium, a lightweight material that can be used on all surfaces.
Some of the aluminium solar panel mountings are reinforced. This means that they have full aluminium triangles and cross angles between the triangles to provide extra strength.
Another common material used to manufacture these types of structures is hot-dip galvanised steel. In this case, the bolts and other parts are made of galvanized stainless steel, to ensure that all the mounting structures are fully resistant to extreme weather conditions.
Although not as common, there are also concrete structures for solar panels. This type of support is highly resistant to external climatic changes, although it is only suitable for floors or flat roofs.
What solar panel mounting system should I get?
The main climatic conditions to take into account when choosing one type of solar panel mounting or another are wind (good mountings will reduce the impact of strong gusts of wind) and rain (mountings made of stainless metals will prevent the negative effects of humidity).
It is also important to assess where the panels are to be placed, as this will influence the weight of the mountings to be used.
Finally, we should clarify that both reinforced and non-reinforced concrete and aluminium supporting structures can be used on flat roofs.
What about sloping roofs?
On roofs that already have a certain inclination, the panels are installed directly on the roof where the solar panels are installed, using coplanar mountings with guides, or runners. These guides, or runners, are then fitted with an anchoring system to the roof.
Coplanar structures for tile roofs are placed on Arabic tiles or half-round tiles. In this case, the tiles are first removed and, once the structure is attached to the roof, they are reattached. In these cases, a tile guard is also installed to prevent water seepage.
Where you have concrete, or double or mixed tile roofs, and where removing a particular tile could damage neighbouring tiles, coplanar structures with threaded rods are used. The mounting system is installed by drilling the upper part of the tile, installing the threaded rod with a chemical dowel, and sealing the structure with neoprene washers. This rubber seal prevents water from entering through the hole in the tile.
Do you need any more information?
Installing solar panels is an important decision that will bring you many future benefits. We recommend that you seek expert advice in order to design the most suitable installation for your home according to its orientation, geographical location, and the area you have available on the roof or the terrace. Call us and ask for your free assessment!