Whether residential or commercial, a solar electric system practically pays for itself. Once you put the money upfront for the system, the solar system will generate electricity savings that will offset the initial cost of installation within 4-5 years. Once the electricity savings have paid off the cost of the system, then you get that monthly electricity savings in your pocket along with the money generated from the sale of your SRECs. We like to compare it to a little IRA or college fund savings account!
When people think of going solar, the majority envision a roof-mounted system. This is nice because you are converting unused space into energy savings each month. The system can be mounted on a pre-existing structure and there isn’t a concern for lack of space. Also, some people find the roof-mounted option the most aesthetically pleasing.
- Makes productive use of unused space
- Depending on roof orientation, pitch, and direction of house, it may be an ideal location
- Typically wouldn’t require the additional racking and mounting hardware a ground-mount would use
- Usually more expensive than ground mount or tracker
- Sometimes there isn’t enough roof space to offset a homes energy needs
- Unless the roof was perfectly engineered (which is usually never) there are increased costs associated with installation in order for roof-top to accommodate the panels
- Unless it’s a flat roof, different roof contours can add to the complexity of the install and increase costs
- Shading from other objects, such as trees, different roof contours (i.e. chimneys, elevated screened-in porch), other buildings
- Unsecure roof or an aging roof usually would require replacement before installing the panels
Fixed Ground Mount
A ground mount is a good solution because it usually allows an empty blueprint. We can assess your land area and based on critical factors suggest a location on your property that would maximize your solar systems energy production. With a ground-mounted system we aren’t pigeon-holed into a specific area or pitch as in a roof-mounted system. There are more options available when choosing a ground-mount. Usually we are able to manipulate location, size, direction, in order to diagram the best energy solution.
- Easy to design the placement of the solar array to maximize electricity output according to direction and property layout
- The pitch and orientation can be structured in order to capture most sunlight throughout the year
- More air circulates behind solar panels on ground mount vs. roof mount which often leads to better performance
- May not be enough property to accommodate a ground-mounted solar system
- Aesthetic objections according to best location efficiency-wise to install the solar system
- Additional racking and mounting equipment
- Additional cost of trenching. A trench would be dug to run electrical wiring from the system to your home. Depending on your land terrain /consistency there may be additional cost for trenching
A tracking system is a ground mounted solar photovoltaic system that literally tracks the sun as it rises in the east and sets in the west, using patented sun-sensing optical sensors and solid state electronic design. The system enables a 45° tracking capability with manual control of 250°. The tracker mounts on a single 8” pipe, and the module footprint is approximately 225 square feet. Due to the systems capability of tracking the sun, we usually quip this solar solution as the “biggest bang for your buck” because you are generating more energy with less space.
- Garners up to 40% more energy production than a typical ground or roof mount
- Takes up less space than a roof or ground mount
- The array maintains full power 5 times longer than any fixed array
- Usually offsets approximately 50% electrical usage of the typical single family home (12,000kWh/annually)
- Good option for those who want to go green but perhaps don’t have an ideal location for solar due to shade or inadequate roof space
- The manual control is beneficial for dumping snow off panels in the winter or laying panels flat when windy
- Typically will require more maintenance than a fixed ground mounted system
- Due to its mechanical nature, there is more of a chance for system to “lock up”