Photovoltaic modules can be installed practically anywhere that gets direct sunshine for most of the day and is not obstructed by buildings or trees that would cause shadows. However, one’s preference could be influenced by factors such as local requirements, budgets, space and location. Here, we will talk about ground versus roof setups where a Solar Plant can easily be installed.
Ground mounted solar panels can be placed anywhere in a field or yard that sees the sun for majority of the day. Ground mounting requires a dedicated space in the field or yard to set up the panels. These are an ideal choice for commercial and industrial businesses that have excess availability of land. Some of the ground types where panels can be installed are:
Standard Ground Mounts
Standard ground mounts use metal framing that is driven into the ground to hold the solar panels up at a fixed angle.
This is the fastest installation technique which requires no concrete work.
Polar mounts are structures that hold multiple solar panels on a single pole. This helps elevate the panels higher off the ground than a standard ground mount whilst occupying lesser space.
Solar Carports or Canopies
Solar carports are overhead canopies built to cover parking areas or other paved areas to provide shade and generate efficient energy, simultaneously. Solar Carports are ideal for commercial settings with limited roof or land availability.
Here, reinforced concrete foundations hold large steel beams that support solar modules overhead.
Solar Roof Spaces
In urban and commercialized cities with limited land space, roof-mounted racking is a popular choice. Any rooftop that receives ample sunlight during the day can become a source for producing solar energy. Some of the types are:
Inverted T-Beam Roof
An inverted T-beam is a load-bearing structure of reinforced concrete, wood or metal, with a T-shaped cross section. These structures are the most common of all roof types as they can bear maximum weight and can withstand a wind speed of 35 m/s. They have been designed for 2 B seismic zone.
Dome/Shell Shaped roof
Many industrial roofs have a rounded dome type or a shell-like structure. Solar panels can be installed on these roofs by resting the panel structure, and most of their weight, on valley beams, avoiding putting any load over the thin slabs of shell building. These structures can withstand a wind speed of 35 m/s and have been designed for 2B seismic zone.
Corrugated Sheet roof
For pre-engineered building (PEB) roofs, light-weight panel structures are preferable in order to avoid extra load and leakage during rain. These structures can bear the wind speed of 30 m/s and have been designed for 2 B seismic zone.
No matter how limited space a business might have, Solar can easily be installed anywhere to convert any idle space into a power generator for producing cost-efficient and clean energy.