What You Need to Know About Solar Panel Installation
Solar panel installation is a great way to save money on electricity costs and help the environment. But it’s important to get it done right the first time to avoid unnecessary costs. It’s also worth working with an experienced company that knows what they’re doing.
The number of panels required depends on your home’s size and energy needs. You can use a solar calculator to estimate how many you need and what size system will generate enough energy for your needs.
If you have a rooftop array, be sure to mount the panels in an orientation that maximizes sun exposure. A south-facing roof is best for this. If you don’t have a south-facing roof, consider mounting the panels on an exterior wall instead.
Wiring is the heart of a solar system. You need to connect the panels to your electrical system and any batteries you choose. Most solar manufacturers provide wiring instructions or a video to walk you through the process.
Depending on your system, you may also need to install a grid-tie backfeed breaker to allow the solar energy to feed into the grid. This device can be added to your main breaker panel or mounted as an add-on accessory to your existing breaker panel.
Grounding is another important part of the solar installation process. It ensures that the power from your solar panels is safely transferred to your house and to your utility provider’s distribution grid. This process involves attaching neutral-to-ground wires to each of the individual solar panels and racking components, as well as to your property’s ground.
You can also install a battery bank to store extra energy from your solar panels for use when the sun isn’t shining. Typically, a smaller battery system will be enough to run refrigerators, lights, and appliances that don’t require much energy on a regular basis.
When deciding on the type of batteries to purchase, be sure to weigh their cost against the federal investment tax credit and any other incentives offered in your area. You’ll also need to determine how many batteries your system needs to be able to handle your customers’ household power demands.
Batteries are an important addition to any solar panel system, and should be considered when choosing your system’s overall size. Larger systems are more expensive up front, but they’re typically easier to install and produce more power.
To keep your batteries at a good, long-term charge, you’ll need to make sure they’re charged on a routine basis, using the same system as your panels. Your installer will work with you to schedule a routine battery charging service, which can be done at the same time as your solar panel installation.
Permitting and interconnection fees are also a factor in solar panel prices, though they’re usually baked into your system’s turnkey price. Your installer will pull the necessary permits and submit the application to your local jurisdiction, and they’ll then work with your utility to complete the interconnection process.