7 Types of Mounting Structures for Solar Panels and Their Usages

types of mounting structures for solar panels

7 Types of Mounting Structures for Solar Panels and Their Usages

A mounting structure is the skeleton of your solar system. It securely holds the solar panels on various terrains such as on the top of a roof, parking lot, or water body. A properly installed mounting structure ensures the efficiency of a solar system. Explore the mounting structure for solar panels to make the best decision for your solar system.

Although the upper and bottom layers of panels are made of toughened glass, these are subject to damage if not placed securely. Solar panel mounting structure lets you install the solar panels securely up from the ground. Usually, corrosion-resistant metal components like flashings, rails, clamps, and screws are used to make this structure. Mounting systems for solar panels can be of many types according to the suitability and purpose of electricity generation.

7 Types of Mounting Structures for Solar Panels

Here are the types of mounting structures you can install for your solar system.

1. Rooftop Mounting Structure

rooftop mounting structure

A rooftop mounting structure or reinforced cement concrete (RCC) mounting structure is installed on the concrete roof of a building. It is the best structure for solar panels in residential and commercial solar installation. The rooftop solar system installation can be for a home, business establishment, school, college, university etc. 

In the RCC mounting structure, there is less distance between the solar panel and the solar inverter. As a result, in this mounting structure, there is less chance of DC losses.

You can elevate the structure to keep using the space below it. To keep using the space below the solar panels, you can increase the mounting structure’s height. It will free up the space underneath. The space underneath will be cooler than usual as the sunlight falls on the panels.

To install the RCC mounting structure, the solar installer may drill into the rooftop. It may cause leakages in the roof. To avoid this unwanted scenario, ensure that concrete sealing is done properly.

Advantages of Rooftop Mounting Structure

  • You can maintain and clean solar panels easily.
  • Its installation cost is low, coming at around Rs. 8/kW.
  • Generation of free electricity from unutilised rooftop space.

Disadvantages of Rooftop Mounting Structure

  • Drilling on the rooftop may impact the rooftop health.
  • Must ensure that the rooftop space is free from shadows.
  • Correct solar panel orientation is necessary on your free rooftop space.

2. Ground Mounting Structure

Ground Mounting Structure

You can install a ground mounting structure instead of a rooftop mounting structure in case you have less space or there is a less shade-free region on your roof. As the name suggests, this structure is installed on the ground with metal frames.

As this type of mounting structure is integrated into the ground, it has a high chance of attracting dirt. You need to regularly clean your ground-mounted solar panels.

Advantages of Ground Mounting Structure

  • Adjustable brackets in the ground mounting structure let you orient the solar panels effectively as per the specific season in your location for maximum exposure to the sun.
  • Inspection, maintenance and cleaning of the solar panels become easier in the ground mounting structure.
  • You can easily add more solar capacity if there is enough space available on the ground.

Disadvantages of Ground Mounting Structure

  • Getting shade-free ground for installing this ground mounted solar panel structure is one of the biggest challenges. As they are closer to the ground, it is more subject to getting shade from nearby trees or buildings.
  • It is difficult to install ground mounted solar panel structures in densely populated areas.
  • You may have to adjust to the aesthetic of this mounting structure, especially if you are installing this solar system for your home.

3. Floating Mounting Structure

Floating solar Mounting Structure

As the name suggests, a floating mounting structure floats on a water body.  A floating solar module mounting structure is made of high-density polyethene (HDPE). 

It can be installed in water bodies with still waters such as lakes, rivers, ponds, and reservoirs. The structure is anchored to dead weights to keep it floating. 

A floating structure can be a good choice where there is insufficient free area on land and an abundance of free area on a water body. The cooling effect of water also increases a system’s efficiency.

India’s largest floating mounting structure is in Ramagundam, Telangana. It has a capacity of 100 MW and has 4.5 lakh ‘Made in India’ solar PV modules.

On our blog, we have covered the largest floating solar power plants in India.

Advantages of Floating Mounting Structure

  • Capitalisation of large waterland like dams, lakes and reservoirs in productive way.
  • Conservation of water by decreasing the evaporation rate.
  • It can help avoid site preparation and land acquisition costs.

Disadvantages of Floating Mounting Structure

  • Floating mounting structure is commercially viable for mostly large scale solar projects, not for residential purposes.
  • It is suitable only for specific locations with standstill waterbodies.

4. Pole Mounted Structure

pole mounted structure

You can erect a pole on a concrete slab for installing your solar system.  You may be unable to install a mounting structure on your roof due to insufficient space. A pole-mounted structure is a viable alternative to a rooftop solar structure.

Such structures are usually installed on private properties, commercial establishments, and agricultural land. A tracking system can maximise the efficiency of the solar system.

Advantages of Pole Mounted Structure

  • You can install pole mounted solar structures despite limited ground space availability.
  • This type of solar mounting structure can avoid the shading effect coming from nearby trees and other vegetation and increase sun exposure.
  • As the panels stay higher from the ground, it has less chance of being impacted by human-made vandalism.

Disadvantages of Pole Mounted Structure

  • Pole mounted structure is suitable for solar panel systems with less capacity.
  • It stands on a single pole, and as a result, it has the risk of falling down during a heavy storm.

5. Carport Solar Module Mounting Structure

You can install a solar system on the top of a parking lot. A carport mounting structure can be installed at sports stadiums, airports, malls, etc.

The carport mounting structure is installed at the rooftop of a carport or the shedding of cars. It stays at a certain height so that there is enough space for cars.

In an on-grid solar system built with a carport mounting structure, solar electricity is sent to a DISCOM’s grid. It can potentially reduce the electricity bills of an establishment to zero. You can read our blog to learn more about how on grid solar systems work.

A carport solar system creates a cooling effect in the parking lot as the sunlight doesn’t directly fall on the roof.

Advantages of Carport Mounting Structure

  • Lets you utilise the space beneath the solar panel as shedding.
  • Protects your vehicles from potential damage caused due to rain, heat, hailstorm, snowfall or other harsh weather conditions.
  • Can integrate solar EV charging facility.

Disadvantages of Carport Mounting Structure

  • The upfront installation cost of carport mounting structure is higher than rooftop solar mounting structure.
  • Availing the space for carport mounting structure is also one of the common challenges.

6. Smartflower Mounting Structure

A Smartflower is a new form of aesthetically built mourning structure in which panels are arranged like a flower. Though they are costly, they are highly efficient. All important components of a solar system are self-contained, making it very simple to install a solar system.

Smartflower mounting structure also blooms like a real flower with the sun rise. It usually comes with 12 solar panels that look like the petals of flowers. The structure has dual axis tracker which orientation panels perpendicular to the sun for maximum energy generation.

Here’s a video highlighting the key benefits of Smartflower:

Advantages of Smartflower Mounting Structure

  • It comes with a ventilation facility for lowering temperature quickly.
  • It can monitor weather conditions and unfold its panels accordingly.
  • It requires minimal maintenance.

Disadvantages of Smartflower Mounting Structure

  • The initial cost of installation of a sunflower mounting structure is around 60% higher than rooftop solar system.
  • The smartflower solar mounting structure is an advanced solar technology. You need to hire expert engineers to install this type of mounting structure.

India has set a target of achieving 40 GW of rooftop solar installations by 2026. A solar system will reduce electricity bills for many households. Are you interested in installing a solar system? You can apply at Das Energie Private Limited to receive quotations for free.

7. Tracking System Mounting Structure

A solar tracking system is a technology which tracks the sun’s trajectory and orient the solar panels accordingly. It ensures that the solar panel faces the sun at 90-degree angle for the maximum period of a day. As a result, the productivity of a solar system is maximum in this tracking system solar panel structure.

Tracking system mounting structures for solar modules are of 2 types: i. Single axis, ii. Dual axis.

Types of tracking system mounting structures

Single Axis

Dual-axis

Tracks the sun’s movement only in 1 direction: it can be either North-South or East-West.

Tracks the sun’s movement in both North-South and East-West directions

Advantages of Tracking System Mounting Structure:

  • It helps you generate maximum solar electricity over the day.
  • Corrects the panel orientation automatically to increase efficiency

Disadvantages Tracking System Mounting Structure:

  • Its installation cost is much higher (know about the solar tracker price).
  • As the installation process is complex, you need to hire an expert solar engineer to install solar trackers.
  • The maintenance of the tracking system solar mounting structure is challenging.

The world’s largest solar power plant, Bhadla Solar Park also uses tracking system mounting structures. You can read our blog to learn more about the Bhadla Solar Park.

Cost of Rooftop Solar Panel Structure

The cost of a mounting structure depends on the capacity of a solar system. Here’s how much you will have to pay for solar systems of different capacities:

Rooftop Solar Capacity

Mounting Structure Cost

1 kW

Rs. 8,000-10,000

2 kW

Rs. 16,000-18,000

3 kW

Rs. 24,000-26,000

4 kW

Rs. 32,000-34,000

5 kW

Rs. 40,000-42,000

6 kW

Rs. 48,000-50,000

8 kW

Rs. 64,000-66,000

10 kW

Rs. 80,000-82,000

To get PM Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana subsidy, a DISCOM-empanelled vendor must install your solar system. Under the scheme, you can get a subsidy of up to Rs. 78,000.

Want to explore options for selecting the right vendor? Your search stops here! We have onboarded vendors with the highest qualifications to install your solar system. Compare and select the best quotations for free!

Factors to Consider Before Installing Solar Module Mounting Structure

The following factors have to be considered for installing a rooftop mounting structure:

Shadow Area

The mounting structure for solar panels has to be installed at a place where no shadow falls. A shadow can drastically decrease the output of a solar system. The shadow may be caused due to objects, trees, and houses in the path of the sunlight.

Shadow Area

This kind of shadow falling on the solar panel can reduce the total electricity generation (refer to the image above).

Number of Panels

Number of panels needed for the solar system depends on how much solar electricity you want to generate. The capacity of solar panels is defined in Watts.

The more the capacity of the solar system, the more panels you will need. For example, if you use mono-PERC panels of 550 W, you will need 2 such panels for a 1 kW system.

Area Required For Mounting Structure

According to the size of the panels, you must calculate the area required for installing the solar system. A mono-PERC panel typically has a length and width of 2.3 m and 1.2 m respectively. So the area of 1 such panel will be 2.76 sq. metres or 29.7 sq. ft. Multiply this by the number of panels you will install to calculate the required area.

The following table shows the area occupied by solar systems of different capacities:

Capacity of Solar System

Area Required

1 kW 

59.2 sq. feet

3 kW 

178 sq. feet

5 kW

297 sq. feet

8 kW

475.2 sq. feet

10 kW 

594 sq. feet

Angle of Solar Incidence

The angle at which solar radiation falls on a panel decides how efficiently solar electricity is generated. The electricity generation is maximum when the sunlight is perpendicular to the panels. On the other hand, the efficiency is lower when the sunlight falls obliquely on the panels.

You can only trust an expert to install your solar system. Our extensive network of DISCOM-empanelled vendors will give you the best quotations for installing the solar system. We thoroughly vet our vendors before onboarding, thus ensuring a premium solar installation experience for you.

Components of Solar Panel Mounting Structure

Here are the major components of a solar panel installation structure:

Flashings

You have to install a flashing to prevent water and moisture from damaging your roof. During solar module mounting structure installation, a vendor will drill your roof. The resulting holes can lead to seepage of water. A flashing closes gaps and joints from which water can damage a roof.

Rails

Rails

Rails hold the solar panels on a mounting structure. They must be resistant to corrosion. Rails must be strong and sturdy to safely hold the panels.  The length and width of rails can vary according to the size and number of solar panels used.

Mounts

A solar installer uses mounts to fasten the rails to the mourning structure. It is bolted directly over a flashing.

Clamps

Solar clamps hold solar panels on the rails securely. It ensures the safety of the solar panels even in adverse weather conditions. Clamps at the end of solar modules are called end-clamps and the ones between each panel are called mid-clamps.

Screws

screws

Screws are used to fasten the different components of the solar systems such as clamps and mounts. Choosing the right screws is important for the solidity and stability of a solar system.

You must compare quotations for installing your solar system. Our website is India’s 1st platform for comparing the quotations vendors offer for installing your solar system.

There may be different types of mounting structures for solar panels. Whatever type it is, the structure must be strong and resistant to corrosion to support your solar system for 25-30 years. The vendor who installs the mounting structure for solar panels must follow all MNRE guidelines. You must check the latitude and longitude of your roof before installation as it will decide the angle and direction at which the mounting structure must be installed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Some major types of solar mounting structures are rooftop mounting structure, ground-mounted structure, pole-mounted structure, carport mounting structure and floating mounting structure.

The cost of a mounting structure depends on the capacity of the solar system. To get a rough idea, you can multiply the capacity of the solar system by Rs. 8 to estimate the cost of a mounting structure.

The important components of a solar mounting structure are flashings, rails, clamps, and mounts.

Some factors which you must consider are the area required for installing a solar system, shadow falling on the roof, the angle at which sunlight falls on the panels, and a number of panels required for the solar system.

A mounting structure should be made of metal or steel galvanised with corrosion-resistant elements like zinc.

A solar system should last for 25 to 30 years at least. So a mounting structure should last for that long as well.

In such a mounting structure, a tracking system follows the sun’s movement. This is done to maximise the productivity of the solar system.

It depends on the number of solar panels you install. Using the dimensions of a panel, you can calculate a panel’s area and multiply it by the number of panels used to calculate the area required for the mounting structure.

Leave A Reply

WhatsApp 9830795307