What if you install solar panels to offset your energy use and bring down your monthly electricity bills, but a few years down the line, your energy needs increase?
Is it possible to add more solar panels? Generally speaking, as long as you have additional rooftop or ground space, you should be able to expand your photovoltaic system. But the project may bring a challenge or two.
First of all, if you’re planning to add extra solar panels, you’ll need to contact the photovoltaic contractor who installed your original components. Your installer is your best resource for information on expansion options. More important, however, is the fact that working with a different contractor could void your solar panel system warranty.
But what if your original photovoltaic contractor is no longer in business?
If you can’t turn to your original installer, contact your PV system manufacturer for advice on expanding without voiding the warranty.
The potential for home PV expansion depends greatly on your solar inverter.
A string inverter may not be able to accommodate more solar panels. String inverters are sized to generate a certain amount of electricity from the sun’s energy. Unless yours was oversized to begin with, you may need to install a larger capacity inverter in order to expand your solar array.
If you installed micro-inverters, you shouldn’t have a problem adding extra solar panels later on. Since each module has its own inverter, expanding your solar array is really just a mounting and wiring project.
Looking to plan for the future? If you haven’t already installed your solar array, you can take a few steps to make sure the door to expansion remains open.
First, hire a reputable, well-established photovoltaic contractor for your solar installation. While you’re at it, choose components from a well-known manufacturer. If you go cheap, you may end up paying more in the long run if you decide to expand.
Also, discuss your future energy use with your photovoltaic contractor. Let your installer know about your concerns, and they’ll be able to design a PV system that can accommodate expansion.
Have more questions? The professionals at Intermountain Wind & Solar, serving Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming and Nevada, can offer expert advice on installing a home PV system. For a free consultation to discuss residential solar panels, contact us today.
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