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Comparison: Roof solar modules vs. solar grid fences – OneStep.Solar

2024-05-08

Solar Roof Modules vs. Solar Fence Systems: A Comprehensive Comparison

There are many different ways to efficiently utilize solar power systems. The preferred, or even the correct installation type depends on the circumstances. Therefore, a comparison of solar systems is worthwhile. Fundamental parameters must be thoroughly evaluated to determine the efficiency of PV systems. Key considerations include the structural conditions, location, and personal resources. Additionally, personal preferences such as aesthetic considerations or the motivations of the builder, which could be economic or environmental, play a role.

Basics and Functionality: Solar Roof Modules and Solar Fence Systems

The basic operation of solar systems remains the same. Sunlight hits a solar module or a solar cell and is converted into direct current, which is then typically sent to an inverter to be converted into alternating current. Since our home circuits are alternating current circuits, the produced electricity can be fed into the home’s electrical system and utilized.

The biggest differences between the two systems lie in the installation of the solar modules. Solar modules for fences are installed vertically, while roof systems are installed horizontally. Ideally, roof systems are installed at an angle between 30 and 40 degrees facing south, whereas flat roof systems can be installed with a tilt of 20 to 30 degrees. For both roof and fence solar systems, and all other types, it is essential to avoid shading as much as possible, paying attention to both permanent shading and that which occurs due to the movement of shadows throughout the day.

Both approaches utilize spaces that do not restrict property owners. In fact, a fence solar system can even provide additional benefits such as privacy or noise protection.

Installation Costs and Economic Efficiency

The costs of solar systems are comprised of various factors such as the size of the system, installation costs, and the quality of the modules and the overall system. It is difficult to make a general statement about which type of system is more or less expensive. The individual factors and the design of the systems can vary so much that the range of prices is enormous. However, if we assume that a fence structure is already in place and the solar modules are simply attached to it, it is likely that the installation costs are lower compared to a roof solar system. In terms of maintenance and care, both systems are simple and cost-effective.

Efficiency and Energy Production

The performance of both systems greatly depends on their orientation or, in the case of roof systems, the angle of inclination. Contrary to popular belief, a fence solar system can perform better under certain conditions. If a fence system has an east-west orientation, it can even produce electricity on both sides.

Aesthetics and Architectural Integration

Both types of systems can now be seamlessly integrated into the design concepts of new or existing properties. The days when solar systems looked out of place are long gone. Whether it's a roof or fence system, there are solutions that can blend into almost any design. Even for heritage-listed buildings, there are now solar roof tiles that are indistinguishable from traditional roof tiles from a typical viewing distance.

Especially in the area of fence systems, there has been significant design innovation in recent years. The options range from opaque high installations to partially transparent systems that allow the solar function to be recognized only at a second glance.

We have now become so accustomed to solar systems that they seem completely normal to us. Hardly any new building is planned without a solar system as part of its energy concept. The energy transition, which includes using electricity-powered devices like heat pumps or electric vehicles, fuels the need for additional installations to become at least somewhat independent from the prices of the public grid. The setup of a battery storage further enhances this independence.

Legal Aspects and Approval Processes

From a legal standpoint, both types of systems undergo similar approval processes for solar energy, as long as they do not, for example, fall under the legal foundations for micro solar installations or similar. Thus, the legal aspects of solar systems make no difference in this case. At least the differences are not significant enough to influence a purchase decision.

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