Solar panels in the home can be installed professionally, or for the brave, the DIY option also exists. You would be well-advised not to attempt the DIY route unless you truly feel comfortable with the levels of what is required to successfully complete the installations.

Remember that certain contractors offer special prices if you use them for both sales and installation, so don’t dismiss the option before investigating it!

A factor that not many people consider before installing a solar system, is the condition of their current roof. If it is unstable or worn out in any way that might affect it supporting your new installation, the roof will need to be repaired first. If it is fairly stable, with only minor repairs required, make sure that you do that before bringing in the solar installation.

A much older roof could be too weak or flimsy to support the weight of a new installation. In such a case, you will need to have the roof redone before getting your solar contractor in. Although this hidden cost of solar panel installation does feel like a huge layout, it is often to the benefit of your resale price to have the necessary upgrades done.

How do solar panels work?

These panels are comprised of photovoltaic cells, which absorb the solar radiation that is created when the sun is up. This solar energy creates electric charge, which is directed by the cells in the panels. Most panels are also equipped to convert the power from direct current to alternating, making it safe for use in a home environment. If your system is fitted with a battery pack, you will also be able to store energy for use in times of the day when no sunlight is available.

The solar cells in the panels are made from silicon, an element which is used for this job thanks to its conductive properties. Silicon starts conducting electricity upon exposure to light, making it ideal for solar setups.

Each cell is shaped like a small square and contains electrical contact plates. Laying an amount of these squares side by side with a back sheet and front covering on either side, is the simplified explanation of how solar panels are made.

Before you hit the dial button on your “solar power firms near me” search make sure you are clear on the number of panels needed to power a space depends on the size of the space and what it is used for. Spaces that use more power, like home or office setups, will need more panels, to address the greater demand, thanks to power-hungry appliances, lights and computers. In this case, a string of panels can be connected in a series to increase the capacity.

Net metering: what it is and how it works

If you have a grid-tied system, some of the power you generate will be stored into the public utility grid, and in exchange, you will be credited by your utilities company for helping to generate power. You will build up credits for the power you give back, and you will be able to spend these on grid power during times when there is not a lot of sun available, like night-time, or prolonged periods of bad weather.

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