Solar panels perform best when exposed to direct sunlight. For that to happen, modules get mounted at an angle facing the south.

This is where solar panel mounting structures come into play.

Solar Mounting Structures are critical components that ensure the efficiency of a solar power system in both utility and rooftop applications. These frameworks allow panels to rest comfortably at the right angle which helps in maximizing energy generation.

Solar projects in India use a variety of solar mounting technologies and designs, like Rooftop solar mounting structures, ground solar mounting structures, carports, and sun tracker solutions.

Types of Solar Mounting Structures

Since mounting structures affect the overall generation, efficiency, and durability of the system, it is crucial to select the right one for your needs. It is also vital to ensure that the structure is stable and can withstand wind, hail, rain, snow, and even moderate earthquakes.

There are five primary types of solar mounting structures.

1. RCC Roof Mounts
2. Ground Mounts
3. Solar Carports
4. Shed Mounts
5. Tracking structures

RCC Roof Mounting Structure
RCC Roof Mounting Structure

RCC stands for Reinforced cement concrete. These kinds of mounting structures are used to install solar panels over concrete rooftops. Roof-mounted racks reduce the distance between the solar array and the solar inverter. In doing so, it decreases the amount of wiring required, which prevents DC losses. These are the most common types of installations in the residential and commercial segments.

But these kinds of mounting structures require roof penetration. If the area where the mounting structure is drilled into the roof is not sealed properly, it can lead to roof leaks.

Another downside of roof-mounted structures is that if the roof orientation and angle are not appropriate, your system will waste a lot of energy. You must ensure that there is no shade from trees or other structures that can obstruct sunlight.

When your home or building has enough room for all the solar panels you need, roof mounts are ideal. These racks can also be used in conjunction with a solar tracker.

Pros:
• Lower Installation Costs
• Easy to maintain
• Uses the unutilized roof space for energy generation
• Protects the roof underneath

Cons:
• Requires roof penetration
• The roof should be shadow free and provide space for the correct orientation
• Difficult to scale up the system

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Ground Mounting Structure
Ground Mounted Structure

Ground mounts place solar panels on the grounds of your property. This is an ideal solution if your roof lacks space for a roof mount or is excessively shadowed by trees.

The disadvantage is that ground-mounted constructions are vulnerable to vandalism, dirt, leaves, and snow accumulation at the bottom of the array. As a result, ground-mounted racks should only be used in secure areas that are clean and stable (with little snow or dirt on the ground).

Pros:
• Allows for higher generation
• Can accommodate higher capacity
• No house modifications are required
• Easier to install tracking systems

Cons:
• High cost of installations
• Requires shadow-free land space
• Susceptible to vandalism and accumulation of dirt under panels

Carport Mounting Structure
Car port Mounting Structure

Carport structures are very similar to ground-mounted solar structures. The only major difference is that unlike the latter, carports are installed at a considerable height to allow car parking space underneath.

Such installations make it possible to turn underutilized real estate into clean energy-generating spots. It is also easy to integrate these types of solar plants with in-built electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

These structures are suitable for both residential and commercial consumers. Solar carports also look incredibly sleek and enhance the aesthetics of the space.

Pros:
• Easy to Maintain
• Utilizes underused spaces for energy generation
• Provides dual function of energy generation and providing shade

Cons:
• Requires shadow-free land space for set up

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For rooftops, you can opt for Ojas. It is an elevated solar solution that can help you set up a solar plant in just 4 hours, using 3 primary tools- hammer, screwdriver, and hand drill. There is no need for welding.

The structure, created by APL Apollo Ornate InRoof, has been tested against wind speed of 180km/hr and can withstand strong winds. It uses roof space efficiently and looks neat and modern.

Shed Mounting Structures
Shed Mounts structures

Shed Mounting structures are essentially rooftop solar structures. However, rather than concrete roofs, they are mounted on metal sheds/sheet roofing. These can be used in the residential sector, but are more popular among commercial and industrial consumers.

Business owners opt for shed mounts to install solar plants over their factories, warehouses, cafeterias, etc. to independently generate clean energy and reduce their energy bills.

Pros:
• Low Installation Cost
• Easy to maintain
• Turns the unused roof space into an energy generation spot

Cons
• Average power output
• Requires shadow-free roof space to set up panels

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If adequate gaps aren’t provided between the modules and metal roof in an installation, then the panels tend to get heated up. This in turn brings down the generation.

A solar InRoof can solve this problem. The InRoof structure uses solar panels as the roof and replaces sheet roofing. As there is ample gap beneath the modules, your generation goes up and electricity cost goes down!

Tracking System Mounting Structures
Tracking System Mounted Structures

Tracking System Mounted Racks are used for solar tracking and solar water pumping systems.

Solar trackers are automatic devices that allow your panels to follow the direction of the sun throughout the day for the best solar exposure. They are very beneficial in hot regions.

There are two types of tracking systems available- one-axis and two-axis trackers. One-axis trackers measure the sun’s movement from east to west, whereas two-axis trackers track the sun’s daily and seasonal path and are commonly deployed with PV concentrator systems.

While solar trackers improve efficiency and eliminate manual panel maintenance, they are not as common due to the high total cost. Moreover, since they are moving structures, there is a risk of breakdown.

Pros:
• Maximizes generation during peak hours
• Can optimize the potential of limited space
• Avoids shading to raise efficiency

Cons:
• High cost of installation
• Complex installation process
• Difficult to maintain

Conclusion:

As we established, all types of mounting structures have their advantages and disadvantages. So how do you choose the right one for you? To make an informed decision, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How much space do I have for the installation?
  2. What is the solar capacity I require? And Is there a chance I might have to expand this capacity in the future?
  3. What is my budget for the installation?
  4. Are the aesthetics of the installation a priority for me?

Comparing your answers with the information given above, you can choose the right structure for your PV system.

How Can We Help?

We are a one-stop shop for all BOS items, including junction boxes, mounting structures, cables, etc. For those looking for a fast and reliable solar installation- we also provide Ojas- a Made in India solution.

Ornate Solar is India’s leading solar company with 8 years of experience. By partnering with the best-in-class global solar brands, we bring the most reputed solar panels, inverters, and solar accessories to you and make your shift to solar cost-effective and easy.

We have also developed India’s first Integrated InRoof system- which turns solar panels into the roof and eliminates the need for sheet roofing.

We deliver across India.

For more information, please give us a call at 011 4353 6666.

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    About The Author

    Kamini Gupta is the Content Developer at Ornate Solar. She is a solar enthusiast and has worked with several well-known solar brands and experts in India. She is also a poet and a storyteller and has performed in many open mics events.

    kamini ornate

    About The Author

    Kamini Gupta is the Content Developer at Ornate Solar. She is a solar enthusiast and has worked with several well-known solar brands and experts in India. She is also a poet and a storyteller and has performed in many open mics events.