Structure for Solar PV Plants: Types | Information | Price

When you opt to go green and install a rooftop solar plant on your roof or on ground, the type of material used along with it’s thickness and cross sectional area plays a vital role when finalising. These factors are depended on the geographical location of the plant (environmental factors), ground mounted or rooftop mounted, height of the structure, number of panels installed on one matrix and last but not the least aesthetics. Mostly solar companies don’t give much importance to aesthetics of the structure as it increases the cost of the plant, but it is one of the factors you as a customer should demand from your solar rooftop installer. You should know all the options available that you have so you can make a informed choice. Prices for the diffrent types of solar structure are given below along with the information.


ground mounted solar plant

Technical Terms:

Before reading further, you should know the few technical terms which are used in this article. Column refers to the legs of the structure which transfer the load of the solar panels to the base below. Rafters are the horizontal supports on which solar panels are mounted on using clamps or bolt. Purlins are the supports which run from front legs to back legs and on which purlins are bolted on.

A matrix is one set of structure, combination of multiple matrixs is called a structure. (Eg: a 3X2 solar matrix can mount 6 panels, thus to mount 12 panels, 2 such matrixs are needed )


The weight of solar panels is transferred to the rafters on which they are clamped on. The rafters in turn transfer this load to the purlins (generally bigger in size) and they in turn transfer the load to the columns.


Majorly Solar structure is divided on two fronts, for Rooftop solar plant and for Ground mounted solar plant as described below:

- Rooftop Solar Structure: Solar plants installed on rooftop are grouted in RCC roof, thus have a rigid and sturdy base ready. The solar structure needs to hold on to RCC firmly to prevent pivot movement. These are generally made up of Mild Steel (MS) or Galvanised Iron (GI). You should consider higher cross sectional area of the legs in case the front legs of the structure is more than 4 ft. Another option for high raised solar structure is to use additional legs in the structure to prevent failure due to fatigue. Cost for rooftop solar structure starts from Rs3,900 per kW and can go to about Rs5,900 per kW depending on various factors mentioned above.


Rooftop solar structure
Rooftop GI solar structure


A subtype of rooftop structure is the flushed solar rooftop structure, which is used in case the solar plant is to be installed on tin shed and not required to be raised at all. In this, the solar panels inherit the angle of the tin-shed by default and not much customisation is available. This structure is generally made of Aluminium or GI. Cost for flushed rooftop solar structure starts from Rs2,800 per kW and can go to about Rs4,200 per kW depending on the material of the solar structure.


Flushed solar structure, tin shed structure
Flushed roof structure

Another subtype of rooftop strucutre is the balasted strucutre. This structure can provide with height of only about 1 ft above roof and is not grouted in the RCC. It has a ballast or dead weight holder inbuilt in it, the weight of which holds the structure to the ground. This solar structure is generally made of Aluminium due to low weight advantage. This structure is very famous in DIY kits, where the customers can assemble the whole plant themselves in case of 1-2kW sized solar plants.


- Ground Mounted Solar Structure:

Ground mounted solar structure
Ground mounted solar structure

As ground mounted structure is fixed into ground or more preciously soil, it needs a solid RCC foundation in the ground. For this, generally a soild test is carried out to determine the depth and dimensions of the RCC foundation on which the solar strucutre will be mounted. As ground mounted plants are generally larger than 50kW in size, larger matrixs are used to in the structure, which are then custom designed. Cost for rooftop solar structure starts from Rs3,500 per kW and can go to about Rs4,700 per kW depending on various factors mentioned above.


Diffrent material options in solar structure:

Galvanised Iron (GI): This is the most widely used material in solar structure weather rooftop or ground mounted solar plant. Galvanisation provides a good anti-rust layer on the structure and for locations which are not near to sea area can have a upto 10 years of rust free life. To increase the life of GI solar structure you can periodically (once every 6 months) spray a GI spray on the structure where you visibly find the outer later of galvanisation falling apart and iron being exposed to environment.


Mild Steel (MS): Mild steel is generally used when the solar plant is to be installed at exceptional heights (about 8ft and above). Not all solar companies can provide you with this option, but when you need a raised roof structure using MS is extremely advantageous as it has the ability to be designed in any combination of columns, purlins and rafters unlike GI which comes in predefined matrix only. Also you can have a choice for huge and wide variety of cross sectional areas in MS material which GI does not and cannot due to it being standard.

Aesthetics which the MS solar structure gives is unparalleled to any other. As the structure is built on your roof, for your roof it blends in beautifully with the roof dimensions are environment.


MS solar structure
MS Structure

Aluminium: Aluminium structure is widely used in sea side area to prevent rust from damaging the structure. Aluminium is the go to material for flushed rooftop solar structure or ballasted rooftop solar structure for its low weight property.


There is a lot of cost cutting done when installing a solar plant and in solar structure, mainly components with small cross sectional area are used to reduce cost. But along with this it decreases the life of the plant and also potentially liable to fall in case of strong winds. Thus it is very important to opt for the best solar company in your area for your solar plant.

 

If you want to be the part of BigWit solar rooftop family, you can give us a call on 7082955224 or send us a mail on sales@bigwitenergy.com. BigWit Energy is one of the best solar companies in Chandigarh, Mohali, Punjab, Panchkula and all of North India and we offer EMI plans of upto 3 years for our customers too pan India!

Alternatively you can schedule a callback from us at your preferred time over here.

 

Further knowledge links:

Installed solar plant images

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