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With many homeowners now shifting to solar energy, manufacturers of solar panels are now offering more options are far as installations are concerned.
You have the option to install your solar panels on the rooftop or on the ground. And since Tesla is one of the most popular suppliers of solar panels, one may wonder – can Tesla solar panels be installed on the ground? Let’s find out.
Can Tesla Solar Panels Be Installed on the Ground?
No. Tesla solar panels cannot be installed on the ground. Tesla offers only rooftop solar installations. Their solar panels are designed to be mounted on the rooftop to guarantee high efficiency and performance while reducing the risk of degradation.
The reason why Tesla prefers rooftop installations over ground-mounted solar panels is that installing your solar system on the roof guarantees more exposure to direct sunlight.
Unlike ground-mounted panels that may be obstructed by trees and other obstacles, rooftop solar panels are able to pick up photons from the sun and natural light easily.
The difference between Tesla solar panels and other solar systems is that they have a sleek, low profile designed to match the aesthetics of your rooftop.
Besides, they do not have a visible grid like it is the case with traditional rooftop solar panels. The edges are also concealed to complement the architecture of your home.
Ground-mount solar panels are preferable if your roof is too small or it has many obstacles like vents, chimneys, or skylights.
If your home is beset by trees, then installing rooftop solar panels might become unfeasible. If this is the case, you will no other option but to install your solar panels on the ground.
Since Tesla solar panels cannot be installed on the ground, the ideal option would be to look for an alternative if you want to utilize the space in your yard with ground-mounted solar panels.
The good news is that there are so many other reputable brands that mount solar panels on the ground that you could consider.
Can solar panels be mounted on the ground?
Yes. Your solar panels can be mounted on the ground. Installing solar panels on the ground is relatively easier and the cost is comparable to rooftop solar installations.
Moreover, ground-mounted solar panels are easier to clean and maintain. This is particularly important if you live in an area that receives a lot of snow during winter.
The fact that you can access your solar panels easily makes it possible to sweep away snow buildup and maintain the performance of your solar system.
However, ground-mounted solar panels require a lot of space. In addition, building regulations may come into force and you might need to apply for a permit for installations that cover more than ten square feet.
The two types of ground-mounted solar panels you should know about include:
- Standard ground mounts
- Pole mounted solar panels
Standard ground mounts
Standard ground mounts come with a metal framing that helps drive the solar panels firmly into the ground.
The metal framing holds the solar panels at a fixed angle on the ground, allowing them to absorb as much sunlight as possible.
One major advantage of this type of ground-mounted solar system is that you can adjust the panels manually to align with the seasonal position of the sun.
Pole mounted solar panels
As the name suggests, pole-mounted solar systems basically support several solar panels on one pole.
The pole is used to elevate the mounted solar panels higher off the ground to allow for more exposure to direct sunlight.
Unlike standard ground mounts that require you to adjust the panels manually depending on the seasonal shifts of the sun, pole-mounted solar systems use a tracking system that automatically adjusts the panels to capture adequate sunlight.
The tracking system tilts the solar panel over the course of the day depending on the position of the sun.
Additional Reading: 6 Top Countries Leading In Renewable Energy
Which brands mount solar panels on the ground?
Seraphim Energy is widely acclaimed as the first company to produce ground-mounted solar panels that use shingled-cell modules.
The company has made a name for itself thanks to its innovativeness and consistency in producing high-quality solar panels.
Although headquartered in China, Seraphim Energy has subsidiaries everywhere, including the United States.
You can always be sure of receiving adequate support whenever you need any help with your ground-mounted solar system.
SunPower is another reputable brand that provides commercial and residential solar solutions.
The company manufactures solar panels that can be installed on the ground and on the roof. Their ground installations focus on optimizing land and utilizing minimum space to meet your solar energy needs.
They also deal with carport installations to guarantee sustainable energy in parking lots.
Panasonic is a household name in the world of electronics and they have increased their reputation even further by providing reliable energy solutions. Panasonic now deals in both rooftop and ground-mounted solar installations.
The company’s leading solar model is the EverVolt, which has one of the best energy conversion efficiency with a very low degradation rate.
You can install this solar panel system on your rooftop or on the ground, depending on your preferences.
LG is another renowned brand in the world of electronics. Like Panasonic, they have ventured into producing top-quality solar panels that can be installed on the roof and ground.
The best solar panel from LG is the Neon R, but they also have other formidable options like the Neon 2 and Neon R Prime.
The best part is that all these solar panels come with very long warranties that span up to 25 years. LG also offers financing options with all their solar systems.
Does dirt affect solar panels?
Yes. Dirt, dust, or even bird droppings affect the efficiency of solar panels. You are likely to notice a drop in electricity generation if your solar panels are dirty and that’s why it is always a good idea to clean your solar panels regularly or enlist professional solar panel cleaning services.
According to a study by Duke University, air pollution alone can reduce the efficiency of your solar panels by up to 25 percent. Solar panel systems installed in dirty environments had a 25 percent drop in performance and efficiency.
Moreover, solar panels in extremely polluted environments that haven’t been cleaned for more than a month experienced a 35 percent drop in efficiency.
This is a clear indication that your solar panels won’t be able to perform as they should if they are dirty.
Whether you have a rooftop solar system or ground-mounted solar panels, you should make a point to clean them regularly to improve efficiency.
This is particularly important if you live in an area with high amounts of dirt, smog, and dust.
Ground-mounted solar panels are much easier to clean due to unrestricted access, while rooftop solar installations may require the services of a professional cleaner.
Do solar panels need maintenance?
Yes. Solar panels need regular maintenance to improve their efficiency and performance. Ideally, you should clean and have your solar panels checked at least four times every year if you want them to function optimally.
You may also need to clean and maintain your solar panels after a heavy snowfall to ensure there are no interruptions in the generation of electricity.
If the energy output of your solar system starts to decrease, then this is a sign that the panels require extensive maintenance.
The best part is that maintaining your solar panels does not involve much work. You just need to blow away any dust, leaves, or debris and spray the panels with water to clean them and keep them in top condition.
Besides, most solar panels are made using tempered glass, meaning they are capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions and other environmental elements.
Since the majority of solar panels do not have moveable parts, your solar system is less likely to break down.
Then again, many solar companies provide very long warranties, sometimes spanning up to 25 years. These warranties cover any components that might need repairs or replacements.
Do solar panels last forever?
No. While most solar panels are durable, they do not last forever. With proper cleaning and maintenance, your solar panels can last for up to 30 years.
However, no matter how well-maintained your solar system is, it is still bound to decline in terms of performance and efficiency.
Normal tear and wear coupled with the effects of bad weather might also reduce the lifespan of your solar system.
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the output of your solar system is likely to decline by 0.8 percent every year.
Although the degradation rate is minimal, your solar system will not be able to generate the same amount of energy as before and you will experience a decline in performance and efficiency.
We recommend that you replace your solar panels every 25-30 years if you want to maintain optimum performance and functionality.
Solar panels consist of tiny photovoltaic cells that usually lose their ability to absorb photons over time. You may have to replace these cells or replace the entire solar panel altogether.
Tesla clearly does not deal with ground-mounted solar panels. They only offer rooftop solar installations.
However, this does not mean you cannot enjoy the benefits of ground-mounted solar panels. There are so many alternatives that you can opt for in case you need to install your solar panels on the ground.
These panels are easy to clean and maintain, and the cost of installation is comparable to rooftop installations. The only concern is that ground-mounted panels require a lot of space, which might be put to better use for something else.