Solar Module Racking

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Solar module racking are used to fix solar panels on surfaces like roofs, building facades, or the ground. These mounting systems generally enable retrofitting of solar panels on roofs or as part of the structure of the building.[1] A solar cell performs the best when its surface is perpendicular to the sun's rays, which change continuously over the course of the day and season. It is a common practice to tilt a fixed PV module (without solar tracker) at the same angle as the latitude of array's location to maximize the annual energy yield of module.

Roof Mounting

The solar array of a PV system can be mounted on rooftops, generally with a few inches gap and parallel to the surface of the roof. If the rooftop is horizontal, the array is mounted with each panel aligned at an angle. If the panels are planned to be mounted before the construction of the roof, the roof can be designed accordingly by installing support brackets for the panels before the materials for the roof are installed. The installation of the solar panels can be undertaken by the crew responsible for installing the roof.[2] If the roof is already constructed, it is relatively easy to retrofit panels directly on top of existing roofing structures.

Ground Mounted

Ground-mounted PV systems are usually large, utility-scale photovoltaic power stations. The PV array consist of solar modules held in place by racks or frames that are attached to ground-based mounting supports.[3] Ground-based mounting supports include:

  • Foundation mounts, such as concrete slabs or poured footings.
  • Pole mounts, which are driven directly into the ground or embedded in concrete.
  • Ballasted footing mounts, such as concrete or steel bases that use weight to secure the solar module system in position and do not require ground penetration. This type of mounting system is well suited for sites where excavation is not possible such as capped landfills and simplifies decommissioning or relocation of solar module systems.

Building Integrated

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are photovoltaic materials that are used to replace conventional building materials in parts of the building envelope such as the roof (tiles), skylights, or facades. They are increasingly being incorporated into the construction of new buildings as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power, although existing buildings may be retrofitted with BIPV modules as well. The advantage of integrated photovoltaics over more common non-integrated systems is that the initial cost can be offset by reducing the amount spent on building materials and labor that would normally be used to construct the part of the building that the BIPV modules replace.[4]

References

  1. Evaluation of low-weight tension-based photovoltaic flat-roof mounted racking
  2. Solar mounting system - solar racking - leading pv system supplier | Mibet Energy
  3. PV (photovoltaics) performance evaluation and energy yield prediction
  4. Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) | WBDG - Whole Building Design Guide