What to Expect During Solar Panel Installation

If you've decided the time is right to install solar panels on your home or any other building, congratulations! You're investing in a sustainable, growing form of energy production that will benefit you in numerous ways -- and now it's time to prepare for the all-important installation day where your panels will be fully installed.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're happy to assist a wide range of clients with all their solar power needs, including both residential and commercial solar panel installations. What should you be preparing for and expecting as your solar panel installation approaches? Here are the basic steps that will typically be followed, plus what else to expect and how to prepare your space in advance.

General Steps for Solar Panel Installation

Here are the general steps that will typically be followed during the installation of solar panels -- including certain elements that begin well in advance of installation day itself:

  • Site assessment: First and foremost, our team will need to come out and do a thorough assessment of your property in order to ensure it's viable for solar panel installation. This includes looking at the amount of sun exposure the potential site receives, as well as any potential shading from trees or other structures. We'll also ask about all your basic energy usage needs and goals in order to ensure we design and install a system that's perfect for you.
  • Design and permitting: Once the site assessment is complete, our team will get to work designing your custom solar panel system. This includes everything from selecting the right panels to ensuring all necessary permits and approvals are in place. Many regions require special permits for solar panel installation, so this is a critical step that our team will handle on your behalf.
  • System installation: This is the day when our team will come out and install all the necessary hardware for your system, including mounting brackets, racking, conduits, and of course the panels themselves. We'll take care to ensure everything is properly mounted and secured, and that all wiring is done correctly and up to code. Most solar panel installations will only take a single day, though very large or complex installations may require additional time.
  • Government inspection: It's important to realize that your solar panel installation process technically isn't finished when our team leaves -- in many cases, you'll also need to schedule and pass a government inspection before the system can be considered officially "live." We'll help you navigate this process and make sure everything is done correctly so that you can start generating power as soon as possible.
  • Activation: And once you've received full approval from the government, it'll be time to "flip the switch" and officially activate your solar panel system. From there, you can start reaping all the benefits that come along with solar power usage!

Preparing Your Property

Ahead of your solar panel installation, there are a few key preparations you'll need to make at your property in order to ensure everything goes smoothly. First and foremost, it's important to have a clear and unobstructed path for our team to access the installation site -- this means trimming back any trees or bushes that might get in the way, and making sure there's room for our team to maneuver.

Down related lines, we'll work with you to ensure there are no obstructions on your roof that may make it difficult to install the panels (such as vents, skylights, or other protrusions). And finally, it's important to note that solar panel installation typically requires piercing your roof in order to run wiring down into your home -- so if you have an older home with a shingled roof, we may need to replace some of the older shingles before we can get started.

You'll also need to ensure that any and all utility meters or other equipment that might need to be accessed during installation are easily accessible and not obstructed in any way. Our team will need to disconnect your home from the grid during installation, so it's critical that we can quickly and easily access everything we need.

Finally, it's a good idea to clear out any vehicles or other obstacles from your driveway or any other areas where our team will be working. This will help us avoid any potential accidents or damage, and make the overall installation process that much smoother.

Other Factors at Play

Finally, a few other connected elements that may play a role in your solar panel installation process include:

  • Roof direction: The direction your roof faces plays a big role in the effectiveness of your solar panel system. In general, south-facing roofs are considered the best option for optimal power production, though east- and west-facing roofs can also be effective in some cases.
  • Roof type: The type of roof you have also plays a role in how easy (or difficult) it is to install solar panels. For example, metal roofs are typically the easiest to work with, while tile roofs can be more challenging.
  • Roof angle: The angle of your roof also affects solar panel effectiveness -- and in general, steeper roofs are better than flatter ones. That being said, flatter roofs can still work in some cases, especially if they're south-facing.

These are just a few of the key considerations that will play into your solar panel installation process -- but don't worry, our team will help you navigate everything and ensure everything is done correctly and efficiently. Get in touch with us today at Intermountain Wind & Solar to learn more about solar panel installation and get started on your own system.

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