What a Homeowner Should Know Before Getting a Solar Panel Installation Part 1

Jessica PirroJanuary 15, 202013940

If you’re interested in getting a solar panel installation, regardless if it’s for the savings solar power provides or if you are getting a solar panel installation for the environmental benefits, understand the basics of solar energy us always going to be helpful.  

What To Know Before Installing a Solar Power System Part 1

How Does a Residential Solar Panel Installation Work?

For homeowners to understand the basics of how a residential solar panel installation works, we are going to lay off the scientific terns and use the basic terms. Here’s how solar panels work for your home solar power system.

- Solar panels absorb the sunlight and create direct current (DC) solar electricity.

- The solar electricity will then be sent to a solar power inverter which will then convert the DC solar electricity into usable alternating current (AC) solar electricity for your home use.

- Any excess solar electricity generated by your solar panel installation is going to be sent back to the grid and recorded as a credit on your monthly utility bill or purchased by the utility at their set rate.

- At night when the sun isn’t shining, you can either draw the electricity from the utility’s grid or form your solar battery.

- You will continue to rack up the solar energy savings daily for 30+ years, while you’re generating clean solar electricity for your home and family.

A Solar Power Systems Parts

The Solar Panels

Solar panels absorb the solar energy coming from the sun and then generate solar electricity. There are a lot of options when it comes to selecting solar panels that can impact both the appearance and the performance.

The Solar Power Inverter

Because the solar panels are producing unusable DC solar electricity and your house runs on AC electricity, your solar power system is going to rely on a solar power inverter. The solar power inverter is what converts the solar electricity to the AC solar electricity. The solar power inverter is going to perform a lot of important functions, managing the solar power that is coming from the solar panels and ensuring that the right voltage is flowing into your home to back to the grid.

The Racking

The racking or mounting for the solar panels is what holds the solar panels in place. When you get a rooftop solar panel installation, the racking can be added to both new homes during the construction process or retroactively to existing homes. The racking for solar power systems involves installing clamps on the roof which will clip into the solar panels frame. The ground-mounted solar power systems are going to require a racking frame that is specifically engineered and securely anchored into the ground.

The Meter

Once your solar power system is installed, your utility is going to come out to switch the old meter with a new bi-directional meter. This new meter will allow homeowners to be properly credited for the solar energy you send back to your utility.

How Will the Weather Impact Solar Power Production

As most people know solar panels rely on the sun to produce solar power. But what is going to happen to solar energy production on the cloudy, days?

Clouds & Rain

On the days when the sun isn’t shining you can expect your solar power production from the panels to dip, and when the rain rolls in the production the solar power production will slow even more. But, your solar panels will still be able to produce some solar energy, even when it seems that the sun isn’t shining at all.

The Snow

When it snows, your solar power production will stop if there’s snow that has been piled up on the solar panels. But once the snow stops, it will eventually melt off the solar power system, so there really won’t be a need to clean off your solar panels. The heavier snow loads have to be accounted for when you are engineering the structural design for solar power systems. After the storm passes, you are going to have great solar power production because your solar power system is going to be nice and cold, meaning there is going to be less resistance in its wires, allowing the solar electricity it is generating to flow easier from the solar panels to your homes.

Will Solar Power Systems Require Any Maintenance?

Solar power systems aren’t going to require a lot of maintenance or cleaning. In certain areas that have high dust and don’t get a lot of rain, hosing the solar panels off is a thing. At a lot of the homes that have a heavy tree, coverage may have a little sap buildup. There is a significant amount of sap on your solar panels, you probably have trees too close to your home. It is recommended that homeowners do not attempt to get on the roof and clean the solar panels themselves.

Read part two of what homeowners need to know about solar panel installations here!

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