Figure 4.44 displays a ground-based PV installation on Mont Soleil (1270 m above sea level) comprising Siemens M55 laminates glued to metal carriers installed on a specially built mounting rack. This installation method allows for the realization of PV plants at sites with optimal insolation and relatively high wind energy production, although additional terrain is needed for installations of this type. The mounting rack, foundation and any grid connections that may be needed entail relatively high installation costs that cannot be shared with other construction projects. However, one advantage of this installation method is thatthe modules are readily accessible fromboth sides. For ground-based installations, mounting systems are also available for which no concrete foundation is needed and that can be bolted into the ground.
Since (a) the Mont Soleil installation is composed of laminates with glass of normal thickness and (b) the installation is not very far off the ground, some of the laminates have incurred snow pressure damage during very snowy winters (see Figures 4.67-4.70).