Installing a home solar system is one of the best gifts for your family. You will save on utility bills, conserve the environment, and even create jobs. However, if you want to go solar, you must first understand how to install solar panels. There are some solar projects that you can install with little knowledge, even if you aren’t a professional.
But when dealing with larger projects, the installation process might get tricky, and you’ll end up hiring an expert to do the job.
How to Install Solar Panels on the Roof
The following are things to consider before the installation process:
1. The Size of Your Home
your home’s physical design will determine the number of solar panels to install and where you can mount them. For instance, big houses with large roofs can accommodate more panels compared to small roofs.
Additionally, the roof design determines if it’s possible to fix the solar facing the sun’s direction.
2. Accessories & Materials Necessary
The next thing to do is making a quick checklist of materials necessary for the installation. They include a battery, power inverter, charge controller, and solar panels.
3. Energy Consumption
The power requirement in your residential place depends on the appliances and the lighting systems that use electricity. When using power from the grid, you’ll get the energy needed from solar energy through analyzing your monthly energy bills. After that, you can offset most of your electricity expenses with solar energy.
4. Number of Sun Hours
According to TurbineGenerator, Texas has approximately 5 sun hours in a day. The energy produced by a solar panel depends on the number of sun hours in that area. The more the sun hours, the more power you receive with a few solar panels. But if the sun hours are less, you’ll have to fix more panels to deliver the same amount of power.
That’s why it’s vital to understand the number of sun hours in your locality before you start installing the solar panels.
Step-by-step Guide to Install Solar Panels on your Roof
Step 1: Choose the Right Location
Start by surveying your house to find the best location to fix the solar panels.
Don’t forget that just because the sun targets a specific area within the rooftop doesn’t mean it’s the right place to place the panels. The direction and the pitch of your roof affect the efficiency of the solar modules.
Therefore, be sure to use a location that will offer the panels proper exposure to the sun.
Step 2: Mount Installation
The next thing to do is fixing the roof mounts that will hold the solar panels. It can be flush mounts or roof-ground mounts, but this depends on the installation requirement. Additionally, the base structure offers maximum sturdiness and support, and more care is given on the direction under which the PV panels will be fixed.
Additionally, the mounting structure should be tilted slightly at an angle of between 18-36 degrees Celsius. Most solar panel installation organizations use a solar tracker to boost conversion efficiency.
When designing the mounting system, ensure you have in mind the width and length. Please make mounting strong to sustain extreme weather conditions.
Step 3: Now Install the Panels
Now it’s time to fix the panels on the mounting structure. You can do this by tightening the bolts and nuts. The role of the bolts is to make sure that the modules are firmly held on the platform.
You must be careful while installing the solar panels to get rid of damages and accidents.
Step 4: Do The Wiring
While doing the wiring, you have to wire together the solar modules using a fused combiner or junction connector. Ensure that the cables are properly insulated to prevent power accidents from leakages. Once you complete, fix the interior control panels with the exterior wiring.
The connection allows energy to move from the disconnect to the charge controller system, then to the battery bank for power storage. Power can also flow directly from the disconnect to the inverter.
The wiring process is very crucial, and that’s why you shouldn’t do the installation personally when you aren’t an expert. Instead, look for professionals with good experience in wiring to prevent damage or injury to the system.
Step 5: Ground the Mounting System and The Panels
Earthing the mounting system plus the solar panels is vital during the panel installation since:
- Offer safety against chances of fire that may arise from the system
- Protects you and your family from the electric shock that may be catastrophic
- Protects the solar panels against lightning as it creates a power surge
That’s why you must install the grounding rods about six inches above the ground. Furthermore, the mounting system is made of metal; that’s why you must earth it. You must also ground the control panel inside the house if you lack an earthing network in place.
Step 6: Connect Your Electrical Components
Since the connection determined by the kind of solar system is in place, connecting the remaining parts should never be a a big deal. In case the system has a battery backup, you can place as many components as possible.
But in this case, you must use the right connections between the charge controller, battery, and solar panels. From there, direct the power from the inverter to the control panel of your house.
Step 7: Perform A Test Run
It would be best if you looked over everything once again before you initialize a test run. The primary purpose of carrying out a test run is to ensure that every connection is properly working. Immediately after you finish, you can now close the book then begin reaping the benefits of solar energy.
How to Install Ground-Mounted Solar Panels
If you choose to ground mount the solar panels, here’s the process
Step 1: Build a Strong Foundation
Even though Ground mounting is different from roof mounting, most principles still apply. Therefore, start by building a sturdy foundation under which you’ll fix the racking rails by pouring concrete and setting piers. Make sure you use protective gear while doing this to prevent injuries. Here are some important guidelines for setting up a foundation:
- Make sure the ground is level.
- Use a string line or chalk to mark the exterior measurements and the location of the piers.
- Construct a temporary lumber substructure to place the piping in a superior position as the concrete solidifies.
- Get everything else in a good position before mixing the concrete once it’s wet, and you won’t get time to make changes and adjust forms.
- Relax for one week between constructing the piers and constructing the rest of the array. The concrete takes about three weeks to dry fully. Don’t touch the wooden brace until the concrete is cured fully.
Step 2: Install the Racking Rails
The racking report specifies the spacing for the system plus the rail size. You must keep it handy during this process.
Start by spacing the rails to match the mounting holes’ measurement at the back of the panel. The exact sizes are on the racking report.
When you start a new row, create some space to accommodate the panel overhang on both sides. Additionally, make a ½ to 1-inch gap between the panels.
Step 3: Mount the Panels
With the racking rails housed and installed in a strong concrete foundation, the solar panels are now ready for mounting.
- Position the panel in a proper place to allow the mounting holes to line up with the rails. Use Universal Fastening Object clamps to hold the panel in place. Begin with the far end on the array’s exterior side and then drop the T-bolt in the slot within the rail.
- Next, torque the clamps using stopper sleeves to make them snug against the exterior sides of the first panel then lock it in place.
- After that, slot the second pair of clamps on the first panel’s inner edge then position the next panel on the rails to ensure that the clamps are wedged between all the panels.
- Properly tighten the clamps on the panels then do the same for each panel within your array.
Step 3: Battery Installation
When installing an off-grid system, the last phase of the installation process is establishing a battery bank. Once done with the installation process, your city or country inspector should sign off on it. Accomplish this by planning an inspection meeting with them.
If you still don’t have solar panels fixed in your home, it’s time to invest in one. Use the steps above to install it personally. But when the project is large, be sure to hire experts.
We can help you install solar panels and say goodbye to utility bills. Get in touch with us for a free solar quote. Enjoy free energy from solar!