Best practices in solar panel installation

solar panel

With the increase in the demand for renewable energy, solar power presents the way of the future. For optimal power generation, certain conditions must be met when installing solar panels. For instance, photovoltaic panels should be positioned directly under the noontime sun for maximum efficiency during installation. 

Guidelines for proper installation

Installation of a solar power system is a well-defined process. While some general steps and guidelines are delineated, every single solar installation project is different and comes with its unique challenges.

  1. Legal regulations for solar panel placement  Regulations may be checked beforehand vis a vis on any restrictions on placing rooftop solar panels or ground-mounted panels. Installing solar panels may also need a building permit, amongst other requirements. 
  2. Site evaluation – During the site evaluation process, the installer checks the site to verify the planned system design. Usually, the roof, the attic, the electrical set up and the battery placement are checked. 
  3. System design approval – Post the site evaluationstage, any changes needed may be approved. If there are changes from the original design, the changes are reviewed, feedback is given, or /and the final design is approved before it is sent for permit approval. The design is checked, along with the electrical work and system production.
  4. Permit approval  Permit approval is necessary, and every solar power system is installed under safety codes (fire, electrical, and structural). The installer will send permitting documents, such as the design approved in the previous stage, to the city to be approved. There are fees attached to permit applications which vary based on city and state. However, there are restrictions on how much the city can charge. Sometimes, all permitting fees are already included in the total system cost.
  5. Check the orientation, size, pitch and shading of the roof – The ideal roof for a residential solar system has 500 sq. ft (46 m2) of unobstructed, south-facing, unshaded space, sloped at a 30-degree pitch. East or west-facing roof areas are good, as long as trees or other buildings do not hinder them. Roof pitches between 15 and 40 degrees are manageable. A professional installer should be hired to angle the support structure for a flat roof. A 100 sq. ft (9.3 m2) of solar panel coverage produces around 1 kilowatt (kW) of energy on average, and the typical home requires around 5 kW.
  6. Assess the roof’s age and structural integrity – Installed solar panels are typically expected to last 20-25 years, so ensure the roofing material below the panel structure is ready to last that long. Installed solar panels typically weigh around 2–4 lb (0.91–1.81 kg) per 1 sq. ft (930 cm2). If the panels are correctly installed, the load is evenly distributed.
  7. Opt for a ground placement if the roof is not supportive – While rooftop placements are often the most convenient and least intrusive option, ground placements often generate more electricity. If you have a lot of open, sunny space on your property, for example, you may be able to build a solar array that’s as big as your budget allows.
  8. Final city inspection  At this stage, the city inspector ensures that all the tasks are done in alignment with the scope of work permitted.
  9. Utility connection  The final step is the utility company’s approval to connect to their grid. The installation should comply with the utility guidelines and any required meter upgrade. The fee for inspection and application may be included in the contract price in the case of turnkey projects. After getting approval or Permission to Operate (PTO), the consumer may turn on their system and begin producing their power.

Installation of solar power is much in demand in India, with the solar power market increasing and the country aiming to achieve 100GW of installed solar power capacity by 2022. The government is offering financial incentives for installing rooftop solar PV systems; hence, the feasibility for even households to install solar panels on their rooftops has become higher.

Nimbus Solar Solutions: Pioneer in renewable energy

Nimbus Solar, the solar division of Nimbus, was started with a visionary approach to extend its offerings to solar systems for residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural purposes. It supplies a wide range of solar products using the best components in the industry. Equipped with the latest and most sophisticated solar products, we are backed by a team of experienced and dedicated engineers and technicians. 

With a Pan-India presence, with branch offices in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, we provide highly efficient and customized products along with expert technical services for installation and maintenance to support them.

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