The US is still a long way from embracing solar energy as a significant energy source, with only 2.8% of the energy it produces coming from the sun. However, from the look of things, more and more people embrace solar power and greener lifestyles. If we keep this up, we might be able to avert an impending climate disaster.
Implementing solar panels in your home or business is a noble act and one that might save the panels. If you’re planning on doing just that, it’s normal to be curious about the solar panel installation process. What happens during the installation process, and can you install solar panels yourself?
To find answers to all these questions and more, keep reading. In today’s post, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the solar panel installation process and why it’s always a good idea to leave it to the pros.
Solar panel requirements vary from home to home. The first thing to do in the installation process is determine the size and type of solar panels for your specific building. The panel installation company will send an expert to evaluate your home or business premises.
During the evaluation, solar panel companies will take into account:
- The amount of energy you use currently;
- The type of solar panels that’ll work best with your building;
- The orientation and shape of your roof;
- The condition of your roof.
After considering all these factors, the solar panel company will be able to give you an estimate of what solar panel size you’ll need to install to offset your energy usage. They’ll also provide you with a solar panel installation cost estimate.
Solar panels can be installed on the ground instead of on the roof in some cases. If that’s something you’re interested in, mention it during the evaluation process.
Obtaining Permits and Necessary Documentation
With the evaluation complete, the next step is to take care of the permits and necessary documentation. We won’t lie to you, it’s a lot of work, but you have to do it and do it right.
You first need to contact your local building department and find out what kind of permit you need for solar panel installation. The type of permit you need will depend on your location, the size of the solar panel system you’re planning to install, and whether or not the solar panels will be mounted on your roof.
After that, you’ll need to fill out the application for the permit and submit it along with any other required documents. These documents might include:
- A site plan that shows the location of the solar panel array;
- The electrical projects for the solar panel system;
- Proof of insurance.
Once you have prepared all the documents, please submit them to your local building department and wait for the approval. The approval process can take a few days to four weeks, so be patient.
In some cases, you might need to get a solar easement. A solar easement is an agreement between you and your neighbor that gives you the right to install solar panels on their property. This is usually necessary when there’s a building or another structure in the way of where you want to install your solar panels.
If you need a solar easement, the solar panel company you’re working with will usually take care of it on your behalf.
The third step involves the solar panel company acquiring the necessary components for the installation. This includes solar panels, solar inverters, racking systems, and other solar panel parts.
In most cases, solar panel companies have their suppliers. However, they might need to buy the parts from a third-party supplier in some cases. Either way, it’s essential to ensure that the solar panel company you’re working with uses high-quality solar panel parts.
Once the solar panel company has all the necessary solar panel parts, they’ll be able to schedule a date for the installation.
The Actual Solar Panel Installation
After acquiring all the necessary parts, the solar panel company will send a team of solar panel experts for the actual installation. However, the solar panel company might outsource the installation to a third-party contractor in some cases.
The solar panel installation process can take anywhere from one day to several weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the solar panel system. Once the solar panel montage is finalized, the company will train you to use and get the most out of your solar panels.
The solar panel inspection marks the last step of the installation process. The solar panel company will check with your local building department to ensure that it installed everything correctly and to code. Once the solar panel system passes inspection, you’ll have successfully switched to solar power. All you have to do is enjoy the many benefits of green energy and hose down the solar panels every six months.
Of course, every solar panel installation is unique, so there might be some additional steps involved in your case. But in general, those are the five main steps to expect during your solar panel installation.
Can I Install Solar Panels By Myself?
DIY hardliners will always jump at the opportunity to construct or install any new fixture or installation in their homes. While there are tons of solar panel installation DIY videos online, installing solar panels yourself isn’t something you want to do. Here are a couple of reasons why:
1. It’s Overly Complex
The solar panel installation process isn’t as straightforward as most people think. Don’t let the DIY videos fool you; solar panel installation is incredibly complex. Without enough training and experience, you’re more than likely to mess up.
Solar installation professionals have the necessary know-how to ensure proper installation. Remember, not only do you need to install the solar panels correctly, but you also need to connect them to your home’s electrical system. This is a delicate process that requires experience and expertise.
2. For Electrical Safety Reasons
Solar panel installation involves working with electricity. It is a well-known fact: electricity can be dangerous if not handled properly. Solar panel installers have the necessary safety gear and equipment to ensure that they don’t get electrocuted during the installation process.
Plus, don’t forget that electricity is also a fire hazard. One small mistake, and you could raze down your entire house.
Solar panel installers also know how to work with electrical systems. This ensures that they don’t accidentally damage your home’s electrical system or cause fires while installing the solar panels.
3. For General Safety Reasons
Solar panel installation involves working on high rooftops. This is very dangerous for anyone with little to no experience working in high places. Falling from your rooftop could lead to severe injury and even death.
Solar panel installers are highly trained and have years of experience working on rooftops and other high places. Plus, they have the necessary safety gear to protect them from falls. They also know to properly secure solar panels to prevent them from falling and injuring people.
So, as you can see, it’s not worth it to try and install solar panels by yourself. It is dangerous, but it’s also complex and requires experience and expertise. It’s much better to leave solar panel installation to the professionals.
4. Necessary Solar Panel Installation Equipment
Solar panel installers have all the necessary equipment to install solar panels quickly and efficiently. They have ladders, scaffolding, solar panel installation tools, etc.
Plus, they have extensive knowledge and experience on the correct ways to use the sad equipment. This ensures that they don’t damage the solar panels or roof while installing them. It also provides they don’t get hurt in the process.
5. Warranty and State Incentives
When you hire a solar panel installer, they will usually offer a warranty or guarantee on their work. This action will protect you if anything goes wrong with the installation of the solar panels are defective.
Most solar panel manufacturers also have a warranty on their products. So, if anything happens to the solar panels themselves, you’re covered. But, if you try to install them yourself, you void all warranties, not to mention the federal incentives like the solar tax credit.
6. Your Home’s Value
Solar panel installation will increase the value of your home, but only if you install it to standard code.
Homebuyers are willing to pay more for homes with solar panels because of the long-term cost savings. However, if the solar panel installation were shoddy, homebuyers wouldn’t be willing to save as much money for the home.
Hiring professional solar panel installers works best for your home or business. Just hire a reputable solar power company like Blue Raven Solar.
Solar Panel Installation Simplified
The information above is everything you need to know about solar installation. So, what are you waiting for? Arrange for your solar panel installation today and hop on the renewable energy wave today!
However, find a reputable solar installation company for the best results.
Be sure to check out the other posts on the site for more informative content.