Mechanically Attached System
This is a system that is literally attached to your roof. There will be penetrations into your roof to attach the racking system to solid connections under the roofing material. This type of an install may be required in particularly high installations, installations that are in particularly windy areas and in almost all NON-flat roof situations.
There are many different types of roof that a mechanical install may be needed. The following photos show a mechanical installation with racking attached to a metal pitched roof.
Probably the most common type of system. This type of system is used in many flat roof situations where wind is below a certain threshold. Basically racking equipment sits on the roof with weighted (cinder blocks) mounting plates that sit on top of a slipsheet of roofing material. This common system is one of the most efficient and cost-effective installations for rooftop solar Arrays.
Ground Mount System
Standard ground mounts use metal framing driven into the ground to hold your solar panels up at a fixed angle. Some standard ground mounted solar panel systems can be manually adjusted a few times a year to account for seasonal shifts of the sun.
Pole mounts support multiple solar panels on a single pole, and elevate panels higher off the ground than a standard ground mount. Pole mounts often incorporate tracking systems, which automatically tilt the solar panels to capture the optimal amount of sunshine.
Carport Systems are similar to ground mount systems in that they mount directly on the ground, but they tend to be a little more robust. Carport systems are used in car parking areas to give shade and shelter as well as hold up your entire Solar Array. These have become popular when not a lot of land or roof space is available. Their dual purpose and PR appeal also make them a popular choice.