Solar energy has provided a nice alternative source of energy not only because of the financial burden that it has lifted from the consumers pockets, but also because of the fact that it is clean energy and doesn’t cause harm to our environment. Installing a solar panel to your home should, therefore, not be rocket science. However, many people still mess up the installation and, in the process, sometimes mess themselves up. Below are some of the lessons I share with potential installers.
Surveying the location you want to set up in order to establish whether it is appropriate should be the first step when planning to install solar panels. Solar panels are usually mounted on the roof. They should be mounted in such a way that they have unobstructed access to the rays of the sun from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The required area for solar panels for small commercial and residential buildings can be as little as 50 feet and the orientation of the panels should be in such a way that its able to get maximum access to the sun rays. Even a small obstruction from a leafless tree can greatly reduce the efficiency of the solar panels.
Choose your system
After evaluating your installation location and knowing its strengths and weaknesses, choosing the right solar system is key. In areas with little roof space, one can consider using pole mounted panels that work equally as well as the roof mounted panels. Various factors are also to be considered. The amount of power you want and how much sunlight your area gets are some of the considerations to be taken into account.
Like any other technical job that requires physical activity, solar panel installation comes with its own set of precautionary measures. It is advisable to therefore take the set of precaution measures that come with the manual of your solar panels. You are likely to see a warning on sitting on the glass panels as it may cause breakage and also it is advised that you use the specified tools and materials as using materials that are not recommended may cause the mounts to be weak.
Get right design
This is one of the most important processes. You need to know where the inverters and batteries go. Luckily the, manual usually avails this type of information. The batteries have to be protected from the elements and also well ventilated sine they produce hydrogen gas that is highly flammable. The cables should be preferably kept indoors and made the shortest they can be.
Hire a technician
This is perhaps the most important lesson I learnt from solar panel installation. Get yourself a technician. That is why they have the expertise and you don’t. They are qualified to handle the installation without the unnecessary risk of loss on your part.
North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners: Study Guide for Photovoltaic System Installers
Minneapolis Saint Paul Solar Cities Program: Solar Ready Building Design Guidelines for the Twin Cities
U.S. Department of Energy: Siting Your Small Solar Electric System
U.S. Department of Energy: Installing and Maintaining a Small Solar Electric System
Solar Pro: How Inverters Work