If you’ve ever thought about getting your own solar panels to help save the environment as well as your hard-earned cash, then you’re in luck. Our handy guide gives you a quick overview of what’s involved with installing solar panels. First things first, equipment. You’re going to need the panels themselves, mounts, rails, a conduit, tape measure, laser sight, stud finder, bolts and a drill. Double check your panels in case you need any additions as they can vary depending which ones you get.
Before you begin installation, you need to carry out an energy audit on your house so you know how many solar panels the roof of your property will be able to take and how much you will save by using them. The Department of Energy will be able to give you advice on how to do this. You also need to make sure the panels are in prime position for catching the sunlight: don’t install them in the shade or they won’t work properly. Cut away any low branches.
The mounts are the first thing you should install and they need to be placed over your house’s rafters, as these will support the solar panels once they’re in place. Using a stud finder, locate the position of the rafters. Then use a laser sight to determine the precise placement of your mounts. Then drill holes for the mounts using a pilot bit, which should help to protect the rafters. Next, attach the mounts to the roof using lag bolts.
Your next job is to use bolts and attach the rails to the mounts. Then it’s time to individually install the solar panels on the rails, carefully securing them in place before moving onto the next one. The final job is to attach a conduit, running it from the converter in your house and then connecting it to the solar panels. Secure it properly so you don’t have to worry about it moving or being damaged in bad whether. Lastly, check to see your new panels work properly.
Overall, it isn’t too complicated to install your own solar panels but you do need to be careful and take care, especially when you’re working on the roof. You should also alert your local electricity provider before installation as they may purchase some of your power off you, and some of them require you to have one of their technician’s present. Also get an expert to check your work before and after you do it to make sure the panels are secure and you meet any regulations.