Solar Panel Mounts - Build Your Own To Save Money
Solar panel mounts will allow you to install your photovoltaic panels anywhere that you would like, including the roof or the exterior sides of your home, on your RV or boat, or in your yard. You can either purchase a mount for several hundred dollars, build one with your own two hands, or use another similar construction (e.g., an old satellite dish mount) for your mount, if you like to do things yourself.
In order to maximize the efficiency of your solar-powered system, you will need to mount your panels correctly, with a proper latitudinal and directional orientation. Furthermore, correct and stable installation will also help you to protect your setup from high winds.
First of all, you will need to decide where you will mount the panels. Next, you will need to learn how to properly size your solar panel mounts in order for them to accommodate your modules. And finally, you will need to either buy a mount or build it yourself.
The most cost effective and the most common solar panel installation is a rooftop mount. However, note that this type of mounting requires penetrating the roof, which means that you may end up losing the warranty on your roof if you have one. In case of surrounding buildings or trees casting shade over your roof, or if your roof is too small for a large PV array, you may want to choose to mount the array on the ground.
Concrete footings allow mounting the photovoltaic modules on a pole, or at ground level. If you live in a farm house and have large animals (horses, cows, etc.) that could damage your panels, or if in the wintertime you get a lot of snow that could cover your panel, you may not want to mount your modules at ground level.
Most Common Solar Panel Mounts:
- Ground mounts (some ground solar panel mounts can also be installed on the rooftops)
- Roof mounts
- Pole mounts (side of pole or top of pole)
- RV racks
If you wish to use an active tracker (motorized tracker with an optical sensor) or passive tracker (uses the heat of the sun to move liquid and turn the device in the direction of the sun) for your system, you will need to use a pole mounting. Solar panel trackers may cost as much as a few thousand dollars, but they do help to get the most out of your solar system, since they will "track" the path of the sun. The trackers are usually custom built, and they take months to manufacture. The problem with trackers is their unreliability, similar to any other mechanical device. For instance, the tracker can get stuck and have to be freed, but a handy individual could fix the stuck device.
You can build your own ground mount for your solar panels by simply
pouring concrete and placing a pole mount inside. You can mount your
modules on the corner or the sides of your house with the use of an
easily adjustable old satellite dish mount. Placing the PV modules on
the rooftop is also quite easy for a DIY inclined individual. A little
creativity and a DIY approach, and you will be able to save several
hundred dollars by building your solar panel mounts yourself.
Want to know how to install and mount solar panels?
Then I strongly recommend that you check out the guide from Earth4Energy.
It's the best step-by-step guide that will show you exactly how to build and install your own solar panel system. Click here to learn more
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