DIY & Home
Harnessing the power of solar energy is a great way to eco-proof your lifestyle and slash the costs of your energy bills. If you’re a skilled DIY expect who isn’t interested in paying out big fees to contractors, you may be able to install the system yourself.
Here are some important things to consider and steps to take toward installing your own solar panel system.
Ultimately, the primary attraction of installing solar panels yourself is in the monetary savings. The cost of a DIY solar panel kit will inevitably be fairly low, particularly when compared with buying individual components for your installation from manufacturers. What’s more, you won’t have to be anyone to come in and install it for you. If you need a little help, you should be able to find a fairly low cost contractor who can work with you on the installation, so you don’t necessarily have to do this entirely on your own.
You’ll need to set a goal for how much power you want to harness from your solar panels. Find how exactly how much electricity you’re currently using, and then set a target for how much of that energy you want to replace with solar power. Many beginners start with a target of 40%, and then build up gradually by adding more solar panels.
Once you know how much energy you want to generate, you can begin planning where exactly on your roof the panels will be best placed to get the maximum solar power. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, you should place your panels facing south. Find out your exact latitude location so that you can angle the solar panels in the correct way, and plan around any potential shade or obstacles to light.
Before you begin the real work of installing your solar panels, get the relevant planning permission and permits from your local government services. If you have home insurance, you should also check with your insurer about how the new solar panel system will effect your policy agreement.
Get Your Tools
There are certain tools that you’ll need in order to do your own solar panel installation. Make sure that you have: a cordless drill/driver, wire cutter/stripper and a utility knife. For the installation itself, you’ll need a solar inverter, the solar panels themselves, gried-tied interconnect, wiring and conduit, and wire nuts.
Talk To An Electrician
Even if you’re doing the majority of this installation all by yourself, you will need some help from an electrician for certain elements of the project. To install the panels correctly, you need to run wiring from the panels to the solar inverter, and then connect the inverter with the breaker box through the grid-tied interconnect. This could be extremely risky to do yourself and shouldn’t be attempted alone, so get an electrical on board (not another handy friend) to give you some help.
The major bonus of getting an electrician to help you with this step is that it will allow you to sell back any surplus power generated by your solar panels to the electricity company, so you could save money on your bills while making a little extra from the power your panels have generated.
Things To Keep In Mind
If you’re not a skilled DIY expert, this is probably too large a task to take on by yourself. Make sure that you understand electricity fully and research solar panels and the installation procedure fully before making a decision.
It’s also important to remember that you may lose out on certain offers if you install the solar panels yourself- such as manufacturer’s warranties and insurance issues.