Solar panels can add value to a home, especially when paired with batteries. Buyers are willing to pay more for homes that have solar.
Solar installers must inspect the site and design a custom system for your property. They will also need to work with your local permitting departments.
Homeowners are increasingly interested in switching to solar power to reduce energy costs and environmental impact. However, going solar can be a complex process. It helps to partner with a full-service installer like Solar by Peak to Peak, offering guidance and support throughout the process.
Before installing a solar system, it’s important to understand how much electricity your home uses daily. This will help you determine how many panels are needed to offset your energy consumption.
To find your home’s average monthly electricity usage in Lone Tree, Colorado, review 12 utility bills and add up your monthly electricity use in kilowatt-hours. This number should reflect your typical household energy usage, including air conditioning and heating.
Your solar installer can also help you evaluate your property before installation to ensure sufficient sunlight and no obstructions like trees or buildings.
During this step, an engineer will visit your home to check that your roof can support the new panels. They’ll also look at your electrical panel (the gray box in the basement) to determine whether or not it can handle the additional current that solar requires.
Using a tape measure, they’ll walk across your roof and measure the length and width of each roof plane, including any dormers or porches. Then they’ll multiply those numbers to get the square footage of your roof surface.
At this stage, your installer will also complete all the paperwork required for your solar project. This includes state and municipal requirements, homeowners association requirements, and utility paperwork.
Check Your Electrical Connections
Solar energy adoption is rising, and many homeowners are considering a solar power system to save money and live more sustainably. If you’re thinking about going solar, it’s important to thoroughly check your roof before installing the panels to make sure your new system will be able to meet your electricity needs.
A multimeter is a great tool for checking the solar panel’s voltage and current output. Start by connecting the multimeter to the battery and adjusting the meter to read DC Amps (with black alligator clips attached to the negative side and red to the positive side).
Once you have these readings, test your solar panel’s open circuit voltage. Then, connect the multimeter to the panel and record its operating current (PV Watts). After determining the system’s voltage and current, double-check the connections in your fuse box and circuit breaker before running your solar system.
If your solar panels aren’t installed on a sound roof, they could damage it over time. So, before the installers start work, you should have a roofing contractor inspect it for damage and repair.
Your roof’s strength is determined by its material, age, and climate. If your roof is old or has suffered damage, it may need reinforcement before supporting the weight of the solar panels.
Solar panel manufacturers design their systems to minimize the stress they place on your roof, so they are generally safe for most residential roofs. However, there are some exceptions.
Once your paperwork is approved, an engineer will visit your house to inspect the electrical system for compatibility with your solar energy installation. This engineer may work for your solar installer or an independent provider contracted by your solar company.
The engineer will check that the wiring is sized appropriately for your solar panels. This is crucial because using undersized wires can lead to fire hazards and violates national and local electrical code requirements.
Wires should be sized according to your solar panel system’s voltage and current (amperage). Additionally, they should be insulated to protect them from physical harm and climatic conditions. Lastly, they should be routed properly to reduce voltage loss and simplify future maintenance.