If your customers hear "solar panels" and automatically picture a roof covered in futuristic-looking rectangles, their idea of solar power is probably a bit outdated. Yes, roof-mounted systems are still very popular, but chances are if your customers are looking to maximize their return on investment and gather the most power possible—without having to reorient their entire roofs—they should consider ground-mounted solar solutions.
The reasons why the future of solar power is in ground-mount systems
To start, let us clarify that roof-mounted systems do serve a role in solar-power production. Perhaps most obviously, they can be a useful sale when there is a lack of outdoor space available on the property, such as for those in major cities. Still, unless the client has a perfect south-facing roof, he or she will probably not see real ROI as quickly as he or she might with a grounded system. While they may cost less to your customers initially, roof-mounted PV panels generally do not gather enough energy to sustain an entire system.
Roof-mounted systems can also cost more for the installer. Just having to operate on a roof can cause potential insurance and liability costs to skyrocket, and it's simply more dangerous for your crew.
The benefits of switching to ground-mount
By working on the ground, you're automatically dealing with less dangerous and less difficult installations. It can also minimize the installation workload considerable, as you won't have to go through the process of testing the roof for weight capacity or wait for a client to replace a roof that isn't ready to bolster the panels. You also won't be called in for dangerous maintenance jobs on the roof, such as removing snow or addressing overheating due to poor airflow and more. And, of course, a ground-mounted solution won't interfere with existing roof structures or require racking systems that penetrate the roof with lag bolts, thus potentially compromising the roof itself.
In addition to safety issues, there are huge benefits to switching to ground-mounted systems from a sales and marketing perspective. Roofs simply do not give users the opportunity to maximize on solar production, so ROI becomes a huge selling point for grounded mounts. If you go beyond fixed-mount ground units and install trackers, you can take this figure even further and please your customers even more, since trackers can produce up to 45 percent more energy than fixed units. Finally, with grounded systems you can always sell more panels over the course of time as your customer's energy needs increase, since you're not dealing with the fixed space available on a roof.
Looking for more selling points regarding solar tracker solutions? Download our complimentary guide and share it with your clients.