What Are The Main Types Of Solar Panel Mounts for Photovoltaic Roofs?
When fixing the PV generator with its modules on the roof or facade, a unique solar panel mounting system is necessary. The industry offers the proper solar panel Mounts for every roof shape – regardless of whether it is a saddle, flat roof and for every facade.
1. Solar panel mounts for pitched roofs
It is because solar modules with an inclined alignment achieve the best yields, the saddle roof is the best substructure for the PV mounting system. It consists of two inclined roof surfaces, which meet at the upper edge, the roof ridge.
Principally, solar panel mounts for pitched roofs can be divided into on-roof and in-roof solar panel mounts.
A) Rooftop solar panel mounts
The most common mounting method for solar PV systems is the on-roof mounting on saddle roofs. By retrofitting of a solar panel system on an existing pitched roof is this mounting less expensive than in-roof mounting. The solar PV panels are mounted onto the roofing.
For this, an adapted solar panel mount to the respective roofing is fixed on the roof. This mount is made of galvanized steel, aluminum or stainless steel. The rooftop solar panel mount usually consists of two horizontal mounting rails, which are fixed to the roofing with roof anchors.
Another advantage of the elevated fastening of the solar PV panels on the roof is the permanent rear ventilation of modules.
B) Roof-integrated solar panel mounts for pitched roofs
Here, the solar PV panels can be integrated into the existing roof cover and form with the roofing a plane.
Compared to the on-roof, the in-roof solar racking system has better-looking roof integration, but it is more complicated and expensive.
Here, it is essential to make sure that the rear ventilation for example with a counter-battening takes place.
The main types of roof-integrated solar panel mounts are:
Solar roofing system
In the solar roofing system, the solar PV panels replace the roofing entirely. It is not only attractive but that saves additional costs of the roof cover too.
Solar roof tiles
Solar roof tiles too, are an optically attractive solution, to install a solar panel system on the roof. The solar PV panels, which have tile shape can be inserted and fixed without the need of other solar panel mount.
However, the price is higher than of the conventional in-roof mounting system.
2. Solar panel mounts for flat roofs
Mounting a solar panel system is possible on nearly all varieties of flat roofs (warm, cold, inverted, as well as green roofs). The large flat roof areas allow an easy and inexpensive mounting.
The PV solar panels, which should be south facing, are mounted at an optimum angle (around 30 to 45 degrees) on a support.
By the elevation of solar PV panels, it is necessary to ensure that there is sufficient distance between the module rows so that the mutual overshadowing of modules does not take place. For the same reason, before installing care should be taken from possible “shadow caster” such as chimneys, antennas and vent pipes.
Without shadows – disruptive factors the mounted solar panel systems on flat roofs achieve the same yields as an optimally aligned roof systems.
3. Solar panel mounts on facades
For several years, solar PV panels can be installed not only on the roof but on the Building facades, too. The architects speak of “building-integrated Photovoltaics.”
The solar PV modules help in modern buildings such as zero energy homes, to assure (partially) an independent electricity supply.
The integration of solar PV panels is also possible in the glass-interspaces of doors and window fronts. The electricity yield is lower than of the PV modules, which face the sun directly.
4. Specialized Applications
A) Skylight Construction
Light roofs in the form of glass domes, arcades, pyramids and round arches can be realized with solar PV panels.
Here, special glass-glass PV modules with integrated crystalline solar cells are used.
B) Canopy Construction
The PV generator as a canopy is a special form of facade installation.
It is the optimum solution if the orientation of the building roof does not allow for an efficient construction of a solar panel system. Canopy supports are mounted on vertical walls or facades.
C) Integrated modules in roofing membranes
In the more complex roof types, light and bendable thin film solar panels can be used. They are integrated into roll-off roofing membranes.
The costs of the elegant building-integrated solar PV systems are high. Therefore, they are rarely used in family homes.