Solar power is a clean alternative energy that can help reduce electricity bills for both residential and commercial properties. However, like any other electrical system, it requires proper installation to maximize its functionality and energy efficiency.
Many things must be checked and addressed, from wiring to the inverter during a PV installation. This article will discuss the importance of having this done correctly.
In addition to electrical hazards (which could come from shock or electrocution from live equipment and utilities), solar panel installation involves roof penetrations. As such, specific measures must be taken to minimize leakage from these holes.
A new electric meter and sub-panel must be installed to connect the solar panels to the grid. This also means that an engineer from the local government will need to visit your home and certify that the work was done correctly.
Another safety risk comes from the weather, particularly heat and cold conditions. Workers must take precautions like regular breaks and adequate hydration to minimize the chance of a mishap caused by these temperatures. Workers must also wear the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) during these times. The work area should also be cleared of trip risks and materials that could fall on the workers.
The efficiency of solar panels is a critical factor in determining how much energy they produce. Two solar panels with the same power rating can have different amounts of electricity if their efficiency ratings differ.
Solar panel efficiency is measured by converting sunlight into usable energy. The best solar panels have a conversion rate of up to 20%. A higher efficiency rating means the solar panels can generate more power for your home or business.
Many factors impact solar panel efficiency. Temperature changes, shading, dust, and dirt can all impact solar panel efficiency.
Solar panels should be installed in sunny spots without shade or obstructions. They also need to be exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day. The software with your solar system will let you monitor your energy generation levels and notice any decreases in output that would indicate an issue. This is important because a solar system that produces less than expected could cost you money.
Parker solar installers who stand behind the products they sell are essential, as solar systems are a significant investment. Most solar manufacturers offer warranties to protect against product defects and premature light-induced degradation. These warranties typically cover the cost of remediation or replacement.
Just like most electronics, solar panels degrade over time. To combat this, most solar panel companies offer a performance warranty that guarantees their boards will stay within a set output for 25 years. These warranties typically come in the form of linear or step deposits.
Linear warranties progress steadily, while step warranties drop in increments of 0.7% each year. Some Colorado solar installers offer artistry or labor warranties in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty. This helps to cover costs that the manufacturer may not be able to provide due to a lack of available products. This includes labor and shipping fees for replacing broken panels. The length of these warranties varies by company.
Depending on your solar panel installation, it can take one to three months from signing with your installer until your system is grid-connected and generating clean electricity for your home. Some of this time is due to the process of getting the paperwork approved for the solar equipment order, and some of it is just a matter of waiting until your home’s electric service panel is free to be worked on.
Solar panels are most efficient when positioned to face the sun throughout the day. In the Northern Hemisphere, this is typically a south-facing roof without trees or other structures that would block sunlight from reaching your panels.
The optimum arrangement for running the wiring from your solar panel to the new electric meter and your existing electrical service panel is going through the attic, as this provides the most aesthetically pleasing solution and allows you to retain the space beneath the solar array for storage or other uses. This is also the safest option for handling and maintaining the panels, as it prevents the cables from being exposed to the elements.