Expanding Your Solar Power System? 5 Key Factors to Consider
So, you already installed a solar power system, but your energy usage has increased. Can you expand your photovoltaic array in order to meet your household electricity needs?
Most likely, the answer is yes. However, adding more solar panels to an existing photovoltaic array can pose a few challenges. Here are five factors to consider before making plans to expand your solar power system.
No. 1: Space for Solar Panels
Do you have room for more solar panels? If your photovoltaic array takes up most of the available rooftop space, expanding the system might mean looking for another installation spot. A carport, shed or gazebo could suffice, or you might want to pair your rooftop panels with a ground-mounted array.
No. 2: Solar Panel Compatibility
Are the solar panels in your existing photovoltaic array still available? Installing more of the same type is best, as that ensures the power outputs and efficiencies match – plus, gong that route allows for a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance. If you must choose a different type, make sure the new panels are compatible to avoid system damage.
No. 3: Solar Inverter Capacity
Does your photovoltaic array have a string inverter or micro-inverters? If it’s the former, you may need to consider a replacement when planning your system expansion – string inverters can only convert a certain amount of solar power to useable electricity. If you have micro-inverters, you’ll simply be installing an additional one with each new panel.
No. 4: Permitting and Interconnection
Will expanding your photovoltaic array require additional permits or another interconnection application? Depending upon how many solar panels you’re planning to add and whether you’re replacing your inverter, you might need to submit paperwork to your local building department and the utility company.
No. 5: Photovoltaic Contractor
Does your original photovoltaic contractor work on system expansions? If so, hiring them for the project may be best, as the installers are already familiar with your property and the components in your photovoltaic array. If not, look for a reputable local contractor with expertise in add-on projects or ask your solar panel manufacturer for a recommendation.
Are you ready to add on to your solar power system? For expert advice on expanding a photovoltaic array in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming or Oregon, turn to the experienced professionals at Intermountain Wind & Solar.
A trusted Intermountain West industry leader for more than a decade, Intermountain Wind & Solar has extensive expertise with both new installations and add-on photovoltaic projects. For a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the costs and considerations in expanding your solar power system, contact us today.