Are you interested in solar energy but don't know how to install solar modules? Fortunately, professionals take care of the actual installation of the solar panels, but there are still a few steps you need to take to ensure that your clean energy system is properly approved and set up properly.
By installing a home solar power system, you can reduce your reliance on traditional utility companies and potentially cut or eliminate your monthly energy bills. You can also reduce your ecological footprint and contribute less and less to the direct ecological burden.
In this article, we are going through the steps you need to take when installing solar panels in your home.
5 steps to install solar panels
Before you get into the installation of solar panels, there are a few pointers to consider. First, installing solar panels requires an in-depth knowledge of solar technology, as well as a basic understanding of electrical work and engineering. In other words, you probably want to avoid DIY solar panel installation and leave the process to professional on-site installers.
The second thing to keep in mind is that installing solar panels doesn't happen overnight. After you purchase solar panels, there are a few steps in the installation process, and each one is essential to ensuring a reliable renewable energy system.
1) Meet with an engineer.
Once you've selected the best solar panels for your home and signed a contract, your solar installation company will send an engineer to your home to evaluate the current electrical system and ensure that everything is compatible with your intended solar panel system design. This engineer can be an employee of the solar company or an independent contractor.
Note that if you have an old and outdated electrical system, your technician may tell you it needs to be replaced. This is generally an indication that your new solar power system is consuming more amps than your current electrical system can hold.
In addition to checking your electrical system, the engineer will also want to inspect your roof. You need to make sure that it is structurally solid and can support the weight of the solar panels. The technician can also tell you whether you need a special mounting system, for example for a flat roof.
2) Get the right permits.
Before installing your solar module, you have to overcome some logistical and bureaucratic hurdles. In particular, you must obtain all necessary permits and documentation to ensure that your solar panel installation is legal.
That might sound a little daunting, but here's the good news: while installing solar panels involves a lot of paperwork, most of it is handled by your solar company. You might not have to do much other than sign it here and there, but it's still important to have a feel for what's going on behind the scenes.
Specifically, your installer will apply for local building permits on your behalf and fill out all the forms you need to apply for state or federal incentive programs that curb the upfront cost of solar panels. By completing these documents, you may be able to receive a discount, tax credit, or other financial aid to help offset installation costs.
It will take time for your solar installer to submit all the documents – sometimes several weeks. Of course, you'll want to follow up and get updates every few days to make sure the process is going smoothly.
3) Order the right equipment.
Once you have all the required permits and papers, your solar installer is ready to order your equipment.
Note that by this point you have already selected the types of solar panels you will need, as well as the best solar batteries and inverters for your home. These decisions are usually made before the contract is signed.
Of course, you'll want to make sure you read up on how solar panels work and the different options that are available to you. Whether you want the most efficient solar panels or something more budget friendly, your solar installer can help you choose devices that will help you meet your solar energy goals.
Once your solar panels have been ordered, your name will be added to the installer's queue. Basically, this means that you will be scheduled for an installer to assemble your solar panels as soon as they arrive from the dealer.
4) Have your solar panels installed.
The big day is finally coming. Your solar installer will appear and begin preparing your roof, especially by checking that all the tiles or shingles are securely attached. Then the installer places the wiring needed to connect your private solar system to the electrical system.
After the wires are in place, your installer will place racks that will be used to hold the solar panels in place. The panels are placed in the racks and the inverter is connected to the panels. If you have a battery bank, your installer will set it up as well.
One of the most common questions when installing solar panels is how long the work will take. It all depends on the size of your home and the amount of solar panel installation, but you can expect a total of one to three days to complete.
5) Get your system approved and connected.
Once the system is installed, your installer will essentially “flip the switch” to turn it on. Before that happens, you will likely need a local government representative to evaluate and approve your residential solar system. Basically this is just a safety precaution to ensure that the wiring and electrical work is checked with fresh eyes.
You will also need a representative from the local utility company to interconnect the system, that is, to connect it to the mains. In this way, you can continue to draw electricity when required and feed excess energy back into the grid, which leads to credits from your energy supply company.
Questions about installing solar panels?
These five steps represent the basics of installing solar panels. But of course these are just general guidelines and the specific steps can vary from homeowner to homeowner and from installer to installer.
If you have more questions about installing solar panels, a good next step is to visit the top solar companies in your area and make an appointment. You can learn more about the specific solar panel installation processes and what to expect if you decide to make the leap into solar power.