3 Things to Know in Solar Installation

The article begins with describing the use of solar panels at different rooms in your home. Later it discusses the need for assigning professionals for the installation process. It also gives some information on what to look in a professional installer.

If you are planning to make a lifelong investment to your home, then solar panel is invariably the right choice. Be it for getting more lights into the house or for air conditioning, solar panels have always satisfied the customers. They help you save money on power costs and act as a back up when the main supply black out. Since it is one of the biggest investments, it becomes important to make sure that everything with solar installations is proper and build to last. And also the trick lies in picking the right solar installer

Where solar installation can be used?

For rooms with just one light and no windows, you can put a solar tube for getting natural light compared to the harsh fluorescent lights. If you have an indoor garden, that requires natural light, you can make use of the solar panels any time of the year and in any climate. If you have any large rooms that appear dark even with the lights on, you can bring more luminosity by putting up some solar skylights.

It is useful to have some pleasant natural light at kitchen where it is always crowded and needs multiple lights. With solar lights on place, there will be a huge difference in the electricity bills. Using solar tube lights at home offices are a good decision since they spread the light throughout the room and lessen the glare on computers offering a softer natural light.

Professional solar installation

When it comes to installing a solar power system, especially on your roof, it is advisable to take professional help from installers or electricians. Basically the process involves tying the systems to a power inverter later connecting it to either the electric grid or a series of batteries. You need to adhere to certain fire and safety parameters when you are running power lines. Here the need for electrician arises.

It requires practice and expertise to mount the heavy panels on your roof top. There is the process of drilling holes and attaching the system right into it. You need to do plenty of research before trying to mount the system also before drilling the holes. For this action, you require sufficient tools like power drillers and ladders. It is wiser to take help from professional electricians for saving time as well as money. Also remember to check the roof’s warranty and insurance coverage.

How to choose professional installers?

You require an installer who will manage the entire supply line, source all of the components and take care of everything from start to finish. Make sure not to go with cheapest installer since they will be using lower quality components. You need to get premium quality power inverters that are resilient for the smooth operation of solar systems. A good installer will have a clear understanding of the whole system; he handles the purchase of the equipment as well as the installation.

The Beginners’ Guide to DIY Home Solar Installation

You may think that DIY home solar installation is too hard for you.

Perhaps you think it’s too technical or too big of a job for a do-it-yourselfer. The truth is that a DIY solar kit installation is possible for almost anyone. Besides, the long-term financial benefits and energy independence a photovoltaic system provides is more than worth the effort.

Why Switch to Solar Energy?

Homeowners have much to consider when evaluating the potential benefits of installing a solar system.

The biggest reason to adopt PV energy is the exceptional level of cost savings. Once your system is up and running, you will save on energy costs throughout the life of the system. And you can expect your PV panels to function at or near full capacity for 30 years or more!

But the benefits don’t just stop at the savings. Adding a solar panel array also:

  • Increases property values
  • Creates energy independence
  • Protects the environment
  • Sets a good example for your friends and neighbors

So, are you ready to get started?

Where to Begin with DIY Solar

A DIY solar installation requires a bit of planning. Find out:

  • Is there enough room on your roof or elsewhere on your property for an array?
  • Where is the most convenient place for you to place the array?
  • Does your roof or property have sun for most of the daylight hours?
  • Are there any obstructions such as trees or buildings that would block the sun?
  • Is your roof structurally sound? Can it handle the added weight of panels?

Once you’ve answered these questions and decided that solar energy will work for you, you’re ready to keep going. And don’t give up if you can’t unequivocally answer yes to every question. You can find any number of ways to work around shade or even a small roof.

Look at Your Electric Bills

Now, gather up your electric bills from the last 12 months to determine how much electricity you use during your highest months of usage.

Look for the kWh (kilowatt-hours) consumption numbers, and total them up for the year. Keep this number in mind so that you can refer back to it during the rest of your planning.

The size of the system you need will be determined by your highest monthly level of power use.

Select Your DIY Solar Kit Components

To build your own system you will need, at minimum:

  • Solar panels
  • A mounting system
  • An inverter

It’s important to note that an off-grid system requires a battery backup. This adds a level of complexity to the DIY process that most experts don’t recommend you attempt, unless you have direct experience.

The DIY Solar Installation Process

Professional installation is a large portion of the cost of a solar panel system, so doing the work yourself saves you big bucks.

It is extremely important, however, that you bring in a licensed electrician for the electrical connections. This costs more than doing the wiring yourself, but it isn’t an option in most states, unless you’re an electrician.

When it’s time to mount the panels, you must first prepare the mounting and racking system. These systems, especially SnapNrack products, are plug-and-play systems and are very easy to assemple.

The panels themselves are quite easy to mount, once the racking is attached to the roof. You simply need to lay the panels in play, connect together as you go, and ratchet them into place.

Now, have the electrician wire in the panel and voila! You should be ready to go!

Be sure that you purchase your DIY solar kit from a reputable and established source. This is the only way to ensure that your components come with a full warranty. Plus, a solar kit provider can be an invaluable resource for helping you design your system and for answering any questions you have throughout the DIY home solar installation process.

Buy Local When Choosing a Solar Installer Or Contractor

I am sure you have heard the words, “buy local,” when referring to locally grown food.  This motto is transferable to all other goods and services.  A locally owned business is more likely to produce income, jobs and tax receipts for a given community over many generations. 

As adoption for solar energy systems grows, your options for choosing a solar panel installer are increasing.  I want to first describe the major types of solar installers and then talk about why it makes sense to contract from a local solar panel installer. 

1. Solar Panel Manufacturers – Their business is primarily manufacturing panels, but they also bid on utility-scale photovoltaic projects. Solar Panel Manufacturers are well suited for larger projects since they can supply the panels directly and eliminate the middleman, reducing overall system costs.

2. National Solar Installers – National players usually operate in multiple states across the country, with many having their national headquarters in California.  National Solar Installers tend to handle the largest volume of installations per year.

3. Regional or Locally-owned Solar Installers – This group specializes in only solar installations for a certain local area usually designated by state. 

4. Other Contractors – The largest group of solar contractors are those that offer solar panel installations as  part of their portfolio, but specialize in something else – many are electricians, roofers, door and window contractors, or general contractors.

Why Buy Local?

  • Local contractors are better acquainted with the local weather conditions and how to design a system to fit those requirements.
  • A PV installer that is based in your area will be more familiar with regional permitting rules and electric codes reducing design errors, speeding up time to installation, and providing the best overall service.
  • Statistics show that buying from independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned business,  will infuse three times as much money in your region’s economy, strengthening the economic foundation of your community.
  • Locally owned contractors tend to make more local purchases requiring less transportation.  This reduces congestion and transportation-related emissions.
  • Small businesses hire locally and will support green jobs where you live.
  • A local installer will help you maximize the incentives for your solar projects because they have a greater awareness of different rebates, tax credits and exemptions, loan programs, SRECs, etc.