WHY IS TRACKING BETTER?
First a discussion of roof mounting issues is appropriate. In many situations the roof may be orientated in the wrong direction, low pitch roofs have poor winter performance, high pitch roofs have poor summer performance, lots of unusable areas due to plumbing stacks, dormers, service masts, attic vents, chimneys, shade from trees, power lines, neighbour's houses and more.
A drive down any street in Ontario by an experienced solar installer will rule out a very high percentage of available rooftops. By considering the roof as the only place to mount PV modules you have just reduced your client potential base by more than 75%. Further to this you will often run into an objection to roof mount that goes like this. What happens when I need to replace the roof? The other side of this is the condition of the roof at the time of installation. Would the customer reject your proposal because they need the shingles replaced before the array goes on? The other consideration in roof-mounted arrays is liability. You will make many roof penetrations attaching the array to the roof. Leaks are a big concern for most customers and when you have one the repair can be very expensive. Ice and snow damming can cause a lot of problems that you would not expect. Snow sliding off the solar array can seriously hurt persons exiting or entering the building, block the doorway, damage trees and shrubs, awnings, cars, etc. Installer safety procedure's when working on roofs should also be calculated into your labour costs. Hopefully I have now convinced you that although the roof is the cheapest place to mount the array it is not necessarily the best choice for your long-term business survival.
One major insurance claim for damage to a home can leave you without a renewal, which essentially will put you out of business. So now we need to consider ground-mounted arrays in all their forms. Some ground mounts fail to get the array high enough. This is important to get all the wiring up out of reach and also provide for snow sliding off the array and piling up. This is most important in snow belt areas where you may not live but will be working in. Ground mounts are generally fixed tilt so they don't shed the snow as readily as a tracker or adjustable tilt pole mount. This will require the customer to remove the snow after almost every storm in winter if they want to generate power and income. Ground mounts have multiple posts, which make it difficult to keep the area neat and tidy. A pole mount or tracker will have a single pier that is easy to clean around. A clean tidy appearance of your project is important to future sales to the friends and neighbours of your original client.
So now you have seen a case for either a pole mounted or tracking structure that will not only reduce future liability on your business, it will increase potential client base, increase the value of each installation and your profit, and improve the performance of the clients system to make them more money. In the decision to promote a tracking array the first consideration should always be the site analysis. If there are obstructions either pure east or pure west that extend 15 degrees above the horizon, a tracking system may not be appropriate. When you compare a pole mounted array to a tracking array the costs to install are very close. The added cost for tracking will quickly be recovered in increased energy production. A single axis tracker when sited properly will produce 25% more energy annually and the summer boost can be significantly larger. The dual axis tracker will add another 10% energy over single axis and can support a larger array on a single unit. The original Sun-Link was designed to be easy to install without the need for equipment such as a boom truck. It's easy to ship and 2 people can easily erect one in about 4 to 6 hours.
We hope you will consider our trackers as part of your offering to potential clients. It has always been our philosophy to be the best of the class. Welcome to our site. Sun-link Solar Trackers can meet Domestic Ontario Content. Please request on ordering.