Home Home & Decor Solar Power Installation 101 for Beginners – What You Should Know

Solar Power Installation 101 for Beginners – What You Should Know

by Vidya Sury August 25, 2022 3 comments
Solar power installation 101 - What you need to know

When my son informed me they are considering solar power installation for their house, it was great news. What can be better than harnessing the sun for energy needs especially when there is lots of sunshine?

Of course, they have a lot of research to do since they need to make several informed decisions about their solar power installation to enjoy its benefits fully.

A residential solar power installation is a big investment. The good news is there are incentives, rebates, tax credits etc. that can bring down the costs. In California, where he lives, there is something called the federal solar tax credit that offers a 30% tax credit on solar power installations through 2032 with no cap on the amount that can be claimed, regardless of the size of the solar power system is installed. In fact, California also has certain statewide solar incentives

If you are wondering why even go in for a solar power installation, here are the three main benefits, the most important one being the financial benefits of solar.

Besides the amazing advantage of using the sun’s energy, which is free, the trend toward opting for solar power is as follows:

Lower energy costs, especially with rising electricity prices. With solar panels producing energy to power your home, the reliance on the power grid for electricity is lower and thus, lower electricity bills. You could end up saving thousands a year. As motivation, the cost of solar panels has reduced over the last decade, and also, technology has improved.

You are less dependent on the power grid and make the choice to be more environmentally friendly, reducing your carbon footprint since solar energy is a renewable power source.

What are some important solar power installation factors to know?

This was my first question to my son as we chatted about this. I recalled a couple of decades ago when my boss installed solar panels on his roof.

So, apparently, there are quite a few things to take into account to ensure that solar panels bring you the optimum benefit.  Some factors to think about are:

  • How old is your roof?
  • What is the angle of your roof?
  • What is the condition of your roof?

In their homeowner’s guide for going solar, the U.S. Department of Energy states that typically, solar panels perform best on south-facing roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees, though other roofs may be suitable too.

  • How much sun does your home receive?
  • What are the HOA and neighborhood rules and restrictions and approval processes?

Solar power installation what you need to know

How exactly does solar power work?

In simplistic terms, here is what happens:

  1. Solar panels gather sunlight or photons and turn it into DC energy
  2. The inverter converts DC electricity to AC
  3. The AC electricity is supplied to your building
  4. Any excess energy flows into the grid. When the solar panels don’t supply enough power, electricity is drawn from the grid.

Solar panels are made from silicon and conductive metals (silicon-based photovoltaic or PV cells) which form an electric field. This lets the panels behave like semiconductors with negative and positive layers creating an electrical circuit.

Several PV cells form a solar panel and many solar panels together create an array that covers the rooftops. The solar panels, usually made of silicon, are held together by a metal frame and glass casing.

Solar panels usually generate power during the day. Even in cloudy/rainy/snowy conditions, they can generate electricity so long as they receive sunlight.

So, where to start your solar power installation journey?

Research is the first step. As you gather information, you’ll learn how solar power works and why its renewable nature might be the answer to our planet’s energy needs. There are plenty of resources online with local solar panel companies urging you to be their client and buy exclusively from them.

This is all good, but the next step before buying the equipment is to find the best solar company in Los Angeles to help you so you can get a professional installer to do an estimate for you. Every home is different and it is important to understand how much energy you need and whether your home has enough space to fit in the required number of solar panels.

The good thing is that very few homes are ill-equipped for solar power. The roof sizes are ideal for most solar installations and the professional will be able to accurately calculate exactly how much you can produce at maximum and whether you can even produce excess solar power to sell back to the grid. Yay!

Solar Power Installation 101 for Beginners What You Should Know

How to choose the Right Solar Panel Company

There are many solar panel brands and companies and you must choose one which supplies original solar panels and can offer at least 25-year guarantees on the equipment you get.

What do you need?

Next, you will have to get an inverter, battery, and grid network that can work seamlessly with the solar panels.

Sure, there are tons of advertising on solar companies, but keep in mind that some of the best solar companies don’t need to advertise as much. Focus more on referrals as these will tell you how good a solar panel company or a solar company is. The more people talk positively about a company the better the chances that their services and products will be reliable and top-notch.

Customer service, of course

Ensure you also check on the quality of customer service your preferred customer service has. Since you are a beginner, you will likely have to call them from time to time as you understand the solar power system. You need customer service that won’t hang up on you, or promise you things they can’t fulfill.

Overall, with the right solar company, your solar power journey will be easy and stress-free. Just ask anyone with a solar panel and see how their lives are so much easier.

After all, what could be better than being kind to the planet today?

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Damyanti Biswas August 26, 2022 at 5:43 pm

This is such valuable information. We have to educate ourselves to live more sustainably. Thanks for sharing this Vidya! 😀
Damyanti Biswas recently posted…Do You Want to Know the Writers of the Books You Read?

Purvi Singh September 12, 2022 at 11:48 am

Excellent post!

Edelman November 15, 2022 at 7:10 pm

Also remember that you can qualify for a tax credit that will greatly reduce the payback period of the panels. For systems installed through the end of 2022, homeowners can claim 26% of qualifying installation costs as a tax credit. In 2023, the credit will be reduced to only 22% of qualifying installation costs.


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