A solar panel installation is an effort toward energy conservation and carbon footprint reduction that involves putting together a solar power system with all its components.
Here’s in-depth information about it.
Before we get into how to install a solar panel, you should first be ready with what the installation entails, which are as follows:
First, let's get into solar panel installation costs.
Fortunately, the UK government and certain organisations offer subsidies and financial assistance to encourage solar panel installation and the use of renewable energy.
So before you dismiss the idea of solar power in your home, keep in mind that there are financial aids available to lower its costs.
Once your budget is in place, you should know what equipment to get for your solar energy system. This includes considerations like brands, models, types, etc.
The next thing to decide is the size of the solar photovoltaic system you’ll need. To estimate this, get the total wattage of all your electrical appliances.
You'll also need to know how often you use them in hours. Once you get the numbers here, you’ll need to know your solar system's wattage requirement, battery, and wire size.
A solar panel installation is safer done by a professional electrician. However, it helps to know how the entire electricity generation happens.
Remember that safety comes first. Put up scaffolding to ensure safety during the entire installation process.
Whether you have a metal or slate roof, ensure every shingle and tile on your rafter is properly secured.
The first thing to tackle is the solar panel mounting system to support the foundation and stability of solar panels.
Since the UK is in the Northern Hemisphere, the best direction to face solar panels is south or west to get maximum sunlight.
The mounting structure should be tilted at an angle between 18 to 36 degrees.
Once the mounting base is set up, it’s time to fix the solar panels on it. Ensure all their bolts and nuts are securely tightened for longevity and stability.
Since we’re dealing with power, your system has electronic components that require electrical wiring. You can opt to use MC4 connectors like most solar-powered residences.
Do the wiring installation safely by shutting off the main supply first.
For a series connection: Connect your PV module's positive wire (+) to the negative wire (-) of another module.
If you want a parallel connection: Make a positive-to-positive and a negative-to-negative connection.
The partially assembled solar system should be connected to the solar inverter next.
Connect the solar panel's positive wire to the power inverter's positive terminal to do this. It follows that you should connect the negative wire to the negative terminal.
Ensure the efficiency of your inverter by keeping it in a cooler place. Keep it away from the afternoon sun if it’s outdoors.
Have it in your garage or utility room if you want to install it indoors.
The solar inverter should be connected to the solar battery and the grid to produce electricity.
Connect the positive terminal of the inverter to the positive terminal of the electric battery. After this, make the negative-to-negative connections.
The solar inverter to electrical grid installation is the last and simplest connection you have to make.
All you have to do is connect a normal plug to the main power switchboard. An output wire connects to the electric board, which supplies the electric power of your entire house.
Add an electricity generation metre to track the energy production of your solar panels. You can use computer hardware or any other device to monitor the efficiency of your solar system.
Once all the necessary connections have been made, it’s time to switch the main power back on to test your newly-installed solar system.
Despite the promise of a solar panel installation, surveying the property is needed to assess its feasibility.
Here’s how careful evaluation and assessment are performed throughout the phases of a solar panel installation:
An engineer will have to visit your property to look at the condition of your roof and your electrical panel.
Your roof should have a sturdy structure to accommodate the weight of your mounting system and the rest of your solar power system.
On the other hand, your electrical panel should have the capacity for your solar panels. You must upgrade it before installing solar panels if it's too old or insufficient.
You need planning permission before you proceed with your installation, especially if you reside in a listed building.
Luckily, qualified installers can help you with this. They can also help you check whether your property can handle solar panel installation.
The installer should observe proper safety protocols and use quality products during installation.
It’s best to go for installers and products accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) to enjoy consumer protection and product guarantee in your installation.
Before you flip the switch, a government representative will inspect your system and approve your solar system installation.
This involves checking the installation work to ensure it meets your area's standard electrical and building codes.
Like any household or business installation, you have various types of solar panel installations to choose from depending on their viability for your property.
A grid-tied solar system relies on the electric grid for backup power when solar energy isn’t enough to power your appliances.
In contrast, an off-grid solar system relies solely on solar energy and operates independently from the electric grid.
Solar batteries depend on storing excess power when sunlight isn’t available.
Combining a grid-tied solar system and an off-grid solar system gives you a hybrid solar system.
It consists of solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity and batteries that store backup energy.
Rooftop solar panel installations are the most common type. Solar PV panels are installed on a roof for better access to sunlight.
If rooftop solar installation isn't feasible, you can install solar PV panels on the ground instead. Obstructions are cleared to ensure sunlight maximisation here.
Identifying the components of a solar panel installation and their functions can help understand how the entire system works.
This is the main component of a solar power system. It converts sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity.
Each solar panel has a heat sink at the back to reduce its temperature and prevent overheating.
Another important component of a solar power system is the solar inverter. It converts the DC produced by solar panels into alternating current (AC) for household appliances.
Solar racking systems are the mounting systems of your installation. They secure solar panels onto the roof or the ground. A specialised mounting system is required if you have a flat roof.
Solar batteries store backup energy when sunlight is inaccessible or the National Grid is unreliable.
Before doing any type of solar battery installation procedure, it is important to research and understand the ins and outs of such!
Before you can proceed with installing solar panels, an installer looks into the following factors to determine if your home or business is suitable for the solar system.
Does your location have enough sunlight to generate solar energy?
If your area has great sun exposure, you can benefit greatly from a solar panel system.
If tall buildings and trees surround your area, installing a solar panel system may be inefficient.
How much electricity do you require?
Your household size affects your solar system size. This all boils down to total electricity usage. The more electricity you consume, the bigger the solar system you’ll need.
Is your roofing in good condition to give your system a stable base? Or do you have enough ground space for your system size?
Your solar panels come with a mounting system. This adds to their weight and size, which must be installed on your roof or ground space.
Does your roof have the right angle to get sunlight?
Solar panels have to face south or west with an angle of tilt of 18 to 36 degrees to get maximum sunlight to convert to electricity.
After you look into the considerations we’ve mentioned, it’s time to see if installing a solar panel fits within your budget.
Your equipment costs will depend on how large your system is and the parts you choose.
Higher-priced products typically have higher quality, but you can also get good quality products at reasonable prices.
The cost of a solar panel installation differs depending on the servicing company you choose. If you want a faster installation, this also comes with a price.
Any form of solar panel maintenance doesn’t involve much regular work for the owner.
But if something happens that’s not covered by warranty, you’ll have to bear the solar panels' maintenance cost and any additional fees that come with it!
Have you decided on pursuing a solar panel installation? If you have, be prepared to face many options. Here’s how to make the right choice.
We can’t stress this enough: know how much energy you consume before purchasing solar panels.
Households have different energy requirements. Ensure the efficiency of your solar panels by knowing how much wattage you’ll need.
Each solar installation type has different components.
To know which type suits your property, look into its shading, roof condition, orientation, area size, and area restrictions.
Focus on the quality of your solar panels and inverters because they are your energy-generating components.
Ensure they suit your property conditions, such as wind load and sun direction.
Choose a qualified solar panel installer. A qualified professional can ensure the reliability of your installation. You’re investing here, so the longevity of your system is essential.
Aside from installing the solar power system, the installation involves other phases. Here’s an encompassing view of the entire process to give you an idea of what it entails.
This is when your chosen service provider sends an engineering representative to assess your property.
Your existing electrical system and roofing or ground conditions will be evaluated here.
Before your servicing company can proceed with the installation, the necessary permits must be secured.
The installer handles this for you, but you can always ask for updates on their progress.
Once your installation is given the signal, your solar equipment can be ordered. This is also when you’re put on an installer’s queue for scheduling.
Expect your installation schedule to be soon after your equipment is delivered. Installation can take one to three days.
This'll depend on the size and design of your solar system.
Before you can operate your newly-installed solar system, a government representative must inspect and approve the installation.
If the job is done properly, you’ll be issued permission to operate (PTO).
Your solar system comes with an electricity generation metre to monitor its performance.
The record of how much energy your system generates is compared to industry indices to assess its efficiency.
Operating a solar system involves possible wear and tear.
To avoid this and lengthen the lifespan of your system, you must conduct solar panel maintenance. Contact a qualified electrician to do this thoroughly.
The UK government and other organisations like the Energy Saving Trust support sustainable energy that lowers carbon footprint.
They have incentives and aids to encourage the installation of renewable energy technology in households.
From the homeowner’s perspective, these initiatives can be used to save money.
You can claim financial incentives if your system has a solar panel installation certification.
Depending on your local legislation, the amount differs, but some households can enjoy up to a 30 percent deduction in installing solar panels upfront costs.
Putting up solar panels has a high one-time cost. If you don’t have the budget, you can apply for a solar loan to reduce your energy bills and enjoy incentives and rebates.
The financial benefits you enjoy may add up to pay for your loan eventually.
You can apply for a solar panel lease if you want someone else to monitor and manage your solar system. This reduces your electric bills, but you can’t get tax incentives.
A solar panel installation entails many steps, components, and considerations. It is a long-term investment that affects the operations of your household. Every detail is crucial here.
Save yourself from racking your brain by consulting with a qualified service provider for your installation. Explore free quotes to find one that suits your specific needs.