Essential Guide To Choosing And Installing Solar Panels

Solar panels are a long-term investment, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re choosing the best ones. In addition to price, other factors to consider include efficiency, durability, and certifications.

This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the entire process of going solar, from assessing your energy needs to finding a qualified installer and obtaining permits. Look for Solar Installation Darwin professionals to get started.

solar installation

Assess Your Energy Needs

Figure out how many panels your home needs by assessing your current energy usage. Look at the kilowatt-hours (kWh) you use every month as measured by your electric utility bill. It is best to have this number ready before you meet with a solar panel company, as the amount of energy your system produces will depend on several factors such as your location, the efficiency and output of the panels, and more.

Your average energy consumption is important to determine because it impacts the wattage capacity that you need from your solar panel system. This in turn dictates how much electricity your home or business can produce, and it is necessary to know this to maximize the benefits of going solar.

You can find your average energy consumption by looking at the kWh on your last 12 monthly electric bills and calculating it from there. You should also factor in any potential future additions to your electric appliance line, including an electric car.

Depending on your specific needs and goals, there are various types of solar panels that you can choose from. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most common and come in different sizes. They have a uniform dark appearance and rounded corners and are most efficient, meaning that they can convert more sunlight into electricity than polycrystalline or thin-film solar panels. They are also less prone to high-temperature effects and are the most affordable.

Other factors to consider are your roof size and type, as well as any nearby trees that could shade the panels in the future. Your local solar panel company will be able to provide you with a detailed assessment, recommendations, and estimates based on your particular needs. Once you have chosen an installer, be sure to carefully review their proposal and ask questions if needed.

Choose The Right Panels

The most significant investment in a solar energy system is the panels themselves, and it is important to make sure that you have the right ones for your needs. This can be done by assessing your electricity usage and then using our solar sizing guide to determine how many solar panels you will need. In addition, you will want to consider the type of panel, since this will impact how much energy it can generate. Other considerations include your location and whether or not you want a storage system for your energy.

Once you have a good idea of how many solar panels you will need, you can begin researching different options. A few key things to keep in mind when choosing a solar panel are efficiency and yield, warranty, durability, and aesthetics. The last of these can be especially important if you live in an area with high temperatures, as this will impact the performance of the panels.

In addition, you will want to compare prices to make sure that you are getting the best deal possible. Be sure to take into account the total cost of the system, which will include hardware, installation, connecting to the grid, permits, sales tax, and a warranty.

Once you have decided on a panel type, you will also need to determine how your system will be wired. This will help you create a diagram of the electrical configuration, which is required for permitting. Depending on your energy needs and available space, you may need to use a series or parallel wiring configuration. You will also need to decide if you are going with a hybrid or off-grid system and then choose the appropriate battery size.

Find A Reputable Installer

Before you make any commitments, be sure to research the installers you’re considering. You can find information online through Better Business Bureau searches and by plugging in the name of each installer. You can also ask friends and neighbors who have gone solar about their experiences with different companies.

Look for reviews that give standard metrics, such as the number of years in business, if they have any certifications, and whether they offer a money-back guarantee. Be wary of a company that only has star ratings without narratives. They may be able to attract customers with low prices, but they won’t be able to provide you with the quality system you deserve.

When you’re comparing quotes, make sure that each one lists the energy savings you can expect, as well as the cost of the equipment and installation. Look for a solar company that offers multiple financing options, and consider the impact of any local incentives on your project’s cost. It’s also important to decide whether you’ll purchase the solar panels outright, pay them in installments, or lease them. This decision has a big effect on the financial investment and tax consequences of your project.

When comparing quotes, be sure to choose a solar company that uses high-quality equipment and employs its installation crews. Be wary of companies with overly pushy salespeople, and avoid ones that use prices that are too good to be true. Once you’ve found an installer, be sure to read your contract carefully. It should reflect all of the information you’ve discussed with the installer, and it shouldn’t contain any surprises down the line. It’s also a good idea to make sure the company you choose carries a workmanship warranty.

Get Permits

In most states, a permit is required to install solar panels because your solar energy system will connect to the utility company. The permitting process is enforced by your municipality, city, or town’s building department to protect residents and ensure safety protocols are followed. In some cases, it may be necessary to also obtain a permit from your local fire department.

Many solar installers will take care of the permits on your behalf. They will first work with you to figure out what kind of system you need, then design it and provide you with an itemized quote. The final quote will usually include the permitting costs and fees. If you are going to get a permit on your own, start by searching the web with a query like “solar permitting [your location]” and then check with your city planning office or city utilities to see what is required in your area.

Most solar systems require an electrical permit and a construction work permit. The electrical permit must be issued to a licensed master electrician (LME), and the construction work permit must be issued to a general contractor.

It is also important to hire a professional engineer to verify that your home’s roof is engineered to support the weight of a solar system. If it is not, then you will need to repair or replace your roof before installing a solar system. After the construction and inspection are complete, the AHJ will stamp your permit and you can start generating electricity with your solar panel system. A post-installation inspection is typically conducted by a building inspector and a utility representative to ensure the system meets code and fire safety requirements.

Complete The Installation

Once all the paperwork and permits are in place, the installation of your solar panels can begin. This usually takes about three to six months to complete. However, it may take less time if you hire a professional to do the work.

Before starting the installation process, it is important to assess your energy needs and choose the right panels for your home. You will need to determine how much power you need to power all your appliances, lights, and other electrical devices. To do this, you will need to use a sizing tool. A sizing tool will help you determine how many solar panels your home will need. It is important to not underestimate your power requirements, as you will end up spending more on your system than necessary. It is also a good idea to compare prices and features of different solar panel options. Make sure to consider key specifications, such as size, efficiency, and weather resistance.

Installing the batteries and inverter is the next step in the solar panel installation process. The battery will store the electricity that is produced by your solar panels, and the inverter will convert the DC power from the batteries into AC power that can be used throughout your house. Once these are installed, it is a good idea to install an energy meter. This will allow you to see how much electricity your solar system is producing and how much you are using.

Finally, you will need to set up a monitoring system to keep track of your system’s performance. This can be done through a website or an app, which will notify you of any issues with your system. Depending on your location, you might need to get an onsite utility inspection before your PV system is activated.