More than a million homes in the United States have already gone solar, and many more are considering installing solar PV systems. If you’re looking for a clean energy system like solar, you’re probably curious about what happens during a solar panel installation or how to install solar panels yourself. Between deciding to go solar, signing your contract, and having your home powered by solar electricity, several major steps must occur. The majority of this occurs behind the scenes. To demonstrate what you can expect, we’ve created a simple guide for Hooked On Solar install on your home.
How To Install A Solar System?
Installing solar panels does not happen overnight; there is a procedure that must be followed before your home can use solar energy and potentially contribute to the electrical grid. Overall, it will take between one and three months from the day you sign your contract with your solar company for your solar panels to be grid-connected and produce energy for your home. The five-step solar panel installation procedure is outlined below:
1. Site Visit
- After you sign your solar contract (whether it is a lease, loan, cash purchase, or power purchase agreement), an engineer will visit your home to assess the electrical condition of your home and ensure that everything is compatible with your new PV system.
- This engineer will usually work directly for your installer, but he or she could also be an independent provider hired by your solar company. The engineering site visit should happen soon after you sign with your installer.
- During their visit, the engineer will inspect your roof to ensure that it is structurally sound.
- They will also inspect your electrical panel (the grey box in your basement) to determine whether it needs to be upgraded.
- If an installer tells you that the electrical panel needs to be upgraded, it means that your new solar panels will require more amps of current, and the ampere capacity of your electrical box will need to be increased.
2. Permits And Documents
- Installing solar panels, like any major financial decision, necessitates a significant amount of paperwork.
- Fortunately, the installer handles the majority of this paperwork; however, it’s always a good idea to know what’s going on behind the scenes of your solar installation. State and federal solar incentives such as the federal ITC, local solar programs, clean energy financing initiatives such as PACE, government rebates, and solar renewable energy certificates will be among the main things you’ll be applying for (SRECs).
- During the solar panel installation process, you will need to fill out additional paperwork such as building permits in addition to applying for incentives. These permits are specific to your location.
- Certain states, for example, require three feet of clear space around solar panels on a roof, whereas other parts of the country allow you to install panels across the entire surface of your roof.
- Your installer will be familiar with the restrictions and requirements of the states in which they operate and can assist you in determining which permits you to require – in many cases, the installer will complete this paperwork for you.
3. Order The Equipment
- Now that you’ve completed the necessary paperwork, your installer will be able to place an order for equipment through their primary distributor.
- You will have already decided on the equipment your system will include at this point – this decision occurs prior to the contract signing that details the total costs.
- However, if you’re looking for advice on equipment selection, here are a few things to think about. Solar panels and inverters are the two primary components you’ll need to evaluate for your clean energy system.
- Your installer will most likely recommend a specific brand for each, as well as a few alternatives.
- Most homeowners will compare the various brands based on durability, efficiency, and aesthetics (other than price).
4. Solar Installation
- The actual installation is an exciting day for any solar homeowner who prefers to use renewable energy rather than rely on a utility company.
- The installation will take between one and three days, depending on the size of the system you are installing.
- Installing a power meter for net metering is another factor that can add time to your installation.
- If your installer needs to add a power meter, this will extend the time it takes to install your solar panels.
- The final step in going solar is to “flip the switch,” so to speak, and start generating power from your rooftop.
- Before you can connect your solar panels to the electric grid, a representative from your town government must inspect and approve the system. During this inspection, the representative will essentially double-check the work of your installer.
- He or she will ensure that the electrical wiring was done correctly, that the mounting was securely attached, and that the overall installation complies with standard electrical and roof setback codes.
- You will be ready for official grid interconnection after this local inspection. Your utility company will send a representative to inspect the solar panel system.
Also read:- G Box Q Update: How To Update And Install – Full Tutorial 2022
Going solar has significant financial advantages: it lowers your monthly electricity bills and can even increase the value of your home. Solar incentives, such as the federal tax credit, can reduce your net cost by 26 percent, but solar is still a large investment, and the price tag can cause sticker shock.
It’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY and wondering, “Can you install solar panels yourself?” Simply put, you can—but there are some benefits and drawbacks to doing it alone. For example, it may not be the best option if you still require some utility energy, and installation can be difficult without professional assistance.
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