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It’s a frequent misperception that installing solar energy is time-consuming, challenging, and stressful. Sometimes, the homeowner may feel this way because of a difficult previous experience they had working with a contractor for house improvements. In contrast to other types of home remodeling, the installation of solar panels is a highly scientific and exact process that calls for extensive electrical training and certification.
Solar panel installation blog.stella
The majority of solar panel installations include a quick, easy, streamlined process that can be simple for both the homeowner and the contractor, while a few installations may bring problems that cause the process to take longer. Let’s examine each step in the process to shed light on what goes into a typical solar installation so that homeowners will understand exactly what they are agreeing to when they choose to go solar for cost-savings.
1. Choose a Solar Installer
Every household should start the process of installing solar panels by researching local installers. San Diego has seen hundreds of solar installers come and go over the years, and many of them fall short owing to subpar installation procedures, aggressive sales tactics, deceptive contracts, and unfulfilled promises. Due to this, home owners should ensure that the San Diego solar panel company they choose has a solid track record: they have established themselves as a reliable, successful company that has been around long enough to demonstrate that they offer high-quality installations and excellent customer service.
The greatest place for homeowners to find these reputable neighborhood businesses is on review websites like Yelp, Google, and niche directories like Solar Reviews. Ensure that the reviews are generally favorable. Check to discover what steps the business may have made to try and address the disagreement or misunderstanding if there are unfavorable reviews.
Verify the company’s “in good standing” membership with the Better Business Bureau. Members must settle any conflicts or issues swiftly and to everyone’s satisfaction in order to maintain this A+ rating.
Local recognition, such as awards and media polls, is another way to spot high-quality neighborhood businesses. For instance, the Union-Tribune Readers “Best of San Diego” Poll in San Diego is a terrific approach to find outstanding regional businesses who have continuously gained the trust of their clients.
2. Sign a Contract
The homeowner signs a contract with the company they feel offers the best value and can be relied upon to best suit their unique needs after deciding on a few firms and comparing quotations. Before signing anything, the homeowner should understand all of the contract’s conditions. Being certain that everything is clear at the outset is crucial for moving forward with the procedure because the solar panels will be on the roof for a considerable amount of time. In the state of California, homeowners are free to terminate any signed home improvement contracts without incurring any fees as long as the cancellation is made within three (3) business days.
3. Site Evaluation
Before beginning the construction process, the site evaluation makes sure that your home complies with all standards for solar panel installation. The solar installer will visit the house after the contract is signed and perform a thorough assessment of the roof and electrical service panel. This enables them to obtain the precise measurements and technical information required for the design and drawing of architectural drawings for the system installation. Typically, a solar firm engineer is the person who comes out to conduct the examination.
The engineer will normally evaluate the roof of the house as part of the site study to make sure it is in good shape and can support the racking for the solar systems. The solar firm will normally discuss this with the homeowner and can recommend a roofing contractor to complete this roof work concurrently with the installation of the solar panels if the roof has any weak places or locations where shingles need to be fixed before the solar is put. By coordinating the work in this way, the solar firm and the roofing contractor may both maintain the general integrity of the roof surface during the installation of the solar panels on the roof without having to remove the installed solar systems at a later date to make repairs.
The engineer will also examine the home’s service panel to make sure the solar system will work with it. The engineer will discuss other options, which may include replacing the electric service panel with a larger one, if the capacity of the electric service panel and its main circuit breaker (MCB) box (expressed in amps, such as 100A or 125A) cannot accommodate the size of the solar energy system being installed (e.g., replacing 100A panel with a 200A panel). Typically, the solar installer or, if necessary, a different certified electrician who specializes in electric panel improvements, can also offer this service.
4. Design Creation and Review
The solar installer will next start working on designing the solar system based on the site assessment and the final contract. They will design a system that is visually beautiful, structurally sound, and provides the most solar energy possible, taking into account the available roof space (or ground space, if the client prefers a ground-mount installation of solar panels). The homeowner is notified after the design is finished and asked to examine and approve it.
It’s crucial for the homeowner to look into this and find out what regulations apply because after the homeowner has accepted the design, the Homeowner’s Association or HOA may also need to approve it. Some HOAs have extremely severe criteria for solar energy installation, which may involve providing copies of plans, etc., for the HOA committee, depending on the jurisdiction (locality). The “Solar Rights Act” of California forbids HOAs from refusing permission for solar power installations for simply aesthetic reasons. The solar installation business can cooperate with the HOA’s rules for uniform installation, which are permitted by the law. When creating the first design, it is crucial to be aware of these laws.
5. Permit/ Paperwork Filing
The solar provider will start applying for the necessary approvals and electrical permits for an installation once the design is finished and accepted by all parties. The solar provider should be aware of all the requirements and constraints of every jurisdiction within their service region as permit requirements differ from city to city. The permission office will send the design back for revisions if it doesn’t adhere to local codes and standards.
The homeowner should receive assistance from the solar contractor in filling out any necessary financial paperwork. Providing or completing forms for incentives, regional solar programs, clean energy finance schemes, or forms to claim the federal solar tax credit are a few examples of how to do this. To help the homeowner take advantage of as many of these programs as possible, the solar installation should be knowledgeable about all of them.
6. Equipment Ordering – Installation Scheduling
The solar installer will then order the necessary installation equipment from the distributor after completing all paperwork and obtaining all applicable licenses. The installer will then arrange a time for the installation so that it can begin as soon as the panels arrive. There may be a longer wait time to finish installation during busier months (especially 3rd and 4th Quarter), which may be caused by high traffic levels and potential delays at city permission offices, city inspectors, utility reviewers, and even goods delivery. This is why choosing to go solar off-peak can guarantee that the installation is completed quickly and timely – and may even allow for a product discount too!
7. System Activation
The system can be turned on after receiving permission to operate from the utility (turned on). Typically, all that is required to do this is to flip a switch, either on the inverter or in the circuit breaker box. If this occurs during the day, the system will be able to generate electricity and, in many situations, begin transferring power back to the grid for credit. The solar installer should walk the homeowner through every step of the monitoring system and other system components before or after this point to familiarize them with how the system functions as a whole and answer any questions. The latest wireless monitoring technology that comes with the system may give a lot of information about the system’s state and provide data on how much energy is produced. Currently installed solar energy systems require relatively little homeowner involvement once they are engaged. Understanding these reports allows you to independently verify that the system is functioning normally and eliminates the need for you to accept the utility’s word for it when they send out a bill.
That concludes the step-by-step breakdown of a typical solar installation process. A typical installation lasts around a month from beginning to end (during off-peak times) and shouldn’t ever take longer than about three months (during peak periods).
As you can see, there are countless advantages to adding solar panels to your home’s roof. Our San Diego solar power experts at SunPower by Stellar Solar have streamlined this procedure so that we can finish high-quality, trustworthy installations quicker than any other business in San Diego. Ask us about our 30-day install if you’re in a rush or have unique requirements because of your travel plans, etc.
Solar Panel Installation Guide
This guide to installing solar panels includes instructions, a training video, and information on government programmes and subsidies.
Solar Panel Installation Tips
Before you can install a solar panel, there are a few questions that must be addressed.
Where can I purchase solar panels?
You can purchase solar panels from different solar energy companies and even online stores.
Where to Install Solar Panels?
Typically, solar panels are mounted on building tops, standalone facilities, or rooftops. Installing your solar panel where it receives the most direct sunlight is crucial.
Solar panels work best when they are exposed to direct sunlight. To get the most out of your photovoltaic unit, attempt to install your solar power system with your photovoltaic panels right beneath the noontime sun.
Remove any sunlight barriers before installation. Clear your solar unit of all unneeded obstructions and objects, such as branches, that could block sunlight. Additionally, you should follow the course of the sun in the sky to make sure nothing will block your solar photovoltaic panels with a shadow. This shadow will reduce the working efficiency of your solar energy equipment.
Types of Solar Panel Mounts
Photovoltaic panels are installed using solar panel mounts. There are three basic categories of these mounts:
roof-ground mounts, flush mounts, and pole mounts.
You may put your solar panel on your roof, an RV, a rooftop, or the side of a pole with the use of these mounts. Even installing them as a standalone unit is an option.
Things to Do Before Solar Panel Installation
Calculating the cost of installing a system of a certain type and size is the first step. Keep in mind that the governments of various nations offer subsidies to promote the installation of solar panels and the usage of renewable energy. The subsidy varies depending on the nation. For instance, the USA’s subsidies are different from those granted in China or India.
The next stage is to create a list of the components for a solar energy system, including the battery, charge controller, power inverter, and solar panels.
Size of the System
The required size of the solar system must then be determined. The total wattage of all the electrical devices you want to utilise should be included. Determine the number of hours a day that the appliances will be used.
If you take the aforementioned actions, you will be able to determine the required power, required solar battery size, and required wire size. Keep in mind that the right wire size will allow optimal power transfer to your batteries and prevent the wires from overheating.
Solar Panel Installation Guide – Step by Step Process
Electricity can be produced using solar panels for both domestic and business use. In both situations, the photovoltaic panels are put on the roof to get the most sunlight possible and produce the most electricity from the system.
Step-1: Mount Installation
The mounts needed to hold the solar panels must first be fixed. Depending on the need, it may be flush mounts or roof-ground mounts. Support and durability are provided by this basic structure. The direction in which the PV panels—monocrystalline or polycrystalline—will be mounted is carefully considered. The optimum direction to face solar panels for nations in the Northern Hemisphere is south because it receives the most sunshine. Directions to the east and west will also work. The ideal direction is north for nations in the Southern Hemisphere.
Again, a minor tilt is required for the mounting structure. The tilt’s angle can range from 18 to 36 degrees. A solar tracker is frequently used by businesses to improve conversion efficiency.
Step-2: Install the Solar Panels
The solar panels must then be attached to the mounting system as the next stage. Nuts and bolts are tightened to do this. To ensure that the entire structure is solid and long-lasting, care is taken to properly secure it.
Step-3: Do Electrical Wiring
The electrical wiring comes next. Since they may be linked to all types of solar panels, universal connectors like MC4 are utilised during wiring. The following set of connections between these panels is possible electrically:
Series Connection: In this arrangement, the Positive (+) and Negative (-) wires of two PV modules are connected in series. The voltage match with the battery bank is improved with this style of wiring.
Positive (+) to Positive (+) and negative (-) to negative (-) connections are made in this instance. Each panel’s wiring voltage remains the same.
Step-4: Connect the System to Solar Inverter
The system must next be connected to a solar inverter. Both the Positive and Negative wires from the solar panel are linked to the inverter’s Positive and Negative terminals, respectively.
The grid input and solar battery are then linked to the solar inverter to create electricity.
Step-5: Connect Solar Inverter and Solar Battery
The solar inverter and solar battery must then be connected. Positive to positive and negative to negative connections are made between the battery’s positive terminal and the inverter’s positive terminal. To store backup electricity, an off-grid solar system needs batteries.
Step-6: Connect Solar Inverter to the Grid
The inverter must then be connected to the grid. A regular plug is used to connect to the main power switch board in order to create this connection. The electric board that supplies electricity to the dwelling is connected with an output wire.
Step: 7: Start Solar Inverter
It’s time to turn on the inverter switch at the main switch of the house now that all of the electrical cabling and connections have been made. The majority of solar inverters have a digital display that shows statistics on the generation and usage of solar equipment.