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The 8 Steps for Installing Solar Panels

Caucasian Man in Checkered Shirt is Installing Black Solar Panels on a Metal Basis

Gorodenkoff from Adobe Stock

An ever-increasing number of Australian households are investing in solar panels and enjoying the benefits. So, if you are ready to install a solar system of your own, you may also be curious about what the installation process entails and how long it takes to complete.

As with any major home project, knowing what you are signing up for is best before any work begins. Therefore, if you are investing in solar panels, please read this guide for the most pertinent information.

Before determining how long it takes to install solar panels, you have to consider the steps involved since they directly affect the duration of the installation.

Here are the stages of solar panel installation.

Step One – Receiving A Quote From The Solar Panel Provider And Installer

After deciding to install a solar panel system, the first thing is to obtain a quote outlining the solar panel and installation costs. You typically purchase your solar panels from the same vendor who will perform the installation. However, if you opt to source the two from different companies, you must ensure to get a quote from each provider.

Pro tip: don’t immediately settle for the first quote you receive. Instead, it is better to collect a few and make price comparisons to find the most competitively priced option.

On the other hand, you must also consider the quality of an installer’s work. Unfortunately, some companies that offer low panel and installation costs often provide low-quality services (i.e. cutting corners and using cheap products) to keep their prices down.

Step Two –  Installer Inspection

Your installer will inspect your roof to establish your home’s suitability for solar panels and understand how best to fit them. Some of the variables the inspector considers as they determine solar panel installation potential include:

  • Branches and trees – the inspector looks for any trees or branches that may block the light for your solar panels, rendering your home unsuitable.
  • Tall buildings – your solar installer looks for tall structures that may block the light to your roof for most of the day.
  • Roof angle – the installer must measure the roof’s pitch and direction to identify how best to position the panels for maximum light exposure.
  • Roof condition – if your roof has any dampness or structural damage, it could make installing solar panels difficult and inadvisable. If you think your solar panel needs an extra layer for bird proofing then consider purchasing one.

If the installer determines that your roof is suitable for solar panels, they will begin planning for the solar panel fitting.

 Caucasian Man in Checkered Shirt is Installing Black Solar Panels to a Metal Basis with a Drill

Step Three – Setting Up Scaffolding

Solar panel fitting starts with setting up scaffolding. This process is both an ease of access and a safety measure. But, conversely, it also constitutes the most lengthy step in the whole solar panel installation process.

Step Four – Attaching Roof Anchors

Roof anchors affix your solar panels to the roof and provide grounding points. They are anchor points that attach to the rafters in your loft area. The installer puts these anchors in place by lifting your roofing tiles. 

Step Five – Installing Solar Mounts

Solar mounts are part of the solar panels. They attach the panels to the roof anchors while raising them above the roof’s surface. Solar mounts ensure your solar panels tilt at the optimal angle for adequate light exposure.

Step Six – InstallingThe Panels

With the solar mounts secured, your installer can attach the solar panels to the mounts at the proper angle.

Step Seven – Installing the Solar Inverter

The solar inverter is primarily responsible for creating usable power from harvested solar energy.It does so by transforming Direct Current (DC) energy into Alternating Current (AC) energy- the variation you use to power your household appliances.

The installer typically places the inverter in your loft space and connects it to the solar panels using a wiring system. Next, they connect your inverter to a consumer unit, allowing you to access solar power through your home’s power outlets.

Step Eight – Testing and Solar Battery Installation

Once the inverter fitting is complete, the installers test the solar system to ensure everything is in working order. They do so by monitoring each element in the solar panel system and turning the power off and on again to evaluate its efficiency. Finally, if you opt to include a solar battery, the installer will fit it after ascertaining the system is working. They will then test the battery accordingly.

How Long Does It Take To Install Solar Panels?

Typically, solar system installation takes around two days or more. A complete breakdown of each installation process looks like this:

  • Roof anchors – 1 hour
  • Solar mounting – 1 hour
  • Solar panels – 2-3 hours
  • Solar inverter – 1 hour
  • System testing – 1 hour

Hopefully, this guide provides a clear idea of what you can expect when installing a solar panel system in your home. You can contact your local solar installer for professional advice and product guidance if you want to get the ball rolling on obtaining solar panels.