Nowadays, solar panels are more popular than ever, with millions of people embracing solar energy each year. In fact, it is estimated that a solar system is installed every 2.5 minutes in the United States alone. But while some homeowners are rushing to get their hands on solar panels, others are asking one simple question — can I install solar panels somewhere other than my roof?
Whether your roof is weak or is surrounded by tree branches, there are many reasons why you wouldn’t want to place solar panels on it. Today, we’ll take a closer look at alternative reliable places for solar system installations. That way, you, too, will be able to take advantage of this beneficial technology.
Where Can I Install Solar Panels Instead of the Roof?
When it comes to solar panels, placement is essential. Not only will it affect the amount of energy you generate, but it can also have an impact on the installation price. But, thanks to technological advances, solar panels can be installed in all sorts of locations besides your roof. As a result, you’ll easily find one that provides the perfect balance between performance and cost.
Ready to dive in? Here are some of the most popular locations for solar installations:
On the Ground
Not a huge fan of roof-mounted solar panels? Then it’s time to give ground-mounted installations a shot. These types of solar installations will circumvent most issues related to roof-mounted solar panels. For example, your roof may run east to west instead of north to south. That means you don’t have a south-facing surface on which to install solar panels, which reduces their effectiveness. But ground-mounted panels can face any direction you want, as long as they are not blocked by trees or buildings.
Usually, you have two choices regarding ground-mounted installations. For standard ground-mount arrays, the installers anchor the framing directly onto the ground. In a pole mount system, the panels are suspended using a pole, elevating them from the ground. The latter is more useful for solar tracking systems, where panels need to adjust their angle automatically in order to follow the sun’s movements.
As an Overhang or Awning
If you love the design of modern solar panels, you can position them front-and-center by replacing your roof overhang or patio awning. In fact, solar awnings provide an additional benefit to your household by reducing solar heat gain in the summer. More specifically, if you place them on a south-facing window, your home will be up to 65% cooler. And, when it comes to west-facing windows, the efficiency increases to a whopping 77%.
When installing solar panels on your awning or overhang, make sure to ask your solar provider about rackless options. These rail-free panels will provide a smooth, integrated look, improving the curb appeal of your home.
As a Solar Pergola or Carport
Solarium, carports, pergolas, or gazebos also make for reliable locations where you could install solar panels. Since these surfaces get tons of sunlight, they are great candidates for a solar project. And best of all, by designing your construction with solar in mind, you will be able to choose the ideal direction, orientation, and slope from the very start.
You can further take advantage of solar energy by transforming your gazebo into a poolside solar collector for solar pool heaters. Or, pair your carport with a home charging station to power your electric vehicles. The possibilities are nearly endless, all thanks to solar power.
On a Shed or Garage
Is your concern with roof mounts mainly due to aesthetics? If yes, your garage and shed provide a simple solution that allows you to reap the benefits of solar power without even touching your home’s roof.
Unfortunately, you’ll face similar limitations as you would with traditional roof-mounted systems. In other words, you’ll need to make sure that your shed or garage faces the right direction and features the necessary slope.
Embrace Solar Energy Today!
It’s important to understand that there’s no right or wrong choice when deciding where to install solar panels. All solutions offer their own pros and cons. And so, the best arrangement depends on your property and personal preferences. But no matter which location you choose, you can be sure that solar energy will change your home for the better.