As fossil fuel use continues to cause personal monthly bills to skyrocket, and as a new consciousness about the health of our planet arises, people everywhere are looking to find an alternative means of power. Wind turbines and solar farms have cropped up across the country with the latter being a particular favorite for private homeowners — and understandably: possessing a serviceable life of decades, solar panels pay back the energy it takes to produce them within one to two years. They are a clean, efficient, and cost-effective alternative to traditional fossil fuel use.
If you’re considering making the switch, you may be concerned about what the solar panel installation service entails. Don’t worry; we’ve outlined the entire solar panel installation service process for your convenience below!
- Preparation: As with all construction jobs, the site must be surveyed for safety and clarification. Workers will locate attic access points and set up applicable work areas and may move some of your furniture around in an effort to protect it during the process. The final aspect of the prep involves installing ladders and/or scaffolding to gain easy access to the roof; you will most likely see workers attached to safety ropes as most city codes require them.
- Installation: The solar panels themselves need a base to attach to, so the workers will install metal rails on your roof first (fastened with mounting screws or bolts for solidity). Other crew members will begin work on the electrical components — such as the inverter which transforms the direct current collected by your panels to the alternating current required for your home. Depending on whether your solar energy system is off-grid, grid tie-in, or grid tie-in with battery backup, the workers will install batteries to ensure you’ll still have power during power outages or when conditions are not conducive to solar power production.Then, it’s time for the panels themselves! They will be set, mounted, and connected together on those metal rails that were previously installed. They are then connected to the electrical conduits (including the inverter) and are tested to guarantee they’re working properly.
- Final Touches: Your solar contractor will perform a thorough inspection, checking that the solar panel installation service was performed correctly and safely. The scaffolding and ladders will come down, and your house will be righted. Within the coming weeks, your local building department will perform an inspection of their own and will arrange a time to install their net meter and (if applicable) connect your system to the main grid. The net meter will determine if you’re contributing more electricity to the grid than your home is using — the power company will actually reimburse you if that is the case.
After all of this, you will be the proud owner of some shiny new solar panels. Congratulations! Now, there’s nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy your green home.