5 Steps to Install Solar Panels

A step-to-step guide to harnessing the power of the sun

The installation of solar panels at your home or business is a great way to take advantage of alternative, natural sources of energy such as solar power. Here is a very basic look at the steps of solar panel installation.

Step 1: Decide on a solar roof or a solar rack

Solar panels can be installed on many different types of roofs or on stand-alone racks if the angle or material of your roof does not allow for a safe solar panel installation. Shingle roofs are the easiest for solar panel installation, while tile roofs tend to be more of a challenge because of their uneven surfaces.

If you are installing solar panels on your roof it is best to install them while your home is being re-roofed. This will eliminate the possibility of roof leaks forming during the building of your solar roof.

Step 2: Obtain the proper permits

Before installing your solar panels, check with your local building permit codes to see what permits you will need to legally install solar panels. This is important as you might have to take down the solar panels if you don’t have the right permits.

Step 3: Consider the sun's location

The next step is to make sure the installation of the solar panels takes sun location into consideration. Pick an area of your roof or property to install your solar panels that gets sun for as long as possible each day. The solar panels can either be mounted flush on your roof or stand, or mounted at an angle to maximize accessibility to the sun’s direct rays.

Step 4: Mount your solar panels

The next step in the installation of solar panels is to mount the panels on the roof or stand at the angle you have chosen to maximize sun exposure. If you are using mounts to hold the solar panels in place, they are attached directly to the roof rafters, generally with stainless steel bolts. Placing your mounts 48 inches apart directly over the rafters is advised.

When setting up the mounts for your solar panel installation, leave 3 to 6 inches of space for air to flow under the panels. This will create a better efficiency with your solar power installation.

Step 5: Connect your solar panels

Once your solar panels are mounted at the right angle in their mounts, the final step is to connect the solar panels to each other and then into your home using the junction boxes and wires provided. This will have to be done to code.

If you have installed your solar panels correctly, they should provide you with years of all-natural energy savings and solar power!

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