What Are The Components In A Residential Solar Panels Installation?

Are you considering a solar panel installation? Solar technology can help you reduce your electricity consumption. In addition, it is an environmentally friendly energy source; meaning you’re leaving a zero carbon footprint. Before signing up for this technology, it helps to know what the components of a solar installation are and how they work.

Solar power systems contain an arrangement of solar panels, an inverter with a controller and a mounting system. Your panels, which are typically mounted on the roof and sometimes in the yard, will capture direct sunlight and generate direct current electricity. It is then sent to the inverter where direct current will be transferred into alternating current for use within the home. The controller is responsible for regulating your solar system so that it performs optimally. A normal system is programmed to stop working the moment it experiences a power interruption. In situations where there is no connection to the utility grid or no access to back up power, batteries will be also required.

Listed below are the components in a Residential Solar Panels Installation:

Solar Panels

Whether it’s a commercial or residential installation, for most customers the roof is one of the best places to mount your solar panels. It naturally has the structural requirements that a panel installation requires. With appropriate mounting hardware and flashings, the installer will mount your solar panels. In case your roof is deemed an unsuitable location, other mounting options may be used such as ground-mount, ground pole, trackers, shade awnings, etc.

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Inverter

In a solar panel installation, the inverter is usually installed near your main panel or outside. The components of an inverter are made of solid-state electronics. They have their optimal performance in cool conditions, therefore it’s recommended that you install them out of the sun. Hence, your electrical panel is the best place.

 solar panel installation

This enables you to view your panels’ performance via a wireless device or computer. Most solar power companies have a convenient app that you need to download onto your mobile device. This enables you to access solar production statistics anywhere and anytime!

Additional Hardware

In case you prefer a stand-alone energy system or a battery-backed system, you will require additional hardware. Your solar installation company will provide this for you. In some back-up or stand-alone systems, a gas generator may be necessary. The size of your battery bank will vary in size and according to your power load, but most require 10 to 20ft. of space and venting.

Ready for a solar panel installation? Contact Pssolarsystems.

10 Questions To Ask Before Installing Solar Panels

Every day, more people are becoming aware of finding an alternative and sustainable means of heating and lighting for their homes. Solar power technology has propelled this need even further. Slowly but surely, more homeowners are opting for solar panels as their primary source of energy. Not only does it provide significant savings on your electricity bill but it definitely leaves a next-to-zero carbon footprint; a win-win situation for homeowners and the environment!

If you’re shopping for solar technology, be sure you ask and seek answers to the following questions:

#1. Does your area receive sufficient sunlight?

One of the most important requirements for solar panels is ample sunlight. This will help you enjoy significant energy savings from installing your panels. Research the weather conditions in your area over the past few years. Don’t forget to determine the amount of rainfall for your area.

#2. Is your roof adequate for solar panels?

Some roofs are better suited for solar panels over others. If your roof needs to be upgraded in the next few years, then installing panels is not a good idea. Once the panels are installed, they’re difficult to uninstall for roof repair or replacement.

In addition, examine the angle of your roof to determine the amount of sunlight it receives. If there are trees blocking your roof, you might want to get them trimmed before installing your panels.

#3. Which panel option is best for you?

There are many types of solar panel options. Before commencing shopping, be sure to know how to accurately evaluate solar panels. You want to find a balance between efficiency, quality, and budget.

#4. How much savings will you get from your panels?

This is a logical question and one that likely impelled you to consider solar panel technology. You should consider speaking to a friend or neighbor who is already enjoying the benefit of solar technology. In addition, speak to a couple of installers and request an estimate.

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#5. Which installer should you hire?

To find the best installer, research the Internet for solar panel companies. Read their reviews left by previous customers. Call them and ask specific questions, i.e. about the installation process, hidden costs, savings, etc. Next, speak to a relative, friend or neighbor who is currently using solar technology. It will help you in your decision.

#6. Are your panels connected to the grid?

Based on the location of your home, will the power company be able to form a connection with your grid? Phone them ahead and discuss their fares. Don’t forget to research the law in your state regarding electricity. In some states, it takes longer to receive savings.

#7. Should you lease or purchase solar panels?

The answer to this will depend on your financial position. Some people fare better with one option over another. Carefully read the pros and cons of both options before making a final decision.

#8. What terms are stated in your contract?

If you reside in a rented building or opt to lease your panels, examine and understand your contract carefully. In some cases, landlords prohibit solar panel. Some leases clearly outline the types of buildings suitable for installation.

#9. How are the panels installed?

It is extremely important for you to know how panels are installed, i.e. safe panel installation. This prepares you to know how the process starts and finishes. It is a good way to gauge whether the installer is reliable or not.

#10 How do you maintain solar panels?

It’s easy to forget something that you don’t see every day, but solar panels must be cared for on a routine basis. There are simple ways to clean the debris off your solar panels. Depending on where you live, this needs to be done at least twice a year. Your installer will guide you on the method and cleaning solution required. Proper maintenance can increase the lifespan of your panels for up to forty years!

Purchasing solar panels is a rather important decision. There are many variables to consider. However, with a little research and by asking the right questions, you can take advantage of the earth’s sustainable energy. Investing in solar power technology is as good as saving money and reducing your carbon footprint.

To learn more about solar panel installation, get in touch with Pssolarsystems

2018 Solar Panel Installation Guide: 5 Step Process

Congratulations. Your decision to opt for solar power is beneficial to both yourself and the environment. Get ready to enjoy Mother Nature’s bounty with your very own solar panels!

From the day you purchase your solar panels to the day they begin to power your home can take up to three months. Much of this wait arises from the installation process and time it takes to connect your panels to power grid.

Listed below is your 2018 solar panel installation guide: 5 step process

#1 Engineer’s Visit

After signing the solar contract (through a lease, cash purchase, power purchase agreement or loan), an engineer will be scheduled to visit your home to assess its electrical status and ensure compatibility with the new energy system. Engineers usually work in conjunction with installers but may also be independent contractors hired by the installer. The engineer’s visit occurs with a couple of days after you have signed the contract.

What can you expect during the engineer’s visit?

He/she will assess your roof’s condition to ensure that it is structurally sound. They will also examine the electrical panel (grey box located in the basement) to determine whether it needs an upgrade. If an upgrade is required, this means your panels will need additional amps of current. Your electrical box will need to increase its ampere capacity accordingly.

solar-panel

 

Is the engineer’s visit and installer’s visit the same?

No. Both site visits are different. The installer’s visit is a general one. He or she will evaluate your roof type, shading, roof angle, system size required, etc. before a contract is signed. The installer may also take photographs of your property and take measurements of the roof.

#2 Signing Documents and Obtaining Permits

Obtaining solar panel installation is a considerable financial decision. There is a lot of paperwork involved, although most of it is handled by the installer. However it pays heed to know what’s involved behind the scenes. One of the most important things you need to apply for are federal and state solar incentives such as local solar programs, federal ITC, clean energy financing, SRECs (solar renewable energy certificates and government rebates.

Apart from incentives, you need to apply for building permits. These are location specific. For example, in some states a 3 feet clearing space is required on the roof surrounding the panels. Your installer will be well versed in these requirements and restrictions. They can assist you in determining which permits are required. In some cases, the installer may just complete the paperwork for you. The time required to complete this step will depend on your installer. While this step is being completed, be sure to follow up on the progress of the paperwork.

#3 Ordering Equipment

In this step, you will select your panels and inverter and schedule an appointment for solar panel installation. These decisions are made before signing the contract. The order is placed with the installer’s primary distributor.

There are two important components to your solar installation: the inverters and solar panels. Many homeowners take into account the price, efficiency, durability and aesthetics of the brand they’re considering. To be confident in your purchase, conduct research on your own and learn the differences between power optimizers, string inverters and micro-inverters. In addition, seek out what are the best rated solar panel brands in the market. This step will help you feel informed and prepared prior to the installation process. Solar companies aren’t as busy during the winter.

Once the equipment order is placed, your home will be listed on the installer’s queue. The time until your panel is installed will vary according to how many installations are there prior to yours. To reduce this time, opt for a winter installation.

#4 Installation of the Solar Panel

This is an exciting day for every homeowner. To ensure your installation proceeds without any hiccups, prep your roof beforehand. Ensure all tiles or shingles are properly attached. In addition, there shouldn’t be any debris on your roof. If there are large trees on your property that are in direct sight of your panels, make sure they are trimmed.

When the installer arrives, they will start by placing electrical wiring to connect your panel and the general power system. After the wiring is complete, the racking system that will support your panels will be installed. This is the only item that will be attached to your roof. Lastly, your inverter will be connected to your panels. (They are instrumental in converting direct current into alternating current, to be used on the electric grid and in your home.)

The time taken for the entire installation process will vary from one up to three days. This depends largely on the size of the system. If you’re opting for net metering, a power meter will be required which will increase your installation time.

#5 Interconnection and Approval

In this final step, you’re literally flipping on the switch and generating power from your rooftop panels. Before your panels are linked to the electric grid, a government inspection of your solar installation will occur. This includes inspecting the electrical panel, the wiring, the mounting of the panels and ensuring everything is to code. If everything fares well during this inspection, you will receive an official connection to the power grid.

Lastly, a representative from the electric company will also conduct a final evaluation. If there are no issues, he or she will give the ‘okay’ to go live immediately. The duration between gaining approval from the government and the utility company and connecting to the grid can range from two weeks up to one month.

With this 2018 Solar Panel Installation Guide: 5 Step Process, you will get an in depth understanding of the entire procedure.

To take advantage of the many benefits of a solar power installation, get in touch with Pssolarsystems today.

How To Maximize The Life Span Of Your Solar Panels

Many homeowners are motivated to install solar panels to save money on their electricity bills and to also leave a smaller carbon footprint. However, how many of us remember to maintain our solar panels? Unfortunately, most residential solar panels are forgotten after being installed. It isn’t until there’s a ‘problem’, that we remember to give our panels a second look.

The following tips will help you maximize the lifespan of your solar panels:

1.  Regular Cleaning:

The glass surface of your panel must be unobstructed at all times in order for it to work effectively. Over time or depending on the area where you live, the surface will accumulate dirt, dust, and debris. This means your panels have to work harder to capture the sun’s rays. An obstructed surface is ideal for your panels. The best way to manage your panels is to keep an eye on them. If you live in a desert or near a construction zone, a weekly dusting or hosing down may be necessary. Otherwise, a monthly wipe or wet hosing is sufficient.

2.  Avoid Using Abrasive Soaps and Rough Cleaning Materials:

Your goal should be to keep the glass surface clear and clean with no scratches. Opt for a biodegradable soap and soft cotton cloth to wipe your panels. If you have a high pitched roof, it is recommended you call a professional to do the cleaning. Your roof may be slippery or covered with debris, making accidents very likely. When in doubt, contact your solar panel installer and ask for recommendations about which cleaners to use.

Residential Solar Panels
3.  Monitor the Shade:

When you were getting your panels installed, there were probably no shade concerns. Over time, trees grow and branch out, possibly hindering your panels’ ability to capture sunlight. Although it isn’t recommended to cut down trees, you should consider trimming them. The presence of shade can reduce your solar panel’s output by 25%.

4.   Regular Monitoring:

Sounds a bit clichéd, but you don’t have to do much with your solar panels apart from keeping an eye. Pay close attention to the inverter display. The light must be green. The light should never go out or be flashing. Consult your manual immediately. If you can’t figure it out, contact your panel installer. There is a warranty coverage on it so the company will send out an engineer to have a look at the problem. By monitoring your panels regularly, you spot (and fix) issues immediately.

5.  Track Your Panels’ Daily Performance:

If you’re meticulous about record keeping, jot down how much electricity your panels were able to produce each day, preferably around the same time. Place an asterisk on overcast days as these will give you skewed results. Keeping a daily record will help determine how your system is doing. If manual record keeping is not your thing, not a problem. Speak to your installer about installing a monitoring device.

To learn more about how to maximize the lifespan of your solar panels, contact Pssolarsystems.