Should You Have Professionals Install Solar Panels?
Solar panel installation projects are becoming more popular by the day. If you're interested in this approach to cost-effective energy, you might wonder if you need to have professionals deal with the solar installation work. There are several reasons why you probably will want to hire a contracting firm for solar installation.
The Roof's Structural Integrity
A solar panel installation has to attach to something, and roofs are among the most common places to put panels. Contractors need to assess the integrity of each roof before deciding whether they can attach panels to it. Likewise, they need to be sure that drilling holes into the roof to run cables won't compromise the roof's structural integrity. Also, they have to be sure that the roof can hold the combined weight of the solar installation contractors, their tools, and any supplies along with the installed panels.
If the roof isn't a viable option, there may be some alternatives. One is to re-engineer the roof to handle the required weight. Another is to position the solar installation elsewhere, such as a nearby field. You might also be able to use a lower portion of the structure, such as the roof of a garage or even the support posts of a deck.
Electrical Load Balancing
Whenever you install solar panels, you're going to generate electricity. The energy has to go somewhere, and it's important to balance the load as efficiently as possible to get the most value from the solar installation. A contractor can plan the layout of the system, including where it might connect with the main grid and any batteries. Good planning will significantly reduce the risk that the system will become unstable.
Even in the driest parts of the country, controlling the flow of water on the roof is important. Introducing a solar panel installation will change the water's flow pattern. This may require some revisions to the drainage system, especially in the parts of the roof where the panels will redirect water flow.
A professional solar installation plan will factor in long-term maintenance requirements. This means making it possible to wash the panels to prevent dust and debris from reducing the overall solar output. For example, there should be room for a person to get between the panels and do an annual washing. Also, there should be space for a contractor to access wires, conduits, and control systems under the panels in case they require repairs.