The number of homeowners harnessing solar energy is growing. In addition to the environmental benefits, they appreciate the financial benefits of solar energy. If you are considering adding solar panels to your home, these questions will help you decide how to best implement your solar energy system.
What is the Purpose of the Solar Panels?
Identify why you want home solar panel installations. Most homeowners want to reduce their need for conventional electrical systems. A battery bank allows you to store energy captured during the day and use it on demand.
To go completely off-grid, you should have additional battery storage systems in place. You will need to know approximately how much energy you consume in a year to ensure that your storage is sufficient.
Some homeowners sell surplus energy to the utility company. This is a great way to benefit from the solar panels. Let your designer know so that they can make sure it includes this capability.
Will Your Roof Support the System?
Most homeowners install the system on the roof. You will need to have your roof inspected to make sure it will support the panels. Your installer should ask some of these questions:
- What direction does the roof face?
- How large is the roof?
- What is the load capacity of the roof?
- What material is the shingles?
- How old is the roof?
- Do trees shade the home?
What if My Roof Won’t Support the Panels?
If your building cannot support rooftop home solar panel installations, consider installing the panels in an open area on your property. Some communities are building shared community solar, allowing residents to connect to solar energy.
Can Your Electrical System Handle It?
Your home’s electrical panel will need to be upgraded to support the additional energy. Your solar panel installation team can determine the best panel for your home. Be prepared to apply for permits. Inspections typically occur before, during and after the upgrade.
The installation company will ask how you currently use energy. This allows them to design the most efficient home solar panel installations. If you plan to charge an electric vehicle or add outbuildings, inform the team before installation. It is important to make sure your system can handle the additional energy consumption.
Is There Space for the Hardware?
The battery, invertor and paraphernalia take up more space than a traditional electrical panel. These components should all remain close to one another for ease of use. The battery stores energy for future use. The inverter converts energy from solar panels into AC power – the format your electrical equipment uses.
All of this equipment takes up space. Even a small system can take up several square feet. You may need to relocate your electrical panel. Make sure the new location is easy to access.
It can be difficult to decide if you are should convert your home to use solar energy. Working with a professional installer can help you select the solar panel system that works best for your home. Taking the time to answer these preliminary questions can help you save time and money.