Solar power system installation in homes has become popular for homeowners looking to live more sustainably and use environmentally-friendly energy. Switching to solar power also reduces the energy cost in your home by installing solar panels.
It’s critical to ascertain that you’re buying the best solar power system for your home. A good solar power system will provide sufficient power for your home and needs. For a reliable solar power system, you can consider Smart Solar Energy in Corvallis Oregon. With that said, here’s how you can prepare for your home installation:
1. Determine The Amount Of Energy Needed
Before buying and installing a solar power system in your home, you must determine the energy required. List all electrical appliances you have and maybe those you plan to buy. Don’t forget the light bulbs for all rooms and the exterior ones. Calculate their daily energy consumption and summarize them for a rough total figure. Consider multiplying the calculated totals with a safety factor to accommodate the days you’ll consume more energy than you envisage. You can hire a professional to evaluate your home’s energy needs and determine the best solar power system.
To decide how much energy you’ll need, it’s also crucial to consider local regulations. For example, some energy regulations require you only to produce energy sufficient for your home. It means you can’t produce more energy than you need for your home. It ensures that you don’t have surplus energy to sell.
Consider installing a solar power system to produce almost 100% of the needed electricity. Such a solar power system would make the most economic sense because it eliminates the need for grid electricity.
Solar panels work by tapping solar rays using photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems. The solar cells in the panels absorb ultraviolet rays and convert them into energy. This energy can be used as an alternative to grid electrical power. The amount of energy you can harvest depends on the available space for solar power system installation, exposure to sunlight, and conversion efficiency.
Therefore, you must ensure that you buy a powerful PV solar power system that can be configured to fulfill all the power requirements of your home. You can hire a professional to evaluate your home’s energy needs and determine the best solar power system.
2. Consider The Location
Solar panels have to be placed where they have optimum exposure to sunlight, such as on rooftops. You can consider a location that’s bright, sunny, and has maximum exposure to the sun. For instance, consider placing solar panels on south-facing roofs if you live in the northern hemisphere.
However, if you have no access to a south-facing roof, consider placing solar panels on the west or east side of the roof. This placement would provide less exposure to sunlight rays, which you can compensate for by placing more solar panels.
In addition, it’d be advisable to hire professional solar installers who’ll ensure no obstructions to solar radiation hitting the solar panels. Moreover, professionals would ensure that the solar panels are correctly inclined to allow adequate interaction between the sunlight rays and the solar power system.
Further, if you don’t have space on the roof for solar panels, consider using a ground-mount solar power system within the property. All you’ll have to do is find a good spot with access to enough sunlight radiation and limited obstructions. The rules of inclination are similar to those mounted on the roof.
In addition, consider placing the solar power system close to the utility interconnection to reduce costs and enhance efficiency. Suppose the solar power system is far away. In that case, you’ll have to use more materials to connect it to the utility system. Moreover, there’s a possibility of losing energy when it’s traveling through the interconnection.
3. Install A Roof Anchor
Suppose you’ve decided to install solar panels on the roof for maximum sunlight exposure. In that case, you may need to install a roof anchor to provide a secure foundation. Solar panels are usually heavy and can shift or fall during extreme weather conditions such as strong winds and heavy rains. The roof anchor ensures that the solar panels remain in place.
Since roof anchors are often made from steel or aluminum, which are durable materials, they can withstand the weight and stress of solar panels. During the installation of roof anchors, they’re attached to the roof of the house using screws and bolts. Before mounting the solar panels, the contractor should ensure they’re correctly connected to the roof.
The roof anchor also protects the house’s roof by offering a secure foundation for solar panels. That’s because the anchor evenly distributes the weight of the solar panels across the roof. It prevents damage by eliminating the risk of leaks.
4. Understand Solar Power Regulations
You should research your locality’s solar power and building regulations. That’s because the regulations can affect how to install the solar power system and how much energy you can collect for your home. Moreover, you might need solar installation permits from the local authorities.
Acquiring permits for a solar power system installation might be long and daunting. That’s because you’ll have to provide all the details of the solar power system you intend to install, including equipment specifications and design. If you’ve hired a contractor for the installation, they can handle the approval process.
5. Hire A Reputable Contractor
Installing a solar power system is a challenging task, and mistakes can be detrimental to your safety. Thus, you must hire a reputable and accredited solar company as a contractor to install the system. A certified contractor can ensure that all supplies are high-quality and from suppliers who offer warranties and regular maintenance and servicing of the solar power system.
Hiring the first contractor you consider for the job isn’t advisable. You can consider several options and then decide based on your evaluation, research, and reviews from other people. If you need to decide who to hire for the job, you can consider suggestions from friends and family.
In addition, a good contractor can advise on the best solar power system to buy and install. That’s because they have experience using different solar designs from various manufacturers. Your contractor can also help you save money by purchasing a cost-effective system that provides optimal performance.
Further, the contractor will also evaluate your home before the solar installation process. During this evaluation, they’ll consider the utility system and where the solar power system would be placed. The contractors can also help determine if the current system would work with the new solar power system or if you need to install any new cables.
6. Carry Out An Energy Performance Evaluation
You can conduct a personal inspection and then let your contractor perform an energy performance assessment to check for any air leaks in your home. It’s an important step before installing a solar power system because it helps determine if some areas in the house contribute to energy loss.
Any identified leaks should be sealed and the insulation reinforced to reduce energy consumption, especially in heating your home. Moreover, you won’t have to install an extensive solar power system to compensate for the lost energy within the property. It makes solar retrofitting more cost-efficient.
7. Upgrade The Electrical System
You need to ensure your home’s electrical system can handle the additional energy generated by the solar power system if you have a hybrid system. It means the electrical system may get overwhelmed if you use solar power as an additional energy source. Thus, an upgrade would be necessary to ensure that the electric system can handle the energy the solar power system adds.
In addition, if your objective of installing a solar power system in your home is to reduce energy consumption, you can start by substituting your older and inefficient appliances with energy-saving equipment. It ensures that the amount of energy wasted is reduced.
Therefore, when you finally consider the solar power system to buy and install in your home, the energy required for the property needs will be less. It can be cost-effective because you won’t have to buy an extensive solar power system to compensate for energy-inefficient appliances.
8. Choose The Right Solar Panel System
Once you’ve decided to install a solar power system in your home, you must ensure you choose the right one. Many types of solar panel systems are available, and choosing the right one depends on your needs. You’ll also have to consider your budget to avoid selecting a solar power system you can’t afford.
If you’ve hired a contractor, they can advise on the best solar panel system to purchase based on your energy needs, budget, roof size, and orientation. They can also explain the different types of solar panels, like monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film panels. It’d also help if you researched the pros and cons of each type before making a decision.
Furthermore, as mentioned above, you should ensure that you buy a solar panel system from a reputable company. That’s because such companies already have a reliable track record and have had time to improve the efficiency of their products. Moreover, reputable brands often provide warranties for their products.
9. Set Up Monitoring
It’d be best to decide how to monitor the solar power system’s performance in your home. Regular solar power system monitoring can help you determine if it’s working efficiently and at optimal capacity.
You can ask whether the solar company you buy the solar power system from offers monitoring services. If the company doesn’t provide monitoring services, they might recommend a reliable monitoring system for you to use.
There are many ways of preparing for a home solar installation, including deciding how much you’ll spend. It’s crucial to determine the resources available for solar power system installation in your home and find other avenues to cut costs. Nonetheless, installing a solar power system is one step toward off-grid living!