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The Vulnerability of Ground Mount Solar Systems

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Ground mount solar systems are arrays solar panels installed on the ground instead of on rooftops. These systems need ample space and exposure to sunlight to operate successfully. They are ideal for commercial sites, homes with limited roof space and open fields. Their installation process involves anchoring metal frames into the ground securely for mounting the solar panels at the proper angle and direction to receive the maximum sun exposure. Ground Mount Array pic.jpg

Understanding Ground Mount Solar Systems

Compared to rooftop installations, ground mount systems may need extra permit documents and approvals. Ground mounted arrays must comply with rules such as minimum distance to other structures like buildings, roadways and property boundaries. Placement must avoid shading from natural growth like trees and bushes. However, they do have advantages like easy maintenance, cleaning and snow removal because of their ground-level accessibility and flexible orientation. They are ideal for places with limited space on the roof that are unsuitable for installing solar panels. 

Potential Vulnerabilities of Ground Mount Solar Systems

Array with baseball damage 1a

Though ground mount solar systems save energy costs, and reduce dependence on grid electricity, they have potential risks. Let us look at the most common ones listed below:

  • Weather Events: Ground-mount solar systems are affected by negative weather conditions like hailstorms, hurricanes, and heavy snowfall. They can damage solar panels, inverters, and other system components leading to downtime and hefty repair costs. Strong winds may dislodge solar panels or tilt structures, affecting the whole system functionality and performance.


  • Theft and Vandalism: Ground-mount solar systems are often located in remote or rural areas, making them easy targets for theft and vandalism. Thieves may steal valuable components like solar panels or solar energy inverters, while vandals may intentionally harm equipment causing hefty financial losses, system downtime, costly repairs or whole solar panel replacements. 


  • Wildlife Damage: While roof mount systems are often affected by small animals like bird and rodents, ground mounted arrays are frequently impacted by larger animals. Farm animals like cattle and goats climb or rub on support structures. 


  • Impact of ball damage from sporting activities: Ground-mounted solar systems near recreational areas or sports fields are at risk of damage from balls and other flying objects. Stray balls from activities like soccer, baseball, or golf can strike solar panels, causing cracks or breakages leading to costly repairs or replacements. 


  • Exposure to flying debris from lawn mowing equipment: Ground-mount solar systems installed near lawns or landscaped areas can be hit by flying debris from lawn mowing or maintenance equipment. Rocks, branches, or other debris propelled by mowers or trimmers can strike and damage solar panels, inverters, or wiring, leading to performance faults and increased maintenance needs.


Mitigating Threats with the Right Solar Racking System

  • Durability: Choosing a robust solar racking system is essential for mitigating risks and threats. A durable solar system should have resilience against harsh weather conditions such as strong winds, heavy rain, and snowfall. It also reduces the risk of structural damage over time, giving solar panel owners the peace of mind they deserve.


  • Ease of Installation: Opting for a solar racking system with a simple installation process reduces potential threats to solar panels. If solar project systems have simple assembly procedures and user-friendly components, they will be installed faster. This reduces the time workers spend on the site and reduces potential set-up errors.


  • Cost-Effectiveness: Selecting a cost-effective solar racking system not only reduces upfront costs but also contributes to long-term clean energy savings. By balancing initial costs with quality and durability, businesses and homeowners can mitigate threats to their solar panels.Solar panels with protective net


  • Choice of Barrier Net with Proper Hole Size: Incorporatingrenewable energy SolarNets  with the appropriate hole size is key to blocking the incoming balls or hail. Additionally, by precisely sizing the protective net, the entire solar array is covered, preventing gaps in protection.  
tamper proof anti-theft screws for solar
  • Preventing theft:  Solar panels can be secured to support structures using theft prevention screws. Thieves will be unable loosen the screws without special tools.


  • Add Net to Prevent Animals from Living Under Ground Mounted Array: Installing durable nets beneath the solar ground-mounted solar arrays stops animals from nesting or burrowing underneath. This step helps to reduce the damage risks to wiring and support structures. By blocking access to their potential shelter spaces, like solar panel gaps and the ground, they remove threats like animal intrusion and ensure the system remains secure and functional.  This may require installation of fencing to keep farm animals like goats, cattle and horses at a distance.  Wildlife like deer will often sleep under the arrays, where sudden disturbance can cause impact damage to ground-mount solar systems due to panic movements.  Fencing is largely ineffective with wild animals, and barrier netting immediately around the elevated side of the array may be a better choice.


Let’s look at some real-life examples of ground mount solar systems: 

Residential Ground Mount System:

A residential ground mount system is a small-scale arrangement of a solar panel array installed directly on the ground. It is ideal for homes when the roof space is insufficient or unsuitable for solar panel installation. During the installation process, it is important to ensure its proper orientation to maximize solar energyproduction, while confirming sufficient distance from other structures and natural obstacles that could block sunlight. Residential ground mount systems reduce the dependency on traditional grid electricity systems as it gives homes a sustainable source of renewable energy.DSCN5186-1.JPG

Commercial Ground Mount System:

Contrary to residential setups, commercial ground mount systems are designed for large-scale applications. They are ideal for commercial or industrial properties. These systems have a more extensive arrangement of solar panels installed on the ground. They provide increased power generation capacity compared to residential setups. They are suitable for businesses with available land space, requiring professional installation and regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. 

Commercial solar for Fort Mountain Ranch


Solar Farms:

Solar farms represent vast expanses of land hosting interconnected solar panel arrays. These farms are engineered to generate significant amounts of electricity, often supplying power to utility grids or serving large-scale consumers. They have advanced maintenance and monitoring systems to ensure solar energy harvest. This in turn boosts the renewable energy transition for reducing carbon emissions on a large scale. 

Ground Mounted Solar Array for Bob Long



Elevated Carport Structures:

Elevated carport structures install solar panels on the top of structures for providing coverage to vehicles. You often find them in parking lots, residential areas, and commercial spaces. The combination of parking spaces and clean energy optimize the use of the land while also providing shade.Golf course home with solar net 1a


They find applications in various settings, including parking lots, commercial properties, and residential areas. By combining parking spaces with clean energy generation, they maximize land use efficiency. Offering both shade for vehicles and electricity production, elevated carport structures serve as multifunctional assets, contributing to sustainable solar solutions and practices while enhancing infrastructure functionality. 

Protect solar panels with SolarNets

Protect your solar panels and maximize their lifespan with SolarNets, the premier solution for the best solar panel protection nets for your premise. Use our simple online Net Designer Tool to get high-quality custom-designed nets that provide you with unparalleled defense against pests, debris, and environmental factors. Perfect for both ground- mounted and rooftop 24/7 solar panel protection, let’s walk you through them below: Solar panel glass damaged by golf ball

  1. Solar GolfNet: Homes and business properties located near golf courses often suffer from the constant impacts of errant golf balls smashing their solar panels. This often leads to expensive panel repair and replacement costs. At Solar Nets, we understand these woes and we’ve got your back with GolfNet- a specially designed solar panel protection net to keep those annoying golf ball strikes away. Ideal for shielding your solar panels from impact damage, these nets are quick to install for both rooftop and ground-mounted solar panels.Course view from SolarNets Click here to know more and speak to a SolarNets expert about them. 


  1. Hail Blocker NetFor solar panel owners living in hailstorm –prone regions, the Hail Blocker Net ensures your valuable solar investments are protected round-the-clock. Exclusively designed to combat hailstorm damage to your solar panels, it is a must-have for property owners suffering from solar panel hailstorm damage threats. Like GolfNet, the Hail Blocker Net is quick to install and gives you the peace of mind you deserve. Click here to learn about our Hail Blocker Net. Hail damage to panels in Texas


  1. Baseball Catcher NetBaseball and cricket are sports loved by millions across the world. However, solar panel owners often fall prey to annoying baseballs or errant cricket balls damaging their precious solar investments. To offset the stress, huge losses and expenses, SolarNets has introduced the Baseball Catcher Net for homes and businesses constantly worrying about baseball/cricket ball damage to their precious solar modules. Like its counterparts, GolfNetand the Hail Blocker Net, the Baseball Catcher Net are simple to install and durable to last. Click here to learn more!protective golf nets for ground mounted solar

So, why wait for external threats to damage your solar panels? Trust SolarNets to safeguard your investment and keep your solar infrastructure running smoothly for years to come.  To get started, talk to our experts at 209-464-1600 or drop us a “Hi” at info@solarnets.com!


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