Can You DIY Your Solar Installation?
Are you interested in going green, going off the grid or just saving some green? Discover how easy it is to do your own solar installation.
Getting Solar Power: What Are Your Options?
Solar power is gaining in popularity as people look for ways to reduce their energy use, lower their bills and loosen their ties to the electrical power grid. Solar panels that hook up to the power grid can cut your electric bills in half.
Buying solar panels and having them installed can be expensive. The large solar companies charge an average of $10,000 to $15,000 or more just to put those panels on your roof.
The energy savings on your electric bill start immediately, but if you’re financing or leasing your solar equipment, you may not even notice those savings. If you pay in cash, you’ll cut your bills in half. Most energy experts estimate that it takes about 10 years to get back your investment.
Can You Do It Yourself?
There is an easier way. You can install the panels yourself.
Installing solar is a DIY job that most homeowners can do on their own. There are some good reasons to consider doing this.
- You ‘ll save thousands in installation costs.
- You’ll make your investment back quickly.
- Despite what many solar companies tell you, installing solar yourself is legal and code-compliant.
- You can do most of the work yourself.
You Still Need an Electrician
Note that we said “most of the work.”
You will need help with the installation of the electrical system that hooks up to your solar power. In many states and localities, an installation by a professional electrician is required. It’s also better for your safety and your peace of mind to know that the electrical wiring is correctly done.
What You Need to Get Started
Choose your panel type. You can purchase solar panels for your roof or ground-mounted solar panels. Ground-mounted panels are easier to install and maintain, but you’ll need a large outdoor area for them. Roof-mounted panels are suitable for almost any size of the home but are more complicated to install.
Buy premade or custom-made kits. You can buy premade solar panels in various standard sizes. You can also have them designed to your specifications by various retailers.
Solar panels for DIYers are a small but growing niche in the solar market. These companies can sell you solar kits for roof or ground mounting that cost a fraction of what the major solar installers charge.
Decide on a battery. If you’re installing solar in an off-grid area, you will need a battery to collect the energy. Some people like to have a battery backup even if their solar system is tied to the grid. The same companies that sell solar kits also sell the batteries.
Electrical Considerations for Solar Panels
You got your solar kit and you’re ready to get started. A SESCOS technician can help you with the wiring stage. You should always consult with a professional electrician when you’re dealing with large amounts of current.
Wiring for solar panels has its own requirements.
Thicker cables. Cables for solar panels can carry up to 20 times the amount of current that regular cables carry. You’ll need thicker, longer cables to handle that amount of current. Thicker cables also reduce the amount of power lost to resistance. This lost power is called wiring voltage drop.
Higher voltage. If you’re using a battery to collect solar energy, check the voltage. Higher voltage requires fewer amps to provide the same amount of power.
Series installation or panel installation. Electricians can wire your solar panels in either a series installation or panel installation. An electrician can tell you which setup is better for your needs.
Don’t Miss Out
If you’ve been hesitant to get solar panels because of the high installation cost, there’s no reason to wait. A SESCOS electrician can work with you to get those panels up and running. Call SESCOS and start enjoying everything the sun can give you.