Having recently purchased a few solar panels. I was very happy to have Mary reach out to me for a guest post. I love a great DIY project and installing solar panels is the way to go. Not only does it improve home value, but you actively saves money each month. I also think a few solar panels look great in the garden! It is a win-win-win. By my calculations, my panels should pay off 3-4 years. By then there may be even better ways to harness energy!
Do-it-Yourself Solar Panel Installation
The cost of purchase and installation of a solar power system can be anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 depending on the size of the system and your home’s unique energy needs. Perhaps like many homeowners, this expense is more than you can afford, even with the help of tax credits or financing provided by the seller. If you are homeowner who wants to make the switch to solar power, but you are concerned about the cost of installation, there may be another option you can consider—you can install your solar power system yourself.
Do-it-yourself installation of solar panels is not a project for everyone. There are some basic skills you will need before moving forward.
- A general understanding of the electrical system in your home, as well as what is needed to attach your panels to the local grid, is absolutely necessary for a successful installation.
- You will also need to understand how to safely mount panels onto roof, positioning them to get maximum hours of sunlight exposure each day. A quick Google search will help you find online tools for this. Here is one that is at the top of the list.
Planning Your Solar Power System
The first step to installing solar panels on your home is creating a plan for your entire system. This will require you to create building plans based on the amount of electricity you need your panels to produce each day using previous consumption numbers, as reported on your electric bills.
Once you have a plan in place, you will need to apply for the permits required by your city. For example, in Fresno, California there are extensive requirements for obtaining a permit, including providing a detailed electrical plan of your home, which must be completed before you can move forward with the installation of your solar panels. Check with your local building department—some states and municipal governments regulate who can complete solar installations and may require you to hire a certified installer to do the project for you instead.
Installing Your Solar Panels
When it comes to the installation of the solar panels, patience and caution are key to avoiding a mistake. Solar panels are very expensive, costing around $600 each. Handle each panel carefully and make sure they are perfectly aligned before moving on to the next panel.
Before panels can be installed, however, you will need to install your mounting system. You can either purchase a mounting system individually or you may be able to purchase an entire solar power system kit that includes the mounting system along with the panels.This resource has a lot of great mounting ideas to get you started.
Installing Wiring and Connecting to Grid
If you are planning to install your entire solar power system yourself, we highly recommend investing in a kit instead of paying for each piece of equipment separately. In most kits, you will also find an incredibly simple wiring system along with the converter needed to transform energy from the sun into electricity your home can use.
Once the wiring of your solar panels is properly installed, you will need to work with your electric company to make sure the panels are connected to your local grid. This will allow you to route any excess energy produced to the grid for use. Typically, electric companies offer some kind of incentive or energy credit for homeowners who are allowing them to use the excess energy their panels produce.
Installing solar panels is no easy task. If you are concerned about your skill level, safety or worry that you will not be able to install the system properly, there are other ways you can save money outside of a do-it-yourself installation. Many states are offering tax incentives or grants and your local solar installation contractors may be offering low or no money down payment plans with affordable repayment options.
Still want more info. Here is any awesome video with a lot of great information.
Author Bio: Mary Sauer lives in the Midwest with her husband and two young daughters. She enjoys writing professionally for Modernize.com with the goal of empowering eco-friendly homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.