Commercial solar setups can be very efficient for a business’ bottom line – especially if a high-quality rooftop or ground mount system is installed and maintained over the long-term. 13 Kuga have been providing renewable solutions to clients for over 5 years, in this time we have had ample opportunity to install and maintain a variety of different solar systems for commercial properties.
Businesses that are looking into a commercial solar setup for their business are likely at the point of deciding whether a rooftop or ground mount system is more appropriate. We understand that some businesses have no choice, either due to lack of adequate surface area for a ground mount system or lack of rooftop access for the roof-mounted setups.
This blog will not be comparing the two types, instead we will be delving into the benefits and advantages of a ground mount system for your commercial solar needs. We’ll also be answering a few of the more common questions our clients have had for us regarding them.
As with any of our commercial solar projects, planning ahead is vital. Two major components for consideration in the planning stages is determining the optimal area for the setup and deciding on the ground mount system racking that fits the budget and intent.
Checking For Area Suitability
For optimal viability, the space will ideally be:
- Close to existing electrical infrastructure – This is to avoid overhead costs on additional cabling and trenching.
- Grounding suitability – If the soil or surface is too soft then additional costs could be needed for concreting. If it’s too hard then pre-drilling be required which will incur expense and time.
- Sloping Angle – Angles matter when it comes to peak efficiency for a solar setup. Look for an area that has a flat surface or minimal angular distortion (up to 5 degrees is a good rule of thumb).
- No shade needed – It should go without saying but, avoid overly shady areas or places that house a lot of vegetation that is prone to overgrowth as this could impede the efficacy of the panels.
Choosing The Racking
There are a number of choices for racking ranging from rigid to more intuitive.
Panels are fixed and dug into the surface at an angular position for optimal sun exposure. This racking system can be adjusted a few times throughout the year to account for the season changes of the sun’s position.
Single Axis Tracking
The solar tracking mechanisms are becoming more popular in recent years and can enhance the energy production of a ground mount system by up to 20% if outfitted correctly. Single axis tracking pivots panels as the sun moves throughout the day to capture as much light as possible.
If the ground suitability is insufficient (too hard, too soft, or simply unattainable) then ballasted setups are another option. Instead of penetrating the earth, these setups use concrete slabs/blocks to hold ground mount systems in place and at the optimal angle.
Each of these racking setups have their own distinct advantages and price ranges, so it will come down to the suitability of the proposed site and the budget/sun exposure.
Benefits For The Business
Renewable setups are extremely beneficial for a business – both reputationally and economically in the long-term. While the upfront costs can seem daunting, the longevity of these setups will invariably lead to saving money after the setup is paid off as grid-dependence will be dramatically reduced.
Reputationally speaking, a company that can claim non-emission in its production has a lot of power in the current political climate. With terms like ‘carbon neutral’ and ‘net-zero’ being bandied about in the public discourse, your commercial enterprise could gain tremendous credibility with an efficient commercial solar ground mount system.
Are Ground Mount Systems Safe?
They are certainly safer to install and maintain as they are not located on an uneven or sloped rooftop. The radiation the panels emit are negligible at best which means they are safe to be in proximity to your commercial business.
Are They Cheaper Than Rooftop Setups?
Generally, they are more expensive as rooftops use an existing structure to set up on. This could change if rooftops need renovating or strengthening to support the extra weight.
The team at 13 Kuga are ready and waiting – if you have any questions about how our ground mount systems apply to your commercial property – get in touch!