There are several different types of solar systems that will apply based on your goals and the physical attributes of your site or property. These include:
Grid Tied: A grid-tied system will generate electricity for your home or business and route any excess power into the electric utility grid for compensation from the utility company. If the grid experiences an outage, the solar inverter will shut down in compliance with UL 1741.
Roof Mounted: This is the most common solar application for grid tied solar. The solar panels are mounted on a suitable and available structure provided by the roof. Connections are designed and engineered to meet local loading requirements and to provide watertight solutions. Systems are typically fastened to the roof mechanically, but in case of flat roofs, it is possible to support the panels on a ballasted structure that is simply weighted down to the roof.
Ground Mounted: A system can be mounted on a steel or aluminum rack built specifically to support the solar panels and inverters. This allows an optimum orientation and tilt to optimize the performance of the solar system. These can be fixed or tracking, in which the structure moves with the sun in order to maximize the production of the solar over the course of a day.
Architecturally Integrated: Lighthouse Solar specializes in integrating solar modules into the fabric of the building. This can also be considered BIPV, Building Integrated Photovoltaic, which integrates the solar system into a building element, such as the façade, roof, or windows. It is more common and practical to simply consider the solar system a part of the design of the building, a type of thinking we call “Thinking Off the Roof.”