The Intermediate Guide to solar installation

More than a million houses have already gone solar in the U.S., and lots of more house owners are thinking about installing solar. If you're in the marketplace for solar, you probably want to know what really happens throughout a solar panel setup, or even how to set up photovoltaic panels yourself. There are 5 huge steps that need to take place after you sign your solar agreement prior to the solar panels on your roofing system can in fact power your house, and a great deal of it is behind the scenes. To reveal you what you can anticipate, we have actually outlined a basic five-step guide for the normal solar installation process.

How to install solar panels: 5 main actions

There are 5 major steps to a solar installation that your chosen solar business will generally follow:

Engineering website check out

Licenses and paperwork

Buying equipment

Solar panel installation

Approval and affiliation

It's always great to begin with a broad overview. Start by viewing EnergySage's time-lapse video, Solar Installation in Less Than a Minute (check it out below), which reveals one of EnergySage's pre-screened solar installers put together a 6.7 kW solar energy system on a home in Newton, Massachusetts. The happy house owners now conserve $2,250 on their electrical energy costs every year thanks to their brand-new solar panels and will break even on their financial investment in simply 5 years.

How to set up solar panels step by step: what is associated with the photovoltaic panel setup procedure?

Setting up photovoltaic panels does not take place over night-- there's a process for what needs to happen to get your panels ready to begin powering your house. In general, from the day you sign your contract with your installer, it will generally take between one and 3 months before your solar panels are grid-connected and producing energy for your home. We have actually described the five-step solar panel setup guide listed below:

1. Engineering website visit: the primary step to getting your solar system installed

After you sign your solar contract (whether it be a lease, loan, money purchase or power purchase contract), an engineer will come by your property to examine the electrical status of your house and make sure everything is compatible with your new energy system. This engineer will usually work directly for your installer, however could likewise be an independent provider contracted by your installer. You can expect the engineering website visit to happen right after signing with your installer.

Throughout the go to, the engineer will evaluate the condition of your roof to make sure that it's structurally sound. He or she will also look at your electrical panel-- the grey box in your basement-- to see if you'll need to update it. If you hear from an installer that they require to update the electrical panel, that means that your new photovoltaic panels will require more amps of present and the ampere capacity of your electrical box will need to increase.

It should be kept in mind that this engineer see is various than a basic site go to which is when an installer examines your residential or commercial property to consider system size, roof type, angle of roof, shading, and so on before any contract is signed. In addition, though an engineer will usually come over, in some cases the installer can take photos of the property and conduct their own measurements of the roof and the engineer will be all right with signing off without doing his or her own visit.

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2. Authorizations and documents: the logistical documentation required for your solar panel installation

Just like any big monetary choice, setting up solar panels includes a great deal of documentation. Thankfully, the majority of this documents is dealt with by the installer-- regardless, it's constantly a good concept to know what's going read more on behind the scenes of your solar setup. Among the main points you'll be getting will be state and federal solar rewards such as the federal ITC, regional solar programs, tidy energy funding initiatives like RATE, government refunds and solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs).

In addition to requesting incentives, you will need to complete other documentation like building permits. These permits are specific to where you live. For instance, specific states need that a roofing system has three feet of clear space surrounding the photovoltaic panels, whereas other locations of the U.S. will allow you to install panels throughout the whole surface of your roofing. Your installer will understand the limitations and requirements of the states in which they operate, and can help you figure out which allows you need-- in numerous cases, the installer will submit this documentation for you.

The time frame for this step is primarily reliant on for how long it takes your installer to get it all ended up and sent. If you're eager to get your panel system up and running right away, just ensure to follow up with your installer to examine the progress of your documentation.

3. Ordering equipment: choosing the panels and inverters and getting your solar panel installation scheduled

solar installer talking-to property owner

Now that you're established with the proper paperwork, your installer will be all set to position a devices order through their primary supplier. At this point, you will have currently chosen the devices your system will consist of-- that choice takes place before the contract indication.

Nevertheless, if you're looking for guidance on equipment choice, here are some things to think about. The 2 primary components you'll need to evaluate for your system are solar panels and inverters. Your installer will likely recommend a specific brand for each, and will in addition use a few alternatives. Sturdiness, effectiveness and looks are the primary factors most property owners will use to compare the different brand names (aside from cost).

To be certain that you have actually chosen the ideal equipment for your system, spend a long time researching microinverters vs. string inverters vs. power optimizers and look into the best-rated solar panels on the market. Assessing your equipment options can help you feel prepared for the purchasing and delivery phase of the solar panel setup procedure.


Once the devices buying procedure is total, your property is included to your installer's queue.Your equipment (panels and inverters) will likely get here on the day of your installation, which can occur whenever your paperwork is approved (generally within one to two months). Time up until set up also depends upon the number of jobs your installer has in their line. If possible, attempt to get your solar installation carried out in the winter when solar business aren't as hectic.