What is a ground-mounted photovoltaic power plant
Ground mounted solar panels are a solar solution that can be easily implemented in a large yard or field. These panels are similar to pole mounted solar panels, but instead of being mounted on poles, they are mounted directly on the ground.
The poles support the panels mounted on the ground, which are positioned to maximise sunlight absorption and have tracking options that allow the panels to move with the sun. The poles are available in lengths ranging from a few inches to a few feet so that they can be mounted at different heights depending on the terrain.
Advantages of Ground Mounted Solar Panels
There are many benefits to choosing ground mounted solar panels over roof mounted systems.
- You can install ground mount solar panels anywhere there is enough sunlight and available land.
- Roof mounted systems are more restricted due to safety regulations and roof structure.
- Roof mounted systems have limited space and when you need to perform maintenance on your roof, you will have to remove the solar panels in order to do so.
- Roof-mounted systems are typically less efficient. The increased airflow underneath ground-mounted solar panels keeps the panels cooler and converts energy more efficiently.
Difference between 400 Watt PV panels and 500 Watt PV panels
The main differences between photovoltaic panels of different wattages lie in their power generation capacity and suitability for specific scenarios. Wattage is a unit of measurement for the power of photovoltaic panels, representing the electrical output per unit area. Here are some distinctions between photovoltaic panels of different wattages:
- Power Generation Capacity: Higher wattage photovoltaic panels typically have the ability to generate more electricity. This means that under the same sunlight conditions, higher wattage panels can produce more electrical energy.
- Space Requirements: Higher wattage panels can generate more power within the same space, making them more suitable for situations where space is limited.
- Cost: Generally, higher wattage panels are relatively more expensive. Therefore, when budget constraints exist, it is necessary to balance the relationship between wattage and cost.
- Installation Flexibility: Some projects, due to space or budget constraints, may be better suited for lower wattage panels. Lower wattage panels can offer more flexibility in certain small-scale applications.
- Efficiency: Higher wattage panels usually have higher efficiency, meaning they can more effectively convert sunlight into electricity.
How are solar panels mounted on the ground?
These modules need to be fixed to some sort of structure that keeps them at the optimum angle for generating power while being able to withstand rain, wind and snow. This structure can be
- Metal A-frames, fixed to concrete footings or columns driven into the ground;
- Solar tracking system (more on this below)
- Ballasted plastic boxes only a few inches high;
- Wooden frames, which can be used as an alternative structure for shading or outdoor storage.
With some frames, you can adjust the spacing of the panels to take advantage of seasonal changes in the angle of sunlight.
You can arrange the boards in a variety of layouts - vertical or horizontal, single height or stacked. In the UK, the best orientation is south-facing, but of course you can choose to face south when building a ground-mounted system.
In terms of infrastructure, arrays need trenches to run cables, inverters and to allow spacing between each row of panels for shade.