Renewable energy is the wave of the future, and adding solar panels to your home is an excellent way to begin generating your own green electricity. The installation process begins with assessing your home's energy needs, and then it progresses through the following steps.
1. Site Survey
After the initial interview to determine your solar needs, the first installation step is surveying your home. Your installer will fully inspect your roof and roof structure to see if it is up to the task if you are installing rooftop solar. For ground-based panel installation, your property must be surveyed to find the ideal spot and angle for panel installation. Your current electrical infrastructure will also be inspected prior to installation.
2. System Design
Once the survey is complete, it is sent off to the engineers. They will draw up a design for the solar system so it is sized to the site and your electrical needs, as well as orientated properly for the best electrical generation. They will also determine if any changes are necessary to the site, such as reinforcing roof supports to hold the additional weight of the solar panels.
3. Permit Applications
A solar system will likely require at least one permit and official inspection from your local building inspection office. You may also require permission from your local electrical utility company if you are going to be still using the main grid as backup or selling electricity back to the grid. The good news is that your solar installation service will handle permitting issues.
4. Prep & Installation
Once the paperwork is in place, installation begins. First, any site prep is completed. This may include replacing or repairing a roof or clearing land for a ground-based installation. Installation goes fairly quickly once the preparation is complete. In most cases, your panels will be installed and the electrical system hooked up within a day or two.
5. Activation Inspection
The last step is to complete any remaining inspections. These may include an inspection of the roof to verify structural integrity along with an inspection of the solar electrical system. If you are going to be sharing power with the grid, then you may also need to have an inspection performed by your electrical utility company. You can begin using the system after you have received permission to operate following the inspections.
Contact a solar panel installation service if you would like to learn more about your renewable energy options.