Solar panels are very much like jeans: the best is the one that’s right for you. There are pros and cons to both rooftop and ground-mounted systems, so be sure to take all the variables into account to figure out which one you need to get.
Rooftop Solar System
Rooftop solar is very popular in India – it saves on space, and by putting the panels on your roof, you’re automatically putting them in the best position to catch the sunlight – or at least that’s the logic – and they’re a bit cheaper than ground-mounted systems.
However, if your house doesn’t have a roof or a terrace, or if they don’t face the south or west (which are the optimum directions for rooftop solar panel orientation), then rooftop probably isn’t the way to go. You also want to make sure that chimneys or awnings or other blockages don’t get in the way of your rooftop panels, and that you have enough space to install as many panels as you need to power your home.
In countries like India, where there’s high population density but limited space, rooftop is a great idea for the average middle-class Indian home. There are several rooftop solar developers in the market now, along with government incentives, which make rooftop an attractive option for Indian households.
Ground-mounted Solar System
First up: ground-mounted solar can be quite a bit more expensive than rooftop systems. They require more materials and labor, as they have to be built on a foundation at ground level. However, if the panels are oriented right and they are energy-efficient, then the cost can be offset over a period of time.
However, they require a larger property- not a characteristic of the average Indian home. You also sacrifice a bit of aesthetic when you install solar panels on your lawn- so if that’s something that matters to you, you might want to look at rooftop systems as an alternative.
Unlike rooftop systems, however, you have considerably more freedom to orient your panels correctly, so you can ensure that your panels receive the maximum amount of sunlight. Of course, if you have a terrace (without obstructions) rather than a roof, of course, then you’re already in the clear.
Due to obvious accessibility issues, ground-mounted solar are far easier to maintain and clean than their rooftop counterparts. Not to mention, if your roof needs replacing, then your solar panels are in grave danger. Or at least, a few days’ power supply in your home.