10 Most Essential Solar panel installation tools

In order to perform well in any job you will need to have the right tools, this applies to the solar panel installation too. In this post, I am going to share with you the 10 most essential solar panel installation tools so that you can prepare yourself to install those solar panels.

10 must-have solar panel installation tools

10 Most Essential Solar panel installation tools

If you are going to install solar panels, you need to have all the tools mentioned in this post to make sure that your installation procedure is smooth.

1. Digital Multimeter

Solar panels will convert energy from the sun into electricity, you need a digital multimeter to test and measure voltage and current produced by the solar panels.

A digital multimeter combines the testing capabilities of an ohmmeter, ammeter, and voltmeter. This tool can also help with the maintenance and repairing of solar panels.

You can get a cheap digital multimeter from Amazon, click here.

2. Battery operated drill

When installing solar panels on the roof you will need to make some holes in order to install rails and then hook them up with the solar panels.

The drill needs to be battery operated for easy to use and also according to my experience it reduces the possibility of the technician falling from the roof, for better work, and for your own protection, you need to have a battery-operated drill.

Click here to get a battery-operated drill

3. HackSaw

Solar panels that you are going to install will rest on some rails which you will install on your roof. Therefore, you will need to cut the rails before installing them or after you have finished installing the panels. A hacksaw is affordable and easy to use.

If you do not have the Hacksaw you can pick it up from Amazon

4. Flat Pry Bar

The flat pry bar is tool is also known, is made of flat steel. Typically two inches wide and fifteen inches long, the flat bar is an invaluable tool for separating elements that have been nailed to one another. Since most roofs have shingles, you will need a flat pry bar to help you slide the flashing under it.

Get the flat pry bar here.

4. Caulk Gun

During solar panels installation, you will have to drill numerous holes, in order to add rails and mount solar panels.

Therefore, you will need a caulk gun to help you apply the sealant safely and accurately. The roof sealant will prevent leakages in the future and help protect your ceiling.

Get Caulk Gun here

5. Fall Protection

If you are going to work on roofs or at any height, fall protection gear is a must-have. Fall protection gear includes harnesses, ropes, and of course helmets to ensure your safety.

It does not matter how experienced you are, we all make mistakes, and when that mistake is on a roof, it can cost you your life if you are not equipped with fall protection.

Get your fall protection harness here.

6. Cable and Connector Tools

During the solar installation process, you will have to connect solar panels between themselves, you will need to connect solar panels to the inverter, all you will need some cable to your home appliances such as lights bulb, these process will require some cables and connectors.

You will need to calculate the size of the cables you need before you buy them, the size of the cables will depend on how many watts and current is produced by your solar panels, and the distance from the solar panels to the inverter and from the inverter to the distribution center. 

7. Solar Panel Hanger

Solar panel hangers are a must-have tool for anyone who plans on installing panels. This tool sits on the tracks and allows you to place the panels safely on the rail.

The solar panel hanger can eliminate the need for maneuvering a 50 pounds cell and the risk of your panels falling down.

8. Screwdrivers

This is the essential tool for solar panels installation, remember that your solar panels will be held in place on your roof by screws.

Depending on the size of your project you can purchase a number of screwdrivers, the rule of thumb is to first tighten the big screws locking the mounts onto the roof safely.

You can get Screwdrivers from Amazon

9. Wire Stripper/Cutter

Solar panels installation involves a lot of wiring, so make sure you have the right wires stripper and cutter to help you with the wiring task. With the right stripper and cutter, you can finish the wiring job within the shortest time possible.

Do you need a wire stripper? get one from Amazon.

10. Tape Measure

You can use a tape measure in different ways during solar panels installation, when sizing your system, you can use them to determine the length and width of your roof. You can use this information to know how many solar panels you can put on the roof.

The tape measure can also help you determine the exact place where you will install the mounts which you will mark using your chalk. And once you have installed the mounts, you can use a string line to ensure that the rails are leveled.

Need a tape measure? get one from Amazon.  

Best Solar Panel Memes To Make Your Day

I was surfing around the web today and I found some great solar panel memes that made me laugh, today I am going to share them with you so that they can brighten your day.

13 solar panel memes to brighten your day

So I found these 13 fun memes that can make you laugh a little bit. Disclaimer, these memes are not intended to offend anyone are just for fun, if you find yourself offended, I apologize in advance. 

#1: Solar panels are everywhere

Best Solar Panel Memes To Make Your Day

#2: Always pick a reputable installer to install your panels, this is one of your biggest investments

Best Solar Panel Memes To Make Your Day

#3: There is no clean coal, you know it

Best Solar Panel Memes To Make Your Day

#4: We all that going solar can reduce your bill

Best Solar Panel Memes To Make Your Day

#5: Just go solar read the 5 reasons why here

Best Solar Panel Memes To Make Your Day

#6: Can we agree on this?

getting solar

#7: Sad but true, you need to have a home to install solar panels on your home

install solar panels on your roof

#8: It is very hot here

hot solar

#9: You can always have both

Best Solar Panel Memes To Make Your Day

#10:Solar energy for all

solar energy for all

#11: Even cats are going solar, what are you waiting for?

cool cat

#12:It feels good, you should experience this feeling

good feeling

#13: Install those solar panels

Best Solar Panel Memes To Make Your Day

Final words

That is it, those are funny solar panel memes that I found on the internet, hope you enjoyed them and they motivated you a little bit to go solar. Thank you for reading.

Best Solar Panel Quotes To Motivate You To Go Solar

Many people are going solar, we all know the benefits of having solar panels on your roof. Today I am sharing with you the best solar panel quotes that can inspire you to go solar.

Best Solar Panel Quotes To Motivate You To Go Solar

Best solar panel quotes that can inspire you to go solar

“We have this handy fusion reactor in the sky called the sun, you don’t have to do anything, it just works. It shows up every day.” – Elon Musk.

“Solar is cost effective right now. When you consider the cost to our health from air pollution, solar is just as competitive as any other energy source.” – Thomas P. Kay.

“Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of … permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.” – Jimmy Carter.

“I think the future for solar energy is bright.” – Ken Salazar.

“The primary means of energy generation is going to solar. It will at least be a plurality, and probably be a slight majority in the long term.” – Elon Musk.

“The sunlight … that strikes Earth’s land surface in two hours is equivalent to total human energy use in a year. While much of that sunlight becomes heat, solar energy is also responsible for the energy embodied in the wind, hydro, wave, and biomass, each with the potential to be harnessed for human use. Only a small portion of that enormous daily, renewable flux of energy will ever be needed by humanity.” – Christopher Flavin.

“You could power the entire United States with about 150 to 200 square kilometers of solar panels, the entire United States. Take a corner of Utah… there’s not much going on there, I’ve been there. There are not even radio stations.” – Elon Musk.

“Homeowners want solar power. It’s cost-effective. We invented a business model that makes it really easy for consumers to switch to solar – and that’s solar-as-a-service.” – Lynn Jurich.

“You don’t even need a roof to adopt clean energy today, and the paybacks are higher than ever – both for the environment and financially.” – Paul Spencer.

“What do oil company executives, vampires, and NASA bureaucrats all have in common? They fear solar energy.” – Dr. Michio Kaku.

“We live in a world bathed in 5,000 times more energy than we consume as a species in the year, in the form of solar energy.” – Peter Diamandis.

“If you take a nuclear plant, and you took its current output, and you compare that to just taking solar panels and putting solar panels on the area used by the nuclear power plant — because these typically have a big keep-out zone, you know of about 5 kilometers or thereabouts, where building houses and dense office or housing space… usually people don’t want to do that near a nuclear power plant. So, there’s quite a big keep-out zone, and when you factor the keep-out zone into account, the solar panels put on that area would typically generate more power than that nuclear power plant.” – Elon Musk.

“The sun provides more energy in one hour than all humanity uses, in all forms, in a single year. Sunlight can provide us with its own resolution to our energy problems. The only transformation required is for humanity to reduce, or end, consumption of stored solar (as fossil fuels) and, in its place, use freely available ‘fresh’ solar.” – David S. Findley.

“The future is green energy, sustainability, renewable energy.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger

“I must be running on solar power. Cause I’m ready to crank back up.” — Billy Currington

“A transition to clean energy is about making an investment in our future.” — Gloria Reuben.

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature inexhaustible sources of energy – sun, wind, and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”-Thomas Edison

“Solar power is the last energy resource that isn’t owned yet – nobody taxes the sun yet.”-Bonnie Rait

“My house is solar-powered. I tell Republicans, ‘You can hate the subsidies – I hate the subsidies, too – but you can’t hate solar panels.”-Thomas Massie

“For every family in liberal San Francisco that went solar with SunRun in 2010, nearly eight families in more conservative Fresno made the switch to our solar power service.”-Lynn Jurich.

“Solar power, wind power, the way forward is to collaborate with nature – it’s the only way we are going to get to the other end of the 21st century.” –Bjork

“Solar power is going to be absolutely essential to meeting growing energy demands while staving off climate change.”-Ramez Naam.

“America is home to the best researchers, advanced manufacturers, and entrepreneurs in the world. There is no reason we cannot lead the planet in manufacturing solar panels and wind turbines, engineering the smart energy grid, and inspiring the next great companies that will be the titans of a new green energy economy.”-Brad Schneider

Solar energy is bound to be in our future. There’s a kind of inevitability about it.”-Jim Inhofe.

” Even if we didn’t have greenhouse gases, we’re going to have to move away from fossil fuels, as we’re going to run out. They’re finite, whereas solar and wind are infinite.”-Ted Turner.

“I have no doubt that we will be successful in harnessing the sun’s energy. If sunbeams were weapons of war, we would have had solar energy centuries ago.”-George Porter.

Final words

That is it, those are the best solar panel quotes that can inspire you to go solar, which of the quotes did you like the best? let me know in the comment section below.

Things To Consider Before Buying a House With Solar Panels

So do you want to buy a new house, but it has solar panels installed on it, what can you do? In this post, I am going to share with you things that you need to consider before buying a house with solar panels.

buying a house with solar panels

Benefits of having solar panels in your house

There are many benefits of having solar panels on your roof, from environmental, political, or climate change, but for me, the main benefit of having solar panels on your house is the financial one, it will reduce the amount of money you pay your utility company and electricity bill.

4 Questions to Ask About Buying a House With Solar Panels

Before making a decision to buy a house that has solar panels installed there are four questions you need to ask, the answers to these questions will determine if buying the house is a smart move or not.

Question #1: Is the system owned outright and not subject to a lease or PPA?

Before you buy a home you need to ask the owner if they own the solar panels, they took a loan to install them, they lease or they have a solar power purchase agreement (PPA).

If they own the solar panels or they took a loan that is good you can go and consider buying the house, but if they lease or have a PPA, this means that they send a payment to a third party each and every month so you will need to know the terms of that payment or you will be in big trouble.

There may be a ‘buy-out’ clause

Sometimes leases contain ‘buy-out clauses’ meaning the new owner can buy their way out of the lease. Check out this with the house vendor and if there is a possibility to buy the lease and you can afford it, they buy it. Most of the time the cost of the lease is the amount of money that would take to install a solar panel system of the same size in the new house.

Question #2: Was the system installed by a reputable installer who is still in business?

This question will give you information about the installer, you want to know if they are reputable, and they are still in business, in case you have to claim a warranty or you just need something to be changed in your solar panel system.

Question #3: Did they use quality solar panels and inverters from companies that are still in business?

Solar panels are one of the biggest investments you can make, you need to know if the component used from the installation are of high quality and from reputable manufactures. Most solar panels manufacture they will guarantee that their panels will produce electricity for more than 20 years, knowing that they are still in business will give you a piece of mind.

Question #4: Is there a copy of the original contract and is the warranty transferrable?

When the original owner of the house signed a contract with the solar installer, they had some kind of warranty signed with the contract. is it transferable? you need to know this before buying the house.

If you get a no as an answer for one of those four questions, for me that is a red flag. my recommendation would be to investigate further to figure out what is the reason if you get a no in two or more questions that, do not buy that house. 

Is buying a house with solar panels a smart decision?

For me yes, it is a very smart decision. Buying a home with solar panels is a smart decision, just so long as the panels are owned rather than leased.

In addition to saving you money on your energy bill, buying a home with solar panels will also boost your home’s value and make it more attractive for resale down the road.

Final words

That is it, for me buying a house with solar panels is a smart decision, just make sure that the owner of the house also owns the solar panels, the solar panels are of high quality and the company that installed the solar panels is reputable. You need to do your investigation before paying for the house with solar panels.

10 Characteristics of Successful Solar Panel Installation Technicians

Probably you want to become a solar panel technician these but do you know what it takes to become a successful solar panel technician? in this post I am going to share with you the most common characteristics of successful solar panel installation technicians.

10 Characteristics of Successful Solar Panel Installation Technicians

1. Curiosity

Becoming a technician is about knowing how things work, in order to keep being relevant you need to have an insatiable curiosity.

2. Constant Improvement

Technologies, customer requirement and how to do things changes very fast, this is why as a solar panel technician you need to be adaptable.

You need to constantly work to improve your skillset, you can do this by listening to feedback from your customers and colleagues, attending training and certifications, and reading.

3. Creativity and Innovation

Sometimes you will face issues that they will need you to be creative, you will face problems that you will never learn in training on books, you need to be able to use what you know and create new solutions for your customers.

4. Problem Solving

You know how the saying goes: if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Technicians regularly encounter problems that must be overcome and solved. Successful technicians have good problem-solving skills that help them in these situations.

5. Good Soft Skills Including Communication

Improving your technical skills is important, but don’t forget soft skills as they are important too. This includes communication skills, presentation skills, leadership skills, and more. Successful technicians have these skills and continuously work to improve them.

6. Team Player

They say you are as good as your team, this is true, most of your projects will require other people with different skills, you need to be able to collaborate with them in order to succeed.

7. Attention to Detail

Solar installations require immense attention to detail. Because solar installations operate for twenty-five-plus years, the installation must be nearly perfect to receive the intended financial returns.

8. An Understanding of Electrical Systems

A solar installation can be thought of as its own electrical power plant. Its goal is to produce clean, reliable, and sustainable power for the customer.

Much like larger power plants, solar installation technicians must have a keen understanding of electrical diagrams to translate these documents into real-life systems.

9. Embrace Change

Nothing stands still in engineering, so it’s important to be open to change. Just because something has been done a particular way for years doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. Successful engineers embrace new technologies, processes, and ways of thinking.

10. Optimistic

Solar technicians face challenges – it’s part and parcel of the job. Those challenges could be a complex problem that appears to be completely resistant to a solution, or an issue with a client that is difficult to fix. Remaining optimistic in the face of these challenges helps considerably.

Final words

That is it, those are the 10 characteristics of successful solar panel installation technicians, how many of them do you have? let me know in the comment section below.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For My Home

This is another question that I get a lot, How many solar panels do I need for my home? In today’s post, I am going to show you how to calculate the number of solar panels you need for your home.

Decide what you do want to achieve with solar panels

Before you install solar panels on your house you need to decide what do you want to achieve by installing solar panels. Do you want to cut half of your electricity bill? do you want to depend 100% on solar energy? This is the decision you need to make before installing solar panels.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For My Home

How to calculate how many solar panels do you need for your home?

I am going to share with you how you can calculate the number of solar panels needed for your house in two steps, the first step will be to calculate the energy you need and the second step will be to calculate the number of solar panels needed. To calculate solar power needs at our home, proceed as follows:

Step 1: How much power do you use per day?

You need to calculate how much energy you need to power your house, in this case, we have two scenarios, the first scenario is if you have been paying bills for the last year and the second scenario is if this is a brand new house.

If you have electricity bills

In this scenario, I am assuming you have been paying electricity bills for the last year and you have historical data for the past 12 months.

To calculate this, get last one-year monthly power bill, add all kilowatt-hour for the whole year, then divide the number by 12, to get your average monthly usage.

Now take our average monthly usage and divide it by 30 to work out our average daily power consumption. As we get our electricity bills in units, we have to convert units into watts.

Suppose consumption of a house is 2400 units per year. Therefore, power usage is 2400/12=200 units per month. Now to get the amount of kilowatt-hour per day you need to divide that number with 30, 200/30=6.7 kilowatt-hour. So the power consumption is 6.7 kilowatt-hour.

If you do not have electricity bills

If it is a brand new house, probably you do not have electricity bills to calculate your daily consumption average, in this case, you can do the following.

All electronics devices have the maximum power consumption label, most of the time it will be in watts, all you need to do is to find that number, let say 50 watts, multiply with the amount of time on average per day you wish to use that item, for example, I use electric bulbs on average of 8 hours per day, so I will multiply by 8, then device that number by 1000 to change it to Kwh.

For example, if I have 5 bulbs that consume 50w each and I am going to turn them on for 8 hours, the energy consumption will be 50*8/1000=0.4 Kwh per bulb, since there are 5 bulbs I will multiply this number by 5, that is 2 kWh per day.

Now perform the same calculation for all devices you plan to use, the television, the refrigerator, the laptop, etc, and then find the total energy consumption per day.

Step 2: Calculate the total number of  solar panels needed

Before you can calculate the number of solar panels needed to cover your electricity needs, you need to find out how many usable hours of sunlight at your region each day.

The easiest way to do this is to look at an isolation map, if you are a professional solar panels installer you might have software that will help you with that but if you don’t you can just check on https://www.nrel.gov/gis/solar.html

Now, imagine that you live in a location where on average there are 8 hours of sunlight every day. and from the step on above you have a total daily consumption of 6.7 kWh per day.

Now take the average consumption in kWh calculated in step 1, you divide by the number of daily usable sunlight and then you multiply it by 1.25 ( this is to compensate for the power loss due to batteries, solar inverter, and wiring ).

If we continue with the example above, the solar panel watt needs equal: 6.7 kWh needed / 8hrs of
sunlight*1.25=1.046 kW or 1046 watts per day.

If do you want 300 W solar panels, that is 1046/300 that is 3.5 solar panels which means you will need 4 solar panels.

If you will use 100W solar panels that are 10.5 panels, you will need 11 solar panels to power your house.

With 4 300W solar panels, you will be able to produce 1200 Watts per day and with 11 100 W solar panels you will be able to produce 1100 watts per day, whichever type of solar panels you choose you should be able to power your house without a problem.

Final words

That is it, this is how you can calculate the number of solar panels needed to power your house, thank you for reading.

Installing Solar Panels in Winter-Is there any Advantage?

Another question I get a lot is that is installing solar panels in winter a good idea? Here is my short answer, winter months are actually a great time to make the switch to solar power, let me explain.

Installing Solar Panels in Winter-Is there any Advantage?

The myth about solar panels in the winter

There is a myth that solar panels don’t work in the winter, and I can tell you that this is not true. In fact, the Winter months are good for solar energy production because the cold temperatures improve solar panel efficiency and this will eventually produce more solar energy.

Why Winter is a Great Time to Install Solar Panels?

There are many reasons why it is a great time to install solar panels in winter, even though it’s colder and the days are shorter. And you might be smart for doing so.

Here are five reasons why installing solar in the fall or winter is a good idea.

Quick and Easy Installation

Fewer people install solar panels during winter, this makes most solar installers to be less busy, this will massively reduce the time required to install your solar panels.

Time is Money

When you install your solar panels during winter means they will be ready and producing energy when it comes to the busy summer season, while others battling to get their solar panels installed your solar panels will be producing energy and saving you money.

Tax Incentives

Most states provide taxi credits as incentives to go solar, since many people are going solar these days, state governments started to reduce these incentives, the longer you wait there is more chance of missing them out, so if you have to do it in winter, do it do not wait.

Beat the Spring Rush for Solar Installations

 As I stated about, in springtime, everyone is trying to get their installs done and it’s a very busy time for solar installers.

Winter is a great time to get ready for the sunshine and savings because come the spring, summer, and fall their system will already be online and generating the credits they need to keep them afloat during next winter.

Disadvantages of installing solar panels in winter

Even though installing solar panels in winter has a lot of benefits, there are a couple of drawbacks that you should consider.

First, in some areas where it snows during winter, it might be very difficult to install solar panels during this time, if you are located in these types of areas it is better to discuss with your solar installer about the possibility of installing solar panels during the winter season.

The second issue about installing solar panels during the winter season is that even if the solar installer agrees to install solar panels they might cancel or delay the installation due to bad weather. This can make the installation process take longer than expected.

Final words

That is it, those are the reason why installing solar panels in winter is a good idea. I know there are a couple of drawbacks but those will not happen to everyone, so take a leap of faith and go on with your solar installation project.

Can You Take Solar Panels With You When You Move?

I get this question a lot, Can you take solar panels with you when you move? The simple answer is it is not worth it, I don’t recommend it, but you can do it if it is really important to move them.

The reason I say it is not worth it is that moving solar panels will require a lot of work and will cost you a lot of money, it is better to just install new solar panels in your new house.

Can You Take Solar Panels With You When You Move?

Factor to consider when moving solar panels to a new house

After deciding to move from your solar-powered home, your first instinct might be to bring the solar panels you invested in with you. The following are some factors to consider before deciding on what to do with your panels when you move.

1) Your new home’s location

This depends on if you are moving locally, out of the state, or out of the county. If you’re moving locally, your solar installation company might be able to help you remove the solar panels and re-install them. But if you are moving out of the state or the country, the costs and hassle of the process may not be worth it.

2) New location regulations

Each state or local government has different laws and regulations when it comes to solar energy the electric company in your new location may have a different solar program, meaning you will have to contact them to get information on how to connect your system to the grid. You’ll also need information on tax incentives, permits, and net metering.

3) The amount of sun your new location is getting

The number of solar panels that are required to produce the energy required to power your house depends on the amount of sun you receive in your area. 

If you move to a different location you will need to recalculate the size of your solar panel system, the amount of electricity the solar panel can produce in cold areas is not the same amount of electricity the same panel can produce in the hotter area.

4) New home roof

The new home roof is another factor to consider, it is facing south or west? it has the capacity to carry the solar panels required for your house, you will need to double-check this before deciding to move your panels.

5) Warranty concerns

Removing solar panels from the roof may void the warranty. This means that some solar companies won’t remove your panels, especially if you’re moving out of state or country.

The damage that can be done after moving solar panels

Removing solar panels can leave damage to the older house, it can leave holes and a two colors roof, this can be a problem with the new owner.

It can leave holes in the old roof

Photovoltaic panels are tightly secured to the roof. The mounting components are screwed into the surface.

Taking away the solar array leaves holes in the roof. And while you might not be able to see these holes from the ground, the penetrations can create problems for the next homeowner. This is particularly true if the holes aren’t filled and sealed against future leaks.

The two colors roof

After removing the PV array, you may notice a difference in the color of the roofing underneath compared to the rest of the roof. The parts of the roof that were exposed to the sun are likely to be more faded than the parts that were shaded by your PV panels.

How much does it cost to move solar panels to a new house?

The process may take about 3 to 4 months on average, as it involves steps such as signing paperwork, getting permits, and scheduling the move.

Therefore, there are usually significant fees associated with relocating solar panels, in most states the cost is between $4000 and $8000 depending on the size of your solar panel system.

How hard is it to move solar panels?

The process will be extremely difficult, risky, and expensive and probably not worth it; If you’re moving out of state, you need to check the pertinent rules and regulations in your new area and find out what standards the solar system must meet and what permits are necessary for photovoltaic panel installation.

So what is the best solution then?

For me, the best option for you is to sell the house and install the new solar panel system in your new house.

Installing solar panels can boost the resale value of your house, it has been reported that people can pay up to $15000 more for the property that has solar panels than the same house having the rest of the characteristics equal.

Since many people want to go solar these days, this makes it easier for you to find the right buyers and sell your house faster. Not only that but you also won’t have to worry about damaging your roof during solar panel removal.

Final words

Moving solar panels with you will require a lot of work and you will spend a lot of money in the process, for me, it is not worth it. My recommendation is just to sell the house with the solar panels and install new solar panels in the new house.

How Long Does It Take To Install Solar Panels?

You decided to take a leap of faith and decided to go solar, but do you know how long does it take to install solar panels?

The time it takes to install your solar panels can vary anywhere from one month to up to three months depending on a number of factors.

How Long Does It Take To Install Solar Panels?

Why does it take a long time?

The main reason why it takes between 1 to 3 months is that there are many steps you need to follow in order to get those solar panels installed, from finding the right solar installer, getting the required permit, installation and connecting to the grid, it will take time to accomplish all those steps.

Factors that impact solar installation times

You won’t have solar panels on your property the day after signing a contract. The time it takes before you’re up and running with solar power largely depends on five factors:

  1. Your solar installation company
  2. Local permitting and inspection processes
  3. Size and type of solar panel system
  4. Property characteristics
  5. The utility company and interconnection

Steps and time estimation on solar panels installation

In order to understand how long it will take to install your solar panels, I am going to explain the steps you need to take and the estimated time.

Step one: Selecting your solar panel’s installer

This is the first step and the most important one, you need to take your time and select a competent solar installer. 

You need to select a good and reputable company to install your solar panels, you can find people in your local area that have solar panels and ask for their opinion or you can search in yellow pages or just google them.

Contact 3 to 5 companies, ask questions, here is the list of questions you can ask, pick the company you like the most and sign a contract with them.

This process should take between 1 to 2 weeks.

Step two: Inspecting your house

After agreeing on a contract with your solar installer, they will send someone to inspect your house if it is suitable for solar panels installation.

They will analyze your roof and verify if it is capable of supporting solar panels and the general inspection on the electric installation in your house.

The inspection itself will take one day, but how long it will take for your installer to inspect your house? it depends on the availability of a person who can inspect your house.

In my experience, this process will take between a week and two weeks to be completed.

Step three: Sizing your system

After inspecting your house, the installer will need to calculate how many solar panels are needed, the size of the inverter, cables for wiring, circuit breakers, etc.

Most solar installers have pre-made templates for sizing, so this process should take less than a week.

Estimated time 7 days.

Step 4: Obtaining permits

Before you install solar panels on your house you will need to seek permits, this work will be done by your solar install.

This process will depend a lot on the experience of the solar install and the contact they have within your local government, if the company is very experienced they know how things get done, it will be faster, also it depends much on the availability of the local officials who are responsible for the approval.

This process will take between a week and one month.

Step five: Getting grants and rebates

Installing solar panels is not cheap, most governments offer grants, rebates, or taxi credits as incentives to push people towards solar energy, you need to make sure that you take advantage of them. The good news is that this process can be done when seeking permits so the time of completion is counted within step 4.

Step 6: Solar panels installation

After getting approval, the next step is to actually install solar panels at your house, usually, this process takes one day if you have batteries it might take two days since a solar system with batteries is more complicated to install.

Estimated time 1 or 2 days.

Step 7: Grid connection

If you want to connect your solar panel system to the grid, the solar panel installer will have to contact your utility company and they will schedule a day when they can perform the activity.

Connecting to the grid should take a day, but it depends on the availability of your local utility company representatives, this process can take up to 7 days.

Step 8: Commissioning and inspection

After finishing everything and testing, the local government will send someone, most of the time from a third party company to commission the solar panel system, this is to make sure that the system meets local electric and fire codes.

This process will take one day, but sending a request for commissioning to actually do it, will take several days depending on the availability of the officials.

From my experience, this process will take between 1 to two weeks.

Final words

As I elaborated, you can see that it will take between 1 month to 3 months to install solar panels in your house, sometimes it can take longer. Does it worth the wait? absolutely, when you start using solar energy in your home, you will forget all the troubles.

Solar Panel Inverter Maintenance-Preventing System Problems

Generally, solar panel systems do not need much maintenance, this is due to the fact that there are no moving parts in the system. 

Since the solar inverter is one of the main components of your solar system, today we are doing to discuss solar panel inverter maintenance and what you can do to make it last longer.

Solar Panel Inverter Maintenance-Preventing System Problems

Why do you need to inspect your solar inverter so often?

Like in any highly electrical system the life span of a solar inverter is directly related to the amount of maintenance does it receive. The main enemy here is moisture, if the electricity is flowing in the possible presence of moisture, the risk of corrosion increases too. 

Main issues with solar inverters

In the solar industry, we have two types of solar inverters that can be installed at your home, the string inverters and the micro-inverters.

String inverters connect a group of panels, called a string, to one inverter. This means that you may have a set of panels all feeding into the same large inverter.

By contrast, micro-inverters are an integrated part of each individual panel (on the back of each solar panel), eliminating the need for a larger single inverter.

When there is a problem is the inverters you will notice the reduction in the amount of solar energy produced, you can notice this by using solar reading of the meter or if you are using string inverters they will give you an error code, the error code depends on the inverter manufacture.

How often I should clean my solar inverter?

I will recommend performing a check-up on your solar inverter at least once per year, just do a full inspection and cleaning of the inverter in case of dust and moisture.

Also, you can check how well the electrical connections are working and if there are loose one make sure you tighten them up and lastly replace any part that is found to be failing.

Make sure you make electrical testing to confirm that the energy produced is near to the amount of solar energy you are expecting from your solar panels, if not find out what is the issue and fix it. 

Can I clean solar inverters myself? 

Solar inverters carry a lot of electricity and as I always tell my students, electricity is the best servant to have but a very cruel master. One wrong connection can cause fire, or even cost life, do not try this if you do not have experience with electricity. Hire a professional.

Final words

That is it, those are my solar panel inverter maintenance tips and opinion, my recommendation is you should do it at least once a year and if you’re not an electrician, hire a pro. Thank you for reading.