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Solar Panel Racking 101

The racking system you use depends on the goals and constraints of your project. For an in-depth comparison, take a look at our ground mount vs. roof mount guide. Here’s the quick rundown:

Solar Panel Racking Options

Solar Roof Mount on House

Roof Mount Solar Racking Systems

A roof mount is a great option if your roof is sun-exposed and in good condition. It’s important to choose high quality components for a long-lasting, weatherproof installation.

You’ll need flashings, clamps or tile hooks to attach the racks to your rooftop. There are various options depending on your racking and type of roof (shingle, metal, or tile.)

Flat rooftops (or low slope roofs) can use similar racking hardware with tilt legs to achieve an appropriate angle. There are also ballasted racking systems, which aren’t drilled into the roof at all, but instead are weighted down with blocks.

Want to know the best way to mount solar panels on your roof?

Solar Ground Mount on House

Ground Mount Solar Racking System

Ground Mounts allow you to pick the optimal tilt angle in a south-facing direction. A standard ground mount is built on a structure of steel pipe and concrete at a fixed-tilt angle.

Pole Mounts allow you to adjust the tilt angle to maximize your power output throughout the seasons. A steeper tilt angle captures more power in the winter and also sheds snow off the panels. Pole mounts can be installed above foliage & snow banks to keep the panels clear of debris.

Trackers are pole-mounted racks that follow the sun to maximize daily production. Trackers are the most expensive option, and require maintenance, due to the complexity and moving parts. Trackers are mainly used for large utility-scale PV installations. Residential systems are typically better off installing a few extra panels on a fixed array.

Shop All Solar Racking to compare pricing and specs.

Questions? Chat with us!

Todd built his own 3 kW solar system to power his Northern California home, where he lives off the grid with his wife and children. Todd and the rest of the Wholesale Solar team are here to answer any questions you have about designing a system that will fit your needs.

Give us a call—we’re here to help.
1-800-472-1142

Download our Solar Racking Guide

You’ve got your panels – but where will you put them? Download our Solar Racking Guide to learn where you should mount your solar system.