Do you know where to start if you’re thinking of getting solar panels for your home or business? There is a wide range of products to choose from, and various installers are available. Solar energy can remarkably reduce your energy bills, but also think about the upfront investment, which is nearly as much as the cost of a brand-new car. Here is a checklist of the things you should consider before planning a solar panel installation.
Search for an accredited installer of solar panels
You need an experienced and accredited installer of solar panels. The first thing is to check if the installer holds a Clean Energy Council (CEC) accreditation. It is essential to hire an accredited installer to qualify for the solar credits rebate program. You can request help from your local government energy office to find CEC accredited installers, or you can visit www.crosscountryconstruction.biz for solar installation by Cross Country Construction experts.
Know the panels and products you will need
A solar power system needs four items: the solar panels, the mounting system, the inverter, and the monitoring system, although this last item is optional.
The most common type of solar panel to use is the solar photovoltaic panel (solar PV) that converts sunlight into electricity. For homes, you can choose either monocrystalline panels or the polycrystalline ones.
Likewise, there are budget and premium brands, but you should choose the one that will last for a minimum of 25 years to qualify for the solar credits rebate.
An inverter is essential because it will convert the direct current power from the solar panels into alternating current power that you use in your home. The inverter will also feed the power back into the grid if you are connected to it.
Since it works all day, every day, expect to replace the inverter every ten years. The inverter usually comes with a monitoring system, so ask your installer to use the best connection possible. The installer will recommend the right type of mounting depending on the type of roof you have. What you should consider are its wind certification and its warranty.
The layout of the panels
There are three things to consider regarding the layout of the panels: direction, angle, and shading.
- The solar panels facing north will receive the most sunlight. If a north-facing direction is not possible, you can still benefit from west or east-facing solar panels. But consider that panels facing east will produce most of the electricity in the morning, while panels facing west will benefit from the afternoon sun.
- The angle of the panel installation will depend on the location of your house. In most cases, it follows the angle of your roof.
- The production of electricity depends on the exposure of the panels to the sun. Trees, power lines, or buildings nearby can affect the performance of your system. You may have to cut down or trim tree branches or position the panels where they can take full advantage of the sun’s rays.
Get a professional to do an energy audit so will know how much energy you consume each day. This will give you a good idea of the size of the solar panel system you need.