Thinking About Installing Your Own Residential Solar Panel System?
More and more homeowners are making the switch to solar power, and with good reason. Going solar is great for the environment, which is more important than ever with the effects of climate chance posing a looming threat. Having a solar panel system can also save you a great deal of money on energy costs.
Some people try to save even more money by installing their home solar panels themselves. It is recommended that you hire a professional installer to put in your solar panels for your safety and to make sure the job is done right. If you insist on doing it yourself, though, here’s a handy guide.
Step One: Installing the Racking
Your solar panels will likely be part of an array, which is a group of solar panels all linked together that absorb the sun’s rays and send its energy through photovoltaic (PV) cells into your home.
To get that array onto your roof, you need to start with racking. To install the racking, you will need to first attach stanchions to your roof. These stanchions will hold the racking in place so you can then apply your solar panel array.
Once the stanchions are in place, you can attach aluminum racks with stainless steel bolts. Make sure the racking measurements are consistent with the dimensions of your solar panel array.
Step Two: Connect the Panels to the Wiring
You will then lay down your array of solar panels and connect them to the wiring that connects to your electrical box. The solar panels cannot connect directly to the electrical box, because when the panels capture the sun’s energy, it captures it as direct current (DC).
Your lights and appliances use alternating current (AC), so you will need an inverter that converts the DC energy to useable AC energy. The wiring then goes from the inverter to your energy meter and then to the electrical box.
Step Three: Start Enjoying Energy Savings
As soon as your solar panels are connected, you will start to receive energy flowing into your home. While some solar panel energy systems will be “off the grid,” most homeowners have a “grid-tie” system. This means your solar energy system is connected to your local utility’s main power grid. This allows you to take advantage of a feature called “net metering.”
Net metering is a way to maximize the benefits of your new solar power array. When you need extra energy, the power company provides it. When you are drawing in more energy from the sun than you need, however, you “sell” that excess energy to the power company for credits. The power grid experiences less strain and you save money!
Stay Safe When Doing DIY Solar Panel Installations
Again, it’s important to stress that for your safety and to avoid complications, it is preferable to hire trained professionals to install your solar array. If you’re one of those types who has to do it all yourself, however, now you know what you need to do. Good luck and enjoy your new, environmentally friendly power source!