Solar Panel Installation - How it Works


Solar panel installation is not a difficult process, but there are several things you should be aware of that will greatly reduce your success rate. First and foremost, if you are considering a do-it-yourself solar panel installation, make sure to educate yourself on the process as best as you can. In general, it takes between one to three days before your solar array is fully installed and producing electricity for your house. The following five-step solar panel installation guideline outlines the key steps you need to follow:

Have your questions ready when meeting with the solar contractor. Before you meet with the contractor, be prepared to ask them about the estimated time for installation, the equipment they will be using (i.e., inverter, batteries, etc.) and how you can pay for the project. When you get into the interview portion of the installation process, be honest about how long you want the project to take, any special needs you have and any questions you may have about the panels, the net metering system and or the electricity provider.

Determine how many panels you will need and how much energy they will produce at any given point in time. The number of panels you install determines the amount of electricity you can save. Generally, you can expect to save about 10% per watt of solar panel installation when using high quality, low-cost materials like crystalline silicon, indium phosphide or gallium nitrate. You'll want to get more info on designing custom solar systems today. 

Once you've chosen which design style you prefer and discussed costs with the solar panel installation professional, the installation process begins. Your roof must be flat, with an open span that allows direct sun light to enter the arrays. Depending on the time of day, the temperature of the sky can affect the setup. A qualified professional will install the system to your specifications. If there are existing structures on your roof, they must be removed to allow access to the installation area. You'll want to know that going solar happens in multiple steps

Next, a waterproof layer must be applied to the roof. Water is one of the most common barriers to solar panel installation. After applying the waterproofing compound, the installer will lay down the photovoltaic cells. These cells are the ones that will capture the sunlight and convert it into electricity. When installing solar panels, you must keep in mind that some jurisdictions require that the arrays are placed on the roof.

Finally, the installer will attach the electrical wires and deliver the equipment to the site. The site visit is the last step in solar panel installation. You can expect professional installers with experience in this field to visit your site and perform a walk through of the entire installation process. A site visit is also important to make sure that all the necessary permitting is in place for the installation. Thinking of a DIY solar panel install? This video is for you: