Homeowners who want to cut their energy bills and help the environment are increasingly going solar. Around 3.2 million Americans have new solar panels installed. You can be next.
The only question is–do you know the most common solar panel installation mistakes to avoid? Once you know the pitfalls, you’ll be ready to go green as soon as your panels are in place.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
1. Cabling Errors Can Cost You
Ensure you have connected all cables correctly, including the correct amperage, polarity, and proper grounding. If a cable is improperly grounded, the panel could be damaged or even cause a fire. During installation, inspect the wiring to make sure there are no exposed wires or damaged insulation.
Finally, be sure all necessary labels and documentation are included in the system. Taking the time to avoid these mistakes can save you time and money in the long run and ensure your solar energy system is safe and efficient!
2. Choosing the Wrong Orientation
An ideal orientation is south facing and should be as close to true south as possible. This maximizes the power output from the local source and gets the most bang for your investment. North-facing panels can capture up to 25 percent less energy than south-facing panels.
In some cases, east and west-facing panels may be the only option, but it is wise to consult a solar professional to make sure that the installation is done with the most efficiency in mind. Additionally, trees or buildings might interfere with the orientation and should be avoided if possible.
3. Overestimating Roof Space
Most roofs are not large enough to accommodate the number of solar panels most homeowners assume they can fit. If a homeowner overestimates the size of their roof, they risk wasting money on additional solar panels they won’t be able to fit. It is important to measure the size of the roof and plan the solar panel installation accordingly.
Additionally, it is important to consider the direction of the sun and the amount of shade on the roof to get the most out of the system. Working with a qualified solar installer will help ensure that the optimal solar panel system is installed.
4. Miscalculating Voltage Requirements
The voltage requirements vary based on the size of the array and the type of components used. Additionally, the voltage of different products varies, so it’s important to determine the voltage of each component to ensure that the total voltage requirement of the system is sufficient. If the total voltage requirement of the system is not met, then the solar panels may not perform as expected and may not be able to power the loads.
This could mean that the investment will not have been worth the effort. To avoid this, it’s essential to research the components ahead of time, double-check the total voltage requirement of the system and be sure to use the right voltage of components.
5. Skipping Maintenance and Testing
If you don’t catch the issue with regular maintenance and testing, you may end up with a costly repair that could have been avoided. Sunlight can degrade parts of the panel over time and more frequent cleaning and testing can help you to nip any potential issues in the bud.
Tests for exposed wires, insulation materials, and connections should be done regularly. Having the proper safety equipment such as:
- grounded tools
Can protect you and the system. Take the time to do regular on-site inspections and test the solar panel system to make sure it is operating at peak efficiency and to prevent any potential disasters down the line.
6. Skimping on Solar Panel Quality to Save Money
High-quality solar panels are much more efficient, providing a higher return on investment, while low-quality panels may require more maintenance and repair, or even worse, have to be replaced much sooner. Additionally, low-quality panels may not be able to meet current safety and fire guidelines.
The money saved on the initial purchase might eventually be lost in potential repairs or fines. Therefore, when installing a solar panel system, it’s important to avoid the common mistake of skimping on quality to save money.
Investing in quality components is key to future-proofing your system so you can enjoy its benefits for many years to come.
7. Overlooking Critical Electrical and Grid Considerations
It’s important to consider the size of the solar array, the type and quality of the components, and what discharge rate is needed to adequately power the equipment. It’s also essential to take the local utilities and applicable codes into consideration to make sure the system is compliant and able to provide power for the intended task.
It’s important to consider the location of the panels, which can affect the amount of exposure to the sun, as well as the nearby obstructions which can impede sun exposure. Finally, it’s vital to ensure the solar panel installation is properly grounded to avoid putting people at risk of electrocution.
Taking the time to do your research and consider all the factors involved can help prevent costly errors and ensure your system is up and running safely and efficiently.
Understanding the Inherent Complexity of Solar Panel Installation
When it comes to solar panel installation, it is important to be aware of common mistakes. Make sure to take the necessary steps to research, choose an experienced installer, review permits and warranties, and plan for any other issues.
By taking these steps, you can avoid costly installation mistakes and ensure that your solar installation is done properly. Contact an experienced installer today for a successful solar panel installation.
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