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PV systems can be designed to supply power to any type of electrical load at any service voltage. PV arrays can be mounted on the ground, rooftops and other structures that provide adequate protection, support and solar access. The site conditions usually dictate the best mounting system location and approach to use. Rooftops are very popular locations for installing PV arrays. Because they are elevated, roof mounts offer some physical protection and limited access to the array for safety, and usually provide better sun exposure. Rooftop PV installations also do not occupy space on the ground that might be needed for other purposes. Rooftop and other building mounted PV arrays must be structurally secured and any attachments and penetrations must be properly weather sealed. Available rooftop areas for mounting PV arrays may be limited by any number of factors, including required spaces about the array for installation and service, pathways and ventilation access for fire codes, wind load setbacks, and spaces for other equipment. Sloped roofs also present a significant fall hazard, and require appropriate fall protection systems and/or personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) for installers and maintenance workers. The layout of a PV array can have a significant effect on its natural cooling and operating temperatures. A landscape (horizontal) layout may have a slight benefit over a portrait (vertical) layout when considering the passive cooling of the modules. Landscape is when the dimension parallel to the eaves is longer than the dimension perpendicular to the eaves. In a landscape layout, air spends less time under the module before escaping and provides more uniform cooling. Standoff mounts operate coolest when they are mounted at least 3 inches above a roof.
Generally, ground mount solar panels cost a bit more than rooftop solar on a per-watt basis because of additional labor and permitting that may be required for the installation. That being said, if your property isn’t ideal for rooftop solar, installing a ground-mounted system can actually save you money
rooftop systems / Standoff mounting
Standoff mounting, referred to by some as flush mounting, uses standoffs attached to the roof to support rails on which PV modules are attached. This is the most common method for residential installations.