If you’ve decided to have a solar panel system installed for your Albuquerque home, you’ve made an excellent choice. Solar panels provide numerous benefits for homeowners, both practically and financially. Plus, with solar panels, your home will be powered by a renewable energy source: the sun!
Before your solar panel system is installed, it’s helpful to know what to expect. Here, we’ll cover the steps of solar panel installation. From the initial planning to the final stages of installation, you can feel good in knowing that you’re working towards energy independence.
The Steps of Solar Panel Installation
Step 1: Site Visit and Inspection
The first step of the installation process involves a visit to your home by your Albuquerque solar panel contractor. The contractor will check out your property and gather the information needed to devise a plan for your solar system. This mainly involves your home’s electrical system, as the contractor will need to make sure that your new solar system will be congruous for your home.
Other aspects of your home that must be evaluated before solar panels are installed include:
- The electrical panel
Your home’s electrical panel is the grey box that’s typically located in the basement. The electrical panel’s job is to accept the power for your home and deliver it to the circuits. For a solar panel system to be installed, your electrical panel may need to be upgraded. In this case, additional amps of current and a higher ampere capacity are required for a solar system to work. It’s important to upgrade the electrical panel, if needed, before moving forward with the installation process.
- The roof
During the site inspection, your contractor will also need to check out your roof. The solar panels will be installed on your roof, so its condition is crucial. Your roof must have a secure, undamaged structure to accommodate solar panels. Before the solar panel installation, you’ll need to repair any damage to your roof and keep up with maintenance tasks, such as trimming neighboring trees.
After looking over your home and getting a sense of your unique needs, the contractor can design your solar panel system.
Step 2: Permits and Paperwork
By installing solar panels, you’re making a major change to the setup of your home’s energy system. So, it’s unsurprising that a high volume of paperwork must be completed before the installation can take place. But, as the homeowner, you won’t have to deal with too much of this paperwork. Your trusted solar panel installer will do the brunt of it, namely to get the required permits from local governing entities.
In addition to the permitting paperwork, forms for incentives need to be filled out prior to solar panel installation. These incentives may include the federal solar income tax credit, PACE and other clean energy initiatives, federal rebates, local solar panel programs, and SRECs, which are solar renewable energy certificates. By applying to solar panel initiatives, you can maximize the benefits of going solar.
Step 3: Solar Panel Installation
Once the permits and other paperwork has been approved, it’s time for your installer to get to work. The process of physically installing solar panels onto your roof may take anywhere from a single day to a week, namely depending on the size of the solar system. For most Albuquerque homes, the solar panel installation process should take no more than three days.
The installation process starts with sorting out wiring, positioning equipment, and installing racking for support. Once these elements are in place, the solar panels can be connected to your home’s new energy system. Then, inverters will be hooked up to the solar panels, allowing your home to use the solar energy collected by the panels.
Step 4: Official Approval
Before your new solar panel system can fully go into effect, a representative from your local government must complete an inspection. This inspection involves looking over the electrical wiring, mounting, and other aspects of the system for safety and adherence.
Once this representative grants approval, your solar panel system can be connected to the electrical grid and go into effect! With a solar-powered home, you can start working towards energy independence.