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How Are Solar Panels Installed?

How to Install Solar Panels

Since solar panels may very well be the future of energy production in this country, a great many homeowners and business owners are now considering the advisability of solar panels installation to generate electricity. Before installing a solar power system, be sure to check with your local zoning board to make sure there are no restrictions against solar panel installation on your rooftop, and that no special permits are required in your location. If you’re a great do-it-yourselfer, you can follow the installation guideline below, and if you’re not, contact a professional solar panel installer.

Pick the best location

The first step in the installation of your solar panels is to determine which side of the rooftop is most advantageous for receiving the direct rays of the sun. This should either be the east side or the west side, whichever receives the longest duration of sunlight.

Determine appropriate tilt for your latitude

Anyone living below 25° latitude will need to orient their solar panels at the same angle as the latitude number. For instance, if you live at 20° latitude, your panels should be tilted at 20°. If you live above 25° latitude, you’ll need to add 5° for every additional 5° of latitude, up to 40°. If you live above 40° of latitude, add 20° of tilt to the latitude number, so that for instance someone living at 55° latitude would have a 75° tilt on their solar panels.

Positioning of solar panel mounts

The solar panel mounts should be placed 4 feet apart, and centered on top of your roof’s rafters. If you don’t know where the rafters are, you can check the blueprints of your home, or use a stud finder to locate them.

Drill rafter holes
In the next step, you must drill holes into the rafters, being careful not to split them. These holes will be used for the steel bolts that fasten solar panel mounts to the rooftop.

Secure the mounts
Next, the solar panel mounts must be secured using steel bolts. Be sure that the areas around the bolts are sealed off, in order to maintain the integrity of the thermal envelope.

Secure the solar panels
Now fasten the solar panels to the mounts. Most solar panels have a panel-to-mount interface which makes it very easy to fasten them to the mount. Verify that the solar panels have at least 3 inches of clearance from the roof, so that proper airflow can be maintained and panel operation can be efficient.

Connect solar panel two electrical supply
Once the mounting has been accomplished, you can connect your solar panel to the electrical supply. This step will generally require the skills of a professional electrician, and unless you happen to have those skills, it’s better to leave this step to the pros.

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