Living Off-Grid 101 - Solar Panel Racking and Mounting

By: Randy Anderson, Technical Sales & Training Manager

The first consideration to make for panel racking and mounting would be choosing a location. The location you want to mount your panels has to be free of any shading or any trees in order to get maximum sun harvest. 

Mounting on a sloped roof would be the most common type of panel mounting. Typically, the racking is affixed directly through the shingles on a sloped roof. The roof and panels would be at the same angle, and its not typical to change the angle of those panels. One thing to consider when mounting onto a sloped roof with shingles is ‘are the shingles fairly new’? You wouldn’t want to have to replace them in a couple of years and pull all your racking and mounting off in order to do so.

Another type of mount that would be very similar is fixed mounting on flat roof. This is more common on industrial buildings. Typically, on flat roofs you're going to be able to change the angle of your panels so that they face the sun at an angle that maximize sun harvest. 

The last type of mounting would be solar trackers. Solar trackers follow the sun from morning until night. Normally they're going to start facing east in the morning and they're going to follow the sun throughout the day until it sets in the west. They have settings on them to deal with high wind load or to dump snow. You’re going to get maximum production out of your solar panels if you've got a tracker, but again you have something else to maintain there.

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