When thinking about the components of a solar panel system, people may immediately think about solar inverters, batteries and the solar PV panels themselves.

Solar mounting systems are often overlooked, despite being one of the key components of solar PV systems. In short, solar mounting systems are the structures which solar panels are attached to.

This page will examine everything you need to know about this essential component of solar panels.

technician installing a solar panel system on a roof in ireland

What is a Solar Panel Mounting system?

Solar Mounting systems ensure that solar PV systems are safely secured and facing the right direction to maximise energy output.

There are three main types of solar mounting structures, so let’s have a look at those. These are roof mounted, pole mounted and ground mounted systems.

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Solar panels mounted on a pitched roof

By far the most common of the three types of solar panel mounting systems are roof mounted structures, and the vast majority of roofs are suitable for solar PV panels.

This is because most roofs usually have adequate space for a solar PV system, and they are often south-facing – the optimal direction for panels.

For solar panels to be installed on a roof, a mounting structure is necessary.

They protect the panels from the elements, as well as holding them in place in order to maximise efficiency and therefore energy output.

On a pitched roof solar panels can only be placed in the direction any given side is facing

Pros of roof mounted solar panel system

  • Costs less than other types of mounted systems
  • Uses previously unused space
  • Easier and quicker to install

Cons of roof mounted solar PV

  • Costs less than other types of mounted systems
  • Uses previously unused space
  • Easier and quicker to install

Ground mounted solar system

Another of the most common solar PV mounting systems, are ground mounted systems, which allows for a larger solar PV system for those with adequate outdoor space.

These are much less common than solar panels situated on the roof, for reasons of space and aesthetics.

They can be more expensive and difficult to set up, but there are some advantages to installing a ground mounted system.

ground mounted solar panels

Pros of ground mounted systems

  • They are not restricted by space in the same way that roof mounting systems are.
  • They can be installed at the optimum angle and direction, south facing at between 45 and 55 degrees.

Cons of ground mounted systems

  • Installation can take longer and cost more, and they require more complex racking.
  • Uses valuable outdoor space
  • It can be more difficult to achieve an unobstructed view of the sky.

7 Years

A typical solar installation is fully paid back within 7 years. All solar panels we recommend are under warranty for 25 years, so you will enjoy at least 17 years of free energy generation.

0% VAT

As of 10 May 2023, the government has removed all VAT on solar installation and solar panel supply. This means solar has never been more affordable!

Government Grants

There is a range of government grants available for all new solar installations. Our team will guide you through the application process.

What are pole-mount solar systems?

Pole mount systems are an excellent option for homeowners when, for whatever reason, there is not enough available roof space.

Like ground mounted solar systems, they have the advantage of freedom to determine the perfect angle and direction to maximise energy output.

pole mounted solar panels

Advantages of pole mounting systems

  • Pole mounted structures are especially good at maximising energy output, as they are the most suited to sun tracking systems which follow the sun and ensure maximum exposure.
  • They are not limited to the surface area of a rooftop, meaning those with enough space can choose to install larger solar PV systems.
  • Pole-mount structures are also extra secure in that they are much less likely to be stolen – however solar panel thefts are extremely rare in Ireland.

Disadvantages of pole mounting systems

  • Like ground mounted panels, pole mounting systems require outdoor space or unused land.
  • Additional hardware is also needed for pole mounted solar PV panels, and this can increase the installation costs.

Solar PV panels on slate roofs

Slate roofs can be slightly more challenging than tile roofs for solar installation, but with the right installer, there will be no issues.

Solar PV panels are installed on slate roofs in almost exactly the same way as on tiles.

First the installer will remove the slates and attach brackets to the exposed rafter. The tiles which were removed are then cut around where the brackets are positioned.

how much roof space you have available for solar panels

Solar on a trapezoidal metal roof

Metal trapezoidal roof structures at a good angle are among the best roof types for solar panels, and are generally better than slate roofs and flat roof systems.

Some of the benefits of solar panels on metal roofs include

  • Durability: Metal roofs can last for up to 70 years, meaning that it will not need to be replaced during the lifespan of a solar PV system.
  • The standing seam makes it easier and cheaper for installers, who don’t need to drill into the roof itself.

Online Solar Assessment

Speak with a member of our team and determine the type of solar that best suits your situation

  • Fill in the solar assessment

  • A solar expert will call you with 24 hours and ask any questions they have

  • We will email across accurate quotes, detailing the timeframe, costs, available grants and next steps

Installing south-facing solar panels on flat roofs

Installing solar panels on a flat roof is possible, and there is a number of flat roof mounting techniques that are used by PV installers.

Compared to sloped roofs where rain water flows towards guttering, flat roofs are much more likely to collect water in areas.

This accumulation of water, poses a risk of water damage, even without a PV system, so this may be something to address before going solar.


What is the perfect solar mounting system for me?

The vast majority of roofs are suitable for solar. Tiles, metal roofs and slate roofs are all able to support solar PV panels. And if in the unlikely event that your roof is not suitable, ground and pole solar panel mounting systems are a great alternative, which have their own advantages.

Deploying solar panels on each of the available mounting systems will depend on your individual needs and the space that you have available on your roof or outside.

The optimum angle and direction for solar panels

In the northern hemisphere, where Europe is situated, solar Panels should be mounted on roofs at an angle of around 45 to 55 degrees. Luckily, in Ireland, this is the normal pitch of roofs, meaning that solar panels can be mounted on most roofs and automatically achieve optimum performance.

Flat roofs are also suitable for solar panels, and with the right mounting system, they can be just as effective.

Why should Solar Panels face south in Ireland

Get a free solar panel quote today

If you have any doubts about which mounting system will work best for your home or business, you can make an inquiry today to get a free quote and begin your solar panel journey.

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