Have you ever thought about getting solar panels, but just don't know where to start?
When considering a solar panel installation, most people shrug the thought off assuming it’s probably too much work anyway.
Well, here is your guide to the solar installation process, and its time to eliminate the notion that it is too much work! Start considering what’s right for the environment and cut your energy bills in half while you’re at it. There are many reasons why you should start using solar panels.
Whether it be:
Safeguarding your home against raising energy costs
Generating your own electricity
Heating your own water
Charging your car with green energy
Increasing the value of your home & BER
While reducing your carbon emissions
& Finally, they require little to no maintenance
Firstly, you should find a reliable solar panel installer, but most importantly you need to check the credentials of the people/company you plan to work with. Make sure that they are SEAI certified, ISO accredited, reliable and most of all passionate about solar.
Trust is key to the process and if it is established at the beginning of the relationship, everything should run smoothly.
Check out this link for a list of registered solar installers: Registered Installers & Companies | Solar Electricity Grant | SEAI
Now that you have found a reliable company to install your solar panels; it’s time to book your free no obligation consultation and get a site visit. But if you are hesitant about having someone in your home, you can always ask for a desktop survey. There really is no one size fits all for solar panels, every home is different.
As solar installers, we need to make sure to tailor-fit our procedures to your property and take note of your unique energy needs. Not all homes are the same and we want the system tailored to your needs, so you get the most out of it. Most importantly, your energy consumption and budget should be mentioned at this point, to give the consultant an idea of what system might be suitable.
When all the paperwork has been settled, and payment has been taken, and all technical inspections have taken place. It is now time to get your solar panels installed.
The very first consideration we take into account is the strategic placement of the solar panels, so they get maximum sunlight/daylight all year round.
Once the solar panels are about to be installed, our installers will install a temporary scaffold as they work to ensure their safety. When the installers are safe and secure, we build the mounting systems for the panels. Maximum exposure to sunlight is the goal, while trying to avoid obstructions and potential shading from the likes of trees & other buildings in the area.
Afterwards, the wiring is to be done. It is essential to turn off your household’s electric supply at this point for a short period of time. MC4 connectors are usually used for the wiring but this part is something your installer will take care of.
Now we will familiarize you with the solar inverter. The solar inverter is
basically the brains of the system, it will convert direct current (DC) output
of a PV solar panel into an alternating current (AC).
The inverter should attach to the solar panel array and can be either indoors or outdoors. The attic, garage and utility rooms are the best place to install them. If installed outdoors, it should nit be exposed to the hot afternoon sun.
When the inverter is connected, it will generate electricity. There will also be a generation app installed so you can monitor the electricity generated. Having the ability to monitor your usage will help you organize the available solar energy for your own household needs.
This step does not apply to all installations, it really depends on whether you opt for a hot water diverter or battery system. The hot water diverter is very useful for people who are at home a lot and are presently using fossil fuels to heat their water. The addition of a hot water diverter will reduce your dependency on fossil fuels.
Some might ask, how does it work exactly? Basically, when the solar PV system has fulfilled your electricity needs and there is surplus energy being produced, the excess energy will be diverted to heat your water. The best thing about a hot water divider is, it can reduce your hot water bills by up to 70%. Its general peak time is from March to September.
The battery is suited for someone who has a larger system or who are out of their home during the day. This works the exact same as the hot water diverter, so once all electricity needs have been satisfied, the surplus will be stored in your batter. This energy can be used late in the evening.
Your system will be tested before the installers leave to make sure everything is running smoothly. And the installation process is complete. It usually only takes a day to complete the process.
- If you feel something is not functioning correctly with your system, contact your solar provider! Do not contact your regular electrician, they may not be up to date in relation to solar technology.
- Quarterly, you should go out and ensure the panels are dirt and debris free. Clean them, so they always work reliably. Efficiency can be lowered by 5% when they are dirty.
- Cleaning is recommended during the evening or morning when it is cool. Avoid spraying cold water on it. It is best to use just water and a nonabrasive sponge.