Ground mounted solar power plant: working, types, pros, and cons
Do you think your rooftop is the only place to install a solar plant? Think again!
With technological advancement, it is possible to install solar systems in various areas. A barren ground is one common place to install a ground mounted solar power plant and produce solar power with high efficiency.
So, if you own a commercial business and have an open space, you can set up your solar power generation system to meet your power requirements or connect it to the utility grid.
But what are the types of ground mount solar panels, and how do they function? Don’t worry! Through this blog, we will clarify all your doubts.
Let’s first look at the functions of these panels.
How does a Ground Mounted Solar Power Plant Work?
Ground mounted solar power plants function similarly to rooftop solar systems. This includes absorbing the sunlight to generate an electric charge and then transferring it to the inverter through conductive wires.
If you want to produce solar energy on a large scale, you must choose solar panels with 72-cells.
The efficiency of a Ground Mounted Solar Power Plant
You would be amazed to know that a ground-mounted solar system generates more units of electricity than a rooftop system, even when they get equal sunlight. Want to know the reason behind this?
Well, for rooftop solar panels, the mounting structure is fixed. Therefore, it captures sunlight according to the sun’s position.
However, in ground-mounted panels, you construct the structure carefully with a tilt angle and orientation to maximise sunlight exposure.
In addition, you can also add a solar tracking device to this system to angle the panels towards the sun. Solar trackers move the panels so that they’re always perpendicular to the Sun. Hence, the efficiency is very high.
Types of Panels for Ground Mounted Solar Power Plant
Before you install a ground mounted solar power plant, it is crucial to understand what types of panels are available in the market.
Solar panel manufacturers keep upgrading the technology to provide efficient solutions to people. Presently there are three types of solar panels compatible with ground mounting solar systems. They are:
- – Polycrystalline solar panel: It is made by melting the silicon and pouring it into a mould. This process is highly economical and reduces wastage during production. In addition, its efficiency is between 16-17%.
- – Monocrystalline solar panel: This panel is made with pure silicon crystal. Therefore, it has an even texture and a uniform shape. By installing this panel in your solar system, you get nearly 19-20% efficiency. Moreover, this type of solar panel offers high durability.
- – Bifacial solar panel: It is the most advanced technology for solar panels. It consists of silicon film that receives direct sunlight. On the other hand, the bottom part of the bi-facial solar panel also receives reflected sunlight from a white TPO roof or light-coloured roof.
The increased exposure to direct and reflected sunlight enables the solar system with these panels to produce more electricity. Generally, it offers the highest efficiency, up to 22%.
This solar panel is the most efficient for ground mounting solar systems. In addition, you can use single-axis and double-axis solar trackers in these panels to increase their efficiency further.
Pros and Cons of Buying Ground Mounted Solar Power Plant
This type of solar power plant offers multiple benefits to people. These include the following:
- – You can easily place them in an open space without drilling your roof. Moreover, the bracings of this system are lightweight and easily removable.
- – They need a separate structure for installation resulting in an accurate tilt angle. This increases their efficiency in producing solar electricity.
- – You can easily access ground-mounted solar panels. Therefore, their maintenance process becomes increasingly convenient.
- – You can install solar trackers so that the panels accurately shift according to the sun’s position.
Although ground mounting solar system offers many benefits, it comes with some limitations, such as:
- – It can be a little higher in terms of the initial investment.
- – You need to follow a lengthy and tougher installation process.
Cost of Ground Mounted Solar Power Plant
Now let’s understand how much money you may require to install a ground-mounted solar system.
Although the cost of solar panels depends on their type and individual manufacturer, generally, the range is between Rs. 25.5 to Rs. 32 per watt.
The following points provide information on cost according to the panel type:
- – Polycrystalline solar panel: On average, you need Rs. 25.5/watt investment for this panel
- – Monocrystalline solar panel: This is a more efficient solar panel and costs nearly Rs. 30/watt
- – Bifacial solar panel: For installing this type of solar panel, you need to spend about Rs. 31-32/watt.
Subsidies on Ground Mounted Solar Power Plant
To provide financial assistance to people for installing ground-mounted solar systems, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has launched the PM KUSUM scheme. This scheme is specifically offered to farmers in India.
Through this scheme, the Indian government aims to install nearly 25,750 MW of solar or other renewable energy power plants by 2022.
For this, the central government has also offered a budget of Rs. 34,422 crores to the agencies that install power plants.
This scheme has three components:
- – Component A: In this section of the KUSUM scheme, the govt. aims to install individual power plants of 2 MW capacity until it reaches 10,000 MW.
- – Component B: Installation of individual stand-alone solar agricultural pumps of 7.5 HP capacity until the country achieves the final capacity of 17.50 lakh individual pumps.
- – Component C: Through this, the government aims to solarise 10 lakh on-grid agricultural pumps, which have a 7.5 HP capacity.
Maintenance of a Ground Mounted Solar Power Plant
To increase the longevity of the solar module, it is necessary to follow timely maintenance procedures.
However, for efficient maintenance, you must be aware of other crucial elements, such as:
- – The cleaning of the solar modules must be done in the morning from 7-10 AM or in the evening after 5:30 PM
- – You must wear a PPE kit to avoid accidents or hazards on the site
- – The PH of water plays a vital role in maintaining the efficient working of the panels. Therefore, you must use water with a PH value between 6 to 8
- – The temperature of the water is another factor that can affect the function of solar panels. Therefore, using water with a temperature lower than 25 degrees is ideal
- – Most solar panel manufacturers advise customers to use water with 500 or fewer TDS during maintenance to make their panels more durable
Ground-mounted solar panels offer one of the best methods to generate solar energy on a large scale. Moreover, the high efficiency balances their initial investment in the minimum time duration.
If you want to install this system, you can benefit from the PM KUSUM scheme, which has now been extended till 31st March 2026.
Q. What is the cost of different ground-mounted solar panels?
The accurate price of ground mounted solar panels varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and installer to installer.
However, the following points elaborate on the average cost of solar panels in general:
- – Monocrystalline: Rs. 30 per watt
- – Bifacial: Rs. 31-32 per watt
- – Polycrystalline: Rs. 25.5 per watt.
Q. What is the efficiency of a ground mounted solar power plant?
A ground-mounted solar system’s efficiency varies according to the panel type. For example:
- – A polycrystalline panel has 16-17% efficiency.
- – A monocrystalline panel has 19-20% efficiency.
- – A bifacial panel offers up to 22% efficiency
Q. How can we increase solar energy generation with a ground-mounted solar system?
Ground-mounted solar systems offer the benefits of installing solar tracking devices. These devices have sensors to track the light course and turn the panels in an accurate direction to increase power generation.