Solar installation types

Anne BrockOur Town Outdoors

Been considering solar to cut your utility bill expenses? A lot of people have. There is much advancement and standardization when it comes now to the panels or modules. They typically have at least a 25-year warranty and are tested to withstand harsh weather conditions. When it comes to where to install your solar array, you have options.

Rooftop solar is the most widely available type of installation for businesses and homes. It can be the most economical compared to other locations. It is important to consider the age of your roof and make sure it is new or in like-new condition, given the long life of the panels you are installing. Once installed, photovoltaic modules add a layer of protection over your roofing surface. Panels can go atop a pitched or flat roof. If you want to avoid any intrusions during installation, a good choice can be a standing seam metal roof. If you have a flat roof surface, the panels will be slightly tilted for the best angle to absorb sunlight.

Ground mounted solar is another commonly used option for solar, especially for larger commercial or utility-scale installations. This is only an economical choice if the acreage is not better suited for another use. A preferred ground mount use is sometimes brownfields, which are previously used industrial spaces now unsuitable for other things.

You may be seeing more examples of carport or canopy solar installations these says. These can double as shelter over parking spaces. Compared to rooftop or ground mounted installations, these solar arrays are the most costly. They require a strong frame to create the canopy as well as support the modules.

No matter where you have a system installed, your array will require adherence to electrical codes and local utility rules. Be sure to enlist a licensed contractor who obtains proper permits and understands how interconnection works.

Anne Brock is marketing coordinator for Solar Alliance, which designs and manages solar installation projects for manufacturers and small businesses. She can be reached at or 865-221-8349.


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