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Which is Better - Solar Panels on Roof vs Ground?

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Solar Panels on Roof vs Ground

As a homeowner who is considering going solar, you probably might be contemplating these - solar panels on roof vs ground - options and wondering which is better for you. Well, you've come to the right place. Let's start by discussing the benefits of solar energy. For starters, it's a clean, renewable energy source that doesn't produce harmful greenhouse gasses. Plus, it can save you money on your energy bill in the long run. But now, the big question is: where do you put those shiny panels? On the roof or on the ground?

Believe it or not, this is a crucial decision that can affect the efficiency and cost of your solar system. Roof-mounted panels are a popular choice for homeowners who don't have a lot of space to spare. They're also low-maintenance and don't take up any extra real estate. But, they can be less efficient if your roof doesn't have the right orientation or if it's shaded by trees or other obstructions.

On the other hand, ground-mounted panels offer maximum efficiency and are easier to maintain. However, they require more space and can be more expensive. So, which one is better for you? That's what we're here to help you figure out. Let's dive in and explore the pros and cons of both options.

But before we do that, let’s have a quick summary of these two options;

Quick Summary: Roof-mounted vs Ground-mounted

roof mounted solar panels
roof mounted solar panels

ground mounted solar panels
ground mounted solar panels

Efficiency: Ground-mounted solar panels are the clear winner here, as they can be adjusted to capture sunlight at the optimal angle. Roof-mounted panels, on the other hand, can be less efficient if they're not angled correctly or if they're shaded.

Cost: If you're on a budget, roof-mounted solar panels may be the way to go. They're generally cheaper than ground-mounted panels because they don't require any additional hardware or construction.

Maintenance: Both roof-mounted and ground-mounted panels require some level of maintenance, such as cleaning and inspections. However, ground-mounted panels are easier to access and maintain, whereas roof-mounted panels may require a professional for upkeep.

Space requirements: If you don't have much space to spare, roof-mounted panels are a great option because they don't take up any extra real estate. Ground-mounted panels, on the other hand, require a significant amount of space and may not be feasible for homeowners with limited land.

Environmental factors: The environment around your home can affect the efficiency of your solar panels. For example, if your roof is shaded by trees, ground-mounted panels may be a better option. Similarly, if your soil is prone to flooding, roof-mounted panels may be a better choice to avoid any damage.

Now, let's sum up the pros and cons of each option:

Roof-mounted panels:

  • Pros: Space-saving, low cost

  • Cons: Limited space for installation, reduced efficiency in certain conditions

Ground-mounted panels:

  • Pros: Maximum efficiency, easier maintenance

  • Cons: Requires more space, more expensive

So Why Should I Opt-In for Roof Mounted Solar Panels?

Well, here are a few reasons why roof mounted solar panels might better suit your demand:

Save the planet, one ray at a time: Installing solar panels on your roof is an eco-friendly move that can help reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, you'll feel like a superhero saving the planet, one ray of sunshine at a time.

No yard? No problem: If you don't have a lot of yard space, no worries! Roof-mounted solar panels utilize otherwise unused space and won't take up any of your valuable outdoor real estates.

It's a good look: Rooftop solar systems are sleek and stylish, making your home look like it belongs in a fancy home magazine. Plus, they're less visible and blend in better with the surrounding environment compared to ground-mounted systems, so your home will look great from any angle.

Protect your investment: Your solar system will be better protected from potential damage caused by weather, animals, or people, when it's up on the roof. Those pesky squirrels won't know what hit 'em!

Improved energy production: Since solar panels receive more direct sunlight when they're up high on the roof, they're more efficient at converting sunlight into energy. The risk of shading is also smaller, which means more consistent energy production for your home.

Installing roof-mounted solar panels is a smart and stylish way to power your home. Just make sure to consider the specific characteristics of your house and property before making the final decision. So what about the disadvantages attributed to it?

Some drawbacks:

Limited space for installation: the amount of space available on your roof will determine how many solar panels can be installed

Reduced efficiency in certain conditions: if your roof is shaded for most of the day or is facing the wrong direction, it can reduce the efficiency of the solar panels.

Factors to consider

So, when choosing roof-mounted solar panels, here are a few things to consider:

Roof condition: Is your roof in good shape? If not, you may need to repair or replace it before installing solar panels.

Shading: Are there any trees or buildings that cast shadows on your roof? If so, you may need to trim trees or find a different location for your panels.

Orientation: What direction does your roof face? South-facing roofs typically get the most sun exposure, which is ideal for solar panels.

Roof-mounted solar panels are a great option for homeowners who want to save space and have low-maintenance energy solutions. Just be sure to consider the limitations and factors that can affect their efficiency. Or better still consult a decent solar company to get a quote.

Ground-Mounted Solar Panels - How Is it Better?

If you've got the space, ground-mounted solar panels can be an attractive option for your home's energy needs. Although they require more space, they offer several advantages over their roof-mounted counterparts:

Easy access: If you want to check on your solar panels or do maintenance, having them on the ground means you don't have to climb up on the roof like a daredevil superhero. Plus, you won't have to worry about slipping on any shingles.

Better angle: Ground-mounted solar panels can be positioned at the optimal angle for capturing sunlight. This means you'll get maximum energy production and you won't have to worry about the sun being blocked by any pesky trees or buildings.

Show off your style: Ground-mounted solar panels can be a stylish addition to your yard. You can choose a design that fits your personal taste and makes your yard look like it's ready for a magazine photoshoot.

Ground-mounted solar panels offer some unique benefits that make them worth considering. And again just make sure to consider the specific characteristics of your property before making a decision. So what about it’s drawback


Requires more space: Ground-mounted solar panels require more space than roof-mounted panels, which can be a challenge for homeowners with limited land.

More expensive: Ground-mounted panels are also more expensive to install due to the additional components required, such as the mounting structure and wiring.

Factors to consider

When considering ground-mounted solar panels, it's important to take into account various factors such as:

Soil conditions: Soil type and composition can affect the installation process and the stability of the mounting structure.

Land use: The land's current and future use should be considered when installing solar panels to avoid potential conflicts.

Zoning restrictions: Zoning regulations may impose restrictions on where solar panels can be placed and how they can be installed.

Ultimately, both roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar panels have their pros and cons, and choosing the right option depends on the homeowner's specific situation and preferences.

What about Flat Roofs?

Solar panels on a flat roof

We've talked about solar panels on regular roofs and on the ground, but what about flat roofs? Flat roofs are a bit different and need special attention.

What's Different About Flat Roofs? Flat roofs don't have a slope, so we need to think carefully about how to place the solar panels to catch the most sun. Also, it's important to make sure the roof can hold the weight of the panels.

Unlike sloped roofs, flat roofs require careful consideration of the angle at which solar panels are installed to maximize sunlight exposure. Additionally, the structural integrity of the building plays a crucial role in supporting the solar setup.

So you have to think about how to set them up, avoid shadows, and keep them in good shape.

If you want to know more about putting solar panels on a flat roof, check out this article. It has lots of good info, especially for people with flat roofs who are thinking about solar energy.


So, we've covered the pros and cons of both roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar panels, but which one reigns supreme? Here's a quick recap of the main points:

Roof-Mounted Solar Panels:

  • Advantages: Space-saving, low maintenance, perfect alignment for maximum sunlight capture, and easy accessibility.

  • Disadvantages: Limited space for installation, reduced efficiency in certain conditions.

  • Things to consider: Roof condition, shading, and orientation.

Ground-Mounted Solar Panels:

  • Advantages: Maximum efficiency, easier maintenance.

  • Disadvantages: Requires more space, more expensive.

  • Things to consider: Soil conditions, land use, and zoning restrictions.

So, which one is better? As always, it depends on your individual circumstances. If you're tight on space or have a sturdy, unobstructed roof, then roof-mounted solar panels may be the way to go. However, if you have a large property and want to maximize your solar energy output, then ground-mounted solar panels may be worth the extra investment.

In the end, the choice is yours. Just remember to do your research and consult with a reputable solar installation company before making any decisions. Happy solar panel hunting!


Can solar panels cause roof leaks?

While solar panels can add weight and penetrate your roof, professional installation and proper sealing should prevent roof leaks.

How long do solar panels last on a roof?

Can solar panels be fitted on the ground?

Why is ground mount solar more expensive?

How high off the ground should a solar panel be?

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