How To Mount Solar Panels

After you purchase your solar panels, you will be faced with some decisions about their installation. How will your solar panels be mounted? What parts will you need? If you are like me, then no matter which direction you choose the system should be reliable and secure.

Solar panels are often mounted on roof tops, because the roof structure is strong and already exists. If your roof is sloped in the right direction, then how convenient this is. And convenience is a legitimate player in any decision making process.

We would like to point out a couple issues with mounting solar panels on the roof, however. They are things to keep in mind for folks who live in northern climates, or who desire more optimal performance.

The first thing to think about is snow. Every time snow gets on the solar panels, they have to be cleaned or they won’t put out much electricity. If your solar panels are mounted to your roof then you can imagine this difficulty.

Those of us with this problem, then, might consider other ways to mount our solar panels. We have come up with one such design called the Rotek system. It was developed on homesteads in the mountains of Idaho and Colorado, where we receive plenty of sun and plenty of snow.

With this design, the solar panels are installed remotely rather than on the roof. This provides additional space beneath the panels which Rotek puts to use. The panels can be rotated to almost any angle with a simple move. This feature is good for making seasonal adjustments based on the Sun.

The true advantage of this can be tapped during the Winter months. The solar panels can be steeply pitched or angled toward the ground, a negative tilt, so the snow cannot build on the photovoltaic surface. This rotational capability is also good for polishing the glass and general maintenance.

The solar panels can be left in negative tilt so long as there is snow on the ground. We all know how well snow reflects sunlight, so the panels will still receive their beam radiation. A simple adjustment is all it takes to restore the solar panels to their original tracking angle when desired.

The second big issue to consider is heat. As our roofs accumulate heat, they will increase the operating temperature of a roof mounted solar panel. Performance tests have shown that higher operating temperatures will reduce the solar panel’s discharge current. This lost current output can be as high as 2 or 3 amps depending on the unit, which correlates to better than 20% energy lost against baseline operation.

Remotely mounted solar panels with Rotek system will dissipate heat, run cooler, and give you better performance. This is because of fresh air circulating on the back end, instead of a warm insulated roof. This reduced operating temperature will also decrease wear and tear and help increase the longevity of your system.

Sooner or later the time will come to install your solar panels. The roof installed units will make a lot of sense, but those who want improved performance and adjustability should consider other options. The Rotek system is one such option, easy to install and simple to use without the extravagant cost.

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Originally posted 2009-07-21 04:33:29.

One Comment

  1. Wanita Schreier
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Great blog. Found the info very interesting thanks. Found your site through yahoo Good luck

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