There are many of us that can’t afford those costs, including DIY enthusiasts such as yourselves have decided to learn how to install solar panels by themselves. If you can follow the directions to put together a desk, dresser or bookcase from a WalMart diy furniture kit, then you can more than likely learn how to install solar panels by yourself too! It is not that difficult!
In the following section, we describe the basics of this task, however before you start this diy project, you should remember this point. Always put your safety first when installing solar panels, especially if you are mounting them onto a roof. Check your local regulations in your area if there are any before buying solar panels for your home as some local laws may have specific rules and regulations about the maximum size of the panels and where they can be positioned.
All work involving electricity also involves a certain degree of risks and dangers, so make sure you understand what you are doing, what the components are that you are working with, and what you need to do with them.
Last, but not least, be cautious if you are going to purchase your solar panels online because as with any business nowadays, unfortunately some manufacturers and retailers are only out to make a quick buck and will peddle unsafe and faulty panels, or just plain not even deliver them. So as a general rule, take your time and always do some research and deal strictly with reputable dealers or online retailers.
- Checklist for Solar Panel Installation
- Solar Panels
- Lag Bolts
- Solar Panel Conduit
- 3/8 Inch Steel Bolts
- Stud Finder
- Metal Rails
How to install solar panels
- Step One
- Before starting the installation process, you will need to figure out how much power you are currently using. This is important because this will determine how much solar power you will need to generate and how many panels you will need to fulfill the energy demands. You can check your energy bills and see how many kwH you are currently using on average, and exceed that by 10% to 15% or so to be on the safe side if possible.
- Step Two
- Find out how much room you have available to mount the solar panel as you may have limited space. You do not want to go out and purchase numerous panels only to find out that you don’t have enough room for all of them. Also be sure to identify the optimum position for the solar panels where they will be exposed to the greatest amount of direct sunlight, and use that area to determine the amount of space available. If your roof is small, or yard is small, you may want to consider a combination of yard/roof paneling.
- Step Three
- Using a stud finder, find out where the exact location of the rafters on the roof. These rafters will offer an excellent support structure for the panels when they are installed.
- Step Four
- Select the right mounts for your type of roof and the solar panels you are installing. There are generally three mounts available: roof ground mounts, pole mounts, and flush mounts. Follow the guidelines from the manufacturer to mount the panels. This should involve drilling and securing the mounts to the roof and then attaching them with the lag bolts.
- Step Five
- Next, attach the metal rails onto the mounts by using 3/8 inch stainless steel bolts.
- Step Six
- Now it’s time to attach the solar panels to the metal rails. You want to get this step exact so that each panel is secured safely. Open the junction box which is located on the back of each individual solar panel and connect the panels together.
- Step Seven
- After you have connected the solar panels together, run the wire from the last panel to the junction box and attach the conduit to the converter. Before making the final connections inside your home, ground the system for safety purposes.
- Solar Calculator
While many of us struggle to make ends meet at times, the is one thing that will remain constant, the cost of energy from the grid will keep rising until we rid ourselves of fossil fuel/for profit energy sources. One way to overcome this financial burden is solar energy, which is free,, however the start up costs can be high, especially with professional installation. If you know how to install solar panels yourself, you can save a substantial amount of money and those solar panels will pay for themselves within 5 years if your average electric bill is around $150 dollars a month. If you aren’t mechanically inclined however, or know nothing about electricity, we do recommend either getting more help in the form of a book, a friend or neighbor who has more mechanical/electrical inclinations, or seek out a professional. Peace my friends and go green!