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Installing a residential solar system is one of the best decisions you can make. But, if you want to go solar, you should know how to install solar panels. With the knowledge, there are some small solar projects that you can do even if you are not a professional.
However, when dealing with large projects, you should hire experts to install the panels. With the knowledge of how to install solar energy panels, you can monitor the job to ensure it meets the required standards.
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to install solar panels at home.
What you Need to Know Before you Start
Your Power Needs
The energy demand in your home depends on the lighting systems and the appliances that will be powered using the electricity generated by the panels.
If you are already using electricity from the grid, you can find the energy you need from the panels by analyzing monthly energy bills. You can then decide to offset some or all of your electricity costs using solar power.
Number of Sun Hours
The amount of electricity generated by a panel depends on the number of sun hours in that location. The more the hours, the more energy you will get with a few solar modules. However, if the hours are less, you might need to install more panels to generate the same amount of power.
Therefore, know the number of sun hours in your area before you proceed with solar panels installation.
The Size and Design of Your Home
The physical size of your home determines how many solar panels you can install and where they can be mounted.
For example, a big house means that you have a large roof that can accommodate many panels. But you can install them on the ground if you have a small rooftop and unused land in your home.
The design of the roof will also determine whether it is possible to install the panels facing the direction of the sun.
How to Install Solar Panels
Follow the following steps during the installation.
Step 1: Find the Best Location
First, you should survey your property to identify the best place to install the panels.
Remember, just because the sun hits an area of your rooftop or property doesn’t mean it’s the best spot. The pitch and direction of the roof affect the efficiency of the solar modules.
Therefore, make sure you pick a location that will give the panels maximum exposure to the sun for most of the day.
Step 2: Build the Platform
Step two involves preparing the area for the placing of the modules. You can construct the platform using metal or aluminum rails.
Design the mounting system with the length and width of the panels in mind. Make sure it is strong enough so that it can withstand extreme weather.
Building a platform requires that you run conduits from the point of installation to inside the house, where the generated power will be processed.
Step 3: Mount the Panels
The panels are mounted on the platform using brackets, bolts, or clamps.
The role of the accessories is to ensure that the modules are held firmly on the platform.
Be careful when installing panels on the roof to avoid accidents and damages.
Step 4: Wiring
You will need to wire the solar modules together using junction connectors or a fuse combiner box. Make sure that the cables are well insulated to avoid power leakage and accidents. Once complete, connect the exterior wiring with the interior control panels.
The connection will allow energy to flow from the disconnect to a charge controller and battery bank for storage. Alternatively, it can flow from the disconnect to an inverter. Whether power will first flow into the charge controller or the inverter will depend on the type of solar power system in place.
The wiring stage is crucial. That is why you should not carry out solar panels installation if you are not a qualified technician. Instead, hire professionals who have experience with wiring to avoid injury or damage to the system.
Step 5: Ground the Panels and the Mounting System
Earthing the solar panels and the mounting system is crucial in the installation of panels. It will:
- Protect you and others from electric shock, which can be fatal
- Offer protection against fire that can be caused by the system
- Protect solar component against lightning since it causes a power surge
That is why you need to make sure the installation has grounding rods that should remain six inches above the ground.
The mounting system consists of metal, and that why it should be earthed. The control panel inside the house must also be grounded if there is no earthing network already in place.
Step 6: Connect the Electrical Components
The next step is to connect the electrical components properly. Since the wiring, determined by the type of solar system is already in place, fitting the parts should not be a challenge.
If the system has a battery backup, the number of components will be many. In this case, make sure connections between the panels, charge controller, battery, and the inverter are all correct. You can then direct the power from the inverter to the main electrical control panel of the house.
Step 7: The Test Run
Everything should be looked over once more before initializing a test run. The purpose of the test run is to ensure that everything is working correctly. Once complete, it’s time to close the book and start reaping the benefits of solar photovoltaic power.
How does Solar Photovoltaic System Work?
After you’ve installed solar panels, you should already be harnessing power from the most prevalent natural resource. But how does that work?
Once installed, solar panels absorb the sun’s energy, which they use to generate DC electricity. You can then store the produced power in storage batteries for use with DC devices.
Alternatively, the produced power can be converted to AC directly from the panels or the battery bank. You can then use it to run the many home appliances that operate exclusively on AC electricity.
Benefits of Installing Solar Panels
There are several reasons why having a solar power system is a wise decision.
First, solar energy benefits the environment since it is clean, renewable, and sustainable.
Secondly, you are investing in a renewable, sustainable, and easy-to-access energy resource that you can commodify to promote economic stability. For example, you can decide to sell excess electricity to the grid. By doing so, you will ensure the continuous availability of electrical power while also earning.
Finally, solar panels present a viable way to avoid the high and rising costs of traditional energy sources. With solar power, you don’t have to rely on the power from the grid, which can be expensive.
If you don’t have a solar system in place, it is time you invested in one. Use the steps provided on how to install solar panels yourself. However, if it is a large project, make sure you hire qualified technicians for the best residential solar power system.