Within your home solar power project, the installation of the solar panels may be a somewhat intimidating step. However, it looks more complicated than it truly is. In order to install solar panels the correct way, you should take note of the following four steps to be sure you secure maximum performance from your solar panels.
Selecting the Mounting Location
The first and most important action you must do to is to choose the right location to mount the devices. For most homes, space may be limited. Therefore, it's ideal to place them on the roof. If you own a great deal of land, you may want to consider a pole mount installation, as it can be more effective and sometimes easier.
Regardless of which mounting location you decide, you want to be sure the solar panels will have constant, unbothered access to the sun's light. Be sure to stay as far away from trees and other objects so no shadows are casted on the panels, as this would greatly reduce the energy produced system.
It is also vital that you install solar panels in the proper direction. Take a look at the roof to decide the best area or side for sun exposure. You should face the panels in the opposite direction from the hemisphere you live in. For example, if you live in the northern hemisphere, face the solar panels toward the south, and vice versa. This will give them the most direct sunlight. If it is not possible to face them in the best direction, opt for east or west.
Setting Up the Mounting Hardware
When placing the solar panels on the roof, it is ideal to use pre-fabricated mounting hardware. This will ensure the panels have been installed properly and will be able to endure wind, rain, and other inclement weather.
You can choose to attach the mounting hardware directly to the roof's rafters or use wooden blocks that span multiple rafters to secure the hardware. You want to provide a strong foundation for the panels in the event of strong winds. Avoid mounting solar panels to the plywood sheathing of the roof, as this will not create a strong enough foundation and you risk damage to both the panels and your roof if you do so.
It is easy to find the rafters of the roof by using a stud finder. You may also consider using a level or chalk line to be sure you are installing the mounting hardware correctly.
Be sure to also apply sealant around and under the mounting hardware to prevent leaks in your roof.
Installing the Solar Panels
With the mounting hardware installed, it is time to begin securing the metal racks and railing. Be sure that water can run and that wind can adequately flow beneath the solar panel once installed. For this to work properly, the panel should be installed at least three inches off the roof.
Once you have got the hardware, racks, and rails in place, you can install solar panels. To secure the panels in place, use restraining hardware. Now is the time to connect the panels if you will be installing more than one.
Determining the Proper Tilt Angle
It is important that you tilt the solar panels once they are installed for maximum sunlight exposure. Start calculating the right angle by determining the latitude of your home. This can be found on the internet.
When you have found the latitude, add or subtract fifteen degrees to the number, depending on the season. For winter, add 15 degrees so the panels are angled more toward the horizon. For summer, reduce the latitude by 15 degrees so they are more vertical. The tilt will help your panels to get more sunlight with the differences of the seasons.
Hopefully this article has taught you how to install solar panels for your home. It you still feel intimidated with the procedure, ask someone for assistance or begin with only one panel. Once you have the done the process and understand it, installing the rest should be a breeze.