In 2020, new solar panel installation projects in the US added over 22 gigawatts (GW) of power capacity. To top it off, experts project that this 2021, the country would add over 20 GW more to its total capacity.
So, if you’re one of those folks planning to go green with solar, then good for you, as you’re about to save on energy bills.
However, it’s best to know what happens on the installation day itself. This way, you can take steps to ensure smooth and timely project completion.
We’ll run you through what to expect on the day the panels get installed, so be sure to read on.
Inspection of the Installation Site
A reliable solar panel installation company always conducts at least three site inspections. Two of these occur before the installation day.
The first one is a general site inspection, in which the installer assesses your property. This is crucial to determining the best way to set your system up so that it can collect the most sunlight.
The second inspection often involves an engineer. The engineer’s role is to assess the structural soundness of the installation site.
For example, if it’s your roof, the engineer would look at the shingles or tiles to be sure they’re in great condition. If there are problems, the pro will let you know so you can fix them before the big day.
The third inspection takes place on the day of the actual solar panel installation. During this time, the trained technicians will once again scrutinize the installation site. This helps ensure no new problems popped up between the prior visits and the big day.
Wiring Setup and Panel Installation
After prepping the site, the technicians can start connecting electrical wires. They will run these cables later on through the panels and your main electrical system.
Next, the trained techs will begin to install mounting racks. They will then make sure that the racks are level and securely attached. Only after this will they mount and secure the panels onto the racks.
Panel-to-Inverter and Power Meter Connection
Once all the panels are in place, the expert installers would connect them to the inverter. This is the device needed to convert direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC).
After that, the trained techs can install your power meter if you signed up for net metering.
Because of all those steps, you can expect the installation to take up at least one entire day. However, this can go up to two to three days if you’re getting a massive system.
That’s because the more panels the techs have to install, the more hardware and wires they need to plug in, too.
Note, too, that the entire process to get solar panels can take six to 12 weeks, according to Blue Raven Solar. However, this includes the time spent on essential site visits and inspections. It also accounts for the application and waiting period for installation permits.
Once your new power meter is ready to work, though, you can already start using your solar panels.
Now’s the Best Time to Go Green for Less
As you can see, there are many steps involved before and during solar panel installation. So, even if the placement would only take one to three days, this won’t happen until about 1.5 to 3 months.
That’s why the sooner you schedule the installation, the better. If possible, do it on or before 2022 so that you can still qualify for the 26% federal US tax incentive.
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