03 Apr What is the process of installing solar panels?
Solar panels are an effective way to reduce your dependency on the grid. Businesses and homeowners alike can benefit from solar panel installation, with even small 4kWh systems being capable of powering appliances and lighting.
Depending on the size of your property, you will need a solar panel installation with a 3.5 to 10kWh power rating. A beefy 10kWh system is suitable for offices and power-hungry buildings, while a 3.5kWh system is suitable for small homes.
The installation of solar panels on a roof is a job best left to professionals. You’re going to want the highest-quality installation, so that your solar panels function properly and continue to do so for many years. Amateur installations, or DIY jobs, run the risk of improper hardware setup and at worst, roof damage.
Installing Solar Panels
The installation process itself involves the installation of two things:
- The inverter;
- The solar panels.
Inverters convert direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC), and since solar panels generate DC and the grid runs on AC, an inverter is always needed.
The inverter is a box that’s usually installed inside your home. Garages are a popular installation point, and basements can also hold the inverter. Exterior installations are possible; however, the inverter may need to be shielded from bad weather.
When installing your inverter, the power to your home will need to be cut off. The inverter is wired into your system, before the solar panels are installed.
The Solar Panels
Installing the solar panels is relatively simple. On both flat and pitched roofs, the solar panels are affixed to the roof by frames and clamps. Depending on the type of installation at hand, a penetrating or non-penetrating mounting kit can be used.
Most installers use non-penetrating mounting kits, since they are just as effective. On a pitched roof with an angle of 10 to 60 degrees, a fixed frame can be used, since there is no need for the solar panels to tilt. On a flat roof, a tilting frame may be needed.
Once the solar panels have been affixed to the roof, they are connected to the inverter and the inverter is then checked over, to ensure a safe connection to the mains. The mains power supply is then turned on, and a test is performed to make sure the installation is safe and fully operational. All in all, solar panel installation takes around one day, although some installations can take a few days depending on the size of the job.