The past decade saw solar skyrocket in all sectors, with 2015 being the major turning point due to price. All this led to 2020 being the year solar finally passed the 100-gigawatt ceiling!
What Are the Steps For Installing Solar Panels?
Let’s face it, installing solar panels is a big job. It may or may not involve your roof, but we’ll assume it does for the sake of this step-by-step.
If you can afford it, using a professional like Blue Raven will make the process go much better. That said, it can be a rich and rewarding experience to accomplish a job of this difficulty level for a dedicated DIYer. What are the steps for installing solar power in your home?
- Engineering and design
- Proper documents and permits
- Order the equipment
- Install the solar panels
- Final inspection and switching over
Breaking Down the Process
Each of these steps has important details that you can’t overlook. Most of the work is in prepping your home and your documents. There’s no room for “measure once, cut five times” in solar power.
It’s a highly regulated and possibly very dangerous job. Make sure you’re giving it the respect it deserves.
The first thing you need to do is to design your solar power system for your needs. Part of this is finding out which are the best solar panels for your climate. You can do a lot of research and find out what parts are compatible, but you’ll need to get a licensed engineer to sign off on it.
You’ll also need to make sure your roof is sound enough to take a system that could last 30 or more years.
Ah, yes, the paperwork.
- Federal ITC credits
- Registering for solar renewable energy certificates
- Local solar programs
- PACE clean energy financing
- And more
That’s not including the permits you’ll need on a city and state level to do your work. Usually, the installer will do this paperwork (for the most part) for you. But if you’ll be doing a DIY solar installation project you’re all by yourself on this one.
Installation of Solar Panels
After about a month from getting all the paperwork submitted, you’ll likely get approval. You can finally order the equipment that matches the specs from the engineer.
At this point, you’ll be getting your panels, inverter kit, frame, and possibly backup battery. Your installation may also involve a power meter for net metering. Net metering is how you determine credits from your utility if you’re grid-tied.
If you are off-grid, the only credits you’ll worry about are SRECs you registered for above.
Once everything is installed, you need a final inspection to make sure everything is to code and working. This is not only to protect you but also the utility power grid from fatal accidents.
This inspection get’s approved by someone from your city-level government.
DIY Dream: How to Install Solar Panels
Now that you know how to install solar panels, you should know one more important detail. The typical time it takes for many DIYers to finally install their solar roof is about three months — after you’ve designed it and signed in your paperwork.
You can slash that time by more than two-thirds by having an approved installer help you through the process.
Need to know more? Keep browsing our articles to find the best and latest advice on home solar panels and solar panel installation.