Speaking about solar PV systems most people usually refer at first to solar panels, secondly to inverters and batteries, thirdly to charge controllers.
But what about the structures you need to mount your system on a roof? The correct and proper choice of the mounting racks (also called: mounting structures) for your solar system project is very essential in terms of the overall production, efficiency and lifetime of your solar panels.
Since it is a costly investment, the choice of mounting racks should not be disregarded as a minor consideration if purchasing solar systems or mounting solar modules.
Solar modules need to be secured, mounted and tightened on a very stable and durable structure, protecting the array against impacts from snow, wind, hail, rain and even minor earthquakes.
In the solar market there are four basic fixed-angle types of mounting structures:
a) roof mounted racks
b) ground mounted racks
c) top-of-pole mounted racks
d) side-of-pole mounted racks
Roof mounted racks typically keep the wire run distances between the solar array and the battery bank or inverter to a minimum, but require roof penetrations and run danger of causing roof leakages, thus the roof must be well sealed.
Another disadvantage of roof mounted structures can come up if the roof orientation and angle is not optimal, thus wasting lots of potential energy that your system could generate.
For optimal system efficiency using a roof mounted structure you need to ensure that there is no shadow from trees or other buildings in the optimally free airflow path of your solar panels.