Rooftop Solar Installation: A Step-by-Step Guide for Homeowners

There’s no better time than now to go for rooftop solar installation as the cost of solar systems has significantly reduced. Moreover, several tax benefits and incentives are provided by the Indian government for solar system installation in homes and commercial buildings. You can get a rooftop solar system for your home conveniently and economically to save on monthly electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

Guide for installing rooftop solar system in a home

Let’s discover the important steps you must know before installing a solar photovoltaic system on your rooftop.

  1. Examine your options

Before installing rooftop solar systems, keep important things in your mind. For example, what is your electric sanction load? do you have enough space for system installation and will it receive a sufficient amount of sunlight during most hours of daylight? How much area on your household roof is covered by shade? Is your household roof strong enough to handle the structure weight of the system? The most important thing to remember is the type of solar system you want to install for your home.

  • Calculate energy consumption and audit

Determine how much power you would need for your home after rooftop solar system installation. Consider solar system capacity, payback period, and space needed for installing a system. Use an energy audit to estimate the amount of electricity the solar system needs to produce for your home. Besides this, energy audit helps in meeting an important condition for rebates, loans, and some tax credits. It also decreases the monthly utility bills by doing away with extreme consumption.

  • Difference between solar grid systems

Before applying for rooftop solar system, it’s significant to understand the difference between off-grid, hybrid, and grid-connected systems. An off-grid system is not connected to the electricity grid so battery storage is essential. A grid-connected system as the name depicts is connected to the power grid hence solar electricity generated is used. A hybrid system consists of battery storage and solar in one. 

  • Evaluate your budget

Once you decide on what type of solar system you wish to install and how much energy you need your system to generate, you can determine the approximate rooftop solar system installation cost. Be sure to keep into consideration the number of panels needed, maintenance cost, system lifetime, and warranty.

  • Select your solar system installer

Now, this is the time to compare multiple solar companies and choose the reliable one. Since solar system is a lifetime investment, do complete research for the selected company, their product qualities, customer service, product warranty, and reputation in the solar industry.

  • Site check

A solar developer must do a thorough site inspection or search a site to find out the best photovoltaic location. It helps in ensuring that a site has plain terrain and is at a good height.

The site survey is also essential to evaluate the size of the central electrical panel, the right area for roof top household solar system installation, and the shading area to prevent obstacles in energy production. The expert must note down the slope angle, overall roof size, roof thickness, vents & chimneys, blockages in or around your home, and compass alignment of your rooftop slope.

  • Get permits and proposals

Your installer will create an installation proposal with its relevant energy generation objectives and installation. You will receive this proposal after a site inspection. Now, it’s time to choose a system that meets your needs economically and technically.

  • Authorization and documentation

After accepting the proposal, permits are essential to legalize the self-consumption installation. Before final implementation, you would need authorization from the energy concessionaire working in your community. Permits vary from state to state based on the extent of the design of solar systems. The installation process also includes lots of documentation. The professionals of leading companies take care of the entire documentation process to make it stress-free for you.

  • It’s time for the installation

Based on the project and site survey, the trained expert will start the installation by preparing the rooftop and ensuring the correct fixing of the panels. Then, connect the cables (electrical wiring) linking the main power system and electrical panel.

  • Dealership evaluation

The technical expert goes to the installation site to confirm that the whole installation was done appropriately and validate the beginning of the system use.

  • Maintenance & warranty

The rooftop solar systems generally have 25 years warranty. The solar company assures 90% performance efficiency for 10 years and 80% performance for the remaining years. The solar inverters have a 5-year warranty, however, you can extend it by AMC (annual maintenance contract).

Having no moving parts make solar systems require less maintenance. Periodic cleaning of the PV panels and modules for the removal of debris, dust, leaves, and other particles improves the system’s efficiency.

Mistakes to avoid during rooftop solar system installation

Most homeowners make some mistakes during household rooftop solar installation. The major mistake is purchasing an overpriced system. To prevent this mistake, find out how much investment you need for the installation of the required system. Compare multiple options and buy the appropriate one.

Another common mistake homeowners do is ignoring the need to understand system dimensions, which is highly important. It is essential to determine the approximate size of the system you require. Include the wattage of all electrical equipment you will use and also calculate the total number of hours each equipment will use the power in a day.

Never do the mistake of preventing a checklist of all essential components. Create a checklist of a solar battery, a charge controller, solar panels, and a solar power inverter.   

When you keep into account all of these things, you can avoid these common yet biggest mistakes that can reduce the lifetime and performance of your system. Also, remember that you must understand the proper wire size as it helps in avoiding wire overheating. It also makes sure the optimal delivery of electricity to your solar batteries.

Can I install a household solar rooftop system myself?

Yes, you can install a solar rooftop system at your home yourself if you have detailed know-how of all components of a system and the steps required for installation. But, remember that installing solar systems consumes lots of time when done without professional assistance and also has the possibility of several mistakes. Moreover, any damage during installation can void the warranty. Thus, it’s recommended to contact the skilled and experienced professional of a trustworthy solar installation company.  

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