Did you know that about 2.8% of the electricity generated in the U.S., is powered by solar energy?
Installing residential solar panels is an investment like no other. That’s because this energy system will give you more energy than you know what to do with!
Yet, if you’re not careful, your solar system won’t work as well as it could. If you don’t know how to avoid certain mistakes, your system could be compromised for a long time to come.
Learning these seven mistakes with residential solar installations will surely save you.
1. Wrongly Angled Panels
One common mistake that is often made with residential solar installations is failing to calculate the correct angle for their solar panels. Solar panel designs work best when they are correctly positioned. The angle is specific to the latitude of the homeowner’s location.
If the panels are too flat, they will not capture enough energy from the sun, and if they are too upright, they may not be able to properly shed rain, snow, and ice. Homeowners should use an online calculator, such as the Inverter Sizing and Tilt Calculator. It can simply determine the optimum tilt angle for their panels.
The installation should be undertaken by a professional residential solar provider to further ensure that the angles are correct. By taking both steps to ensure the panels are correctly positioned, homeowners will maximize their use of solar energy.
2. Improper Sizing of the Solar System
Improper sizing of a residential solar system is one of the most common mistakes with residential solar installations. This can result in either not obtaining the desired energy output or having to purchase additional solar energy equipment. To avoid this mistake, homeowners should accurately assess the energy needs of their household by calculating the kW hours used daily.
When choosing a solar system, opting for one slightly larger than their estimated needs is recommended. Over-performance warranties may offer a viable option to ensure the desired energy output. Homeowners should also weigh the cost and benefits of each solar system option.
3. Wiring Errors
It is vital to note that errors with wiring are one of the most common mistakes associated with residential solar installations. It is important to ensure that all connections are secure, tight, and correctly sized. Poorly installed wiring can lead to an inefficient system and even cause electric shocks.
To avoid such wiring errors, homeowners need to hire a trained and enthusiastic professional who is aware of all the possible risks. The installer needs to review all code guidelines and load calculations.
4. Incorrect Battery Charging
Incorrect battery charging during a residential solar installation is a common mistake to avoid. Batteries should be regularly charged with care to ensure they are ready to go when needed. If a battery isn’t charged properly, it could cause problems down the road.
Overcharging a battery can cause it to degrade more quickly than normal. On the other hand, undercharging a battery can result in voltage drops and power outages. To avoid these issues, a solar installer should know how to use a quality charge controller, how to provide adequate ventilation for the battery, and how to select the correct charge settings according to the battery manufacturer’s guidelines.
5. Overlooking Maintenance Requirements
It’s easy to overlook the importance of solar panel maintenance requirements when installing residential solar systems. Once the solar power system installation’s done, it’s over, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Solar systems require regular maintenance and care. It ensures optimal performance and longevity.
To avoid this mistake, homeowners must be aware of their system’s maintenance and inspection needs. Typically, it includes cleaning the system regularly and checking and replacing the batteries. Also, check the inverter and hire a licensed solar contractor to carry out annual inspections and necessary repairs.
6. Choosing the Wrong Inverter
One of the biggest mistakes to avoid when it comes to solar installations is choosing the wrong inverter. An inverter allows your solar energy system to take energy from the array of photovoltaic panels and convert it into energy you can use in your home. Solar inverters have different features and capabilities, so it’s important to select the right one for your specific needs and budget.
Before making a purchase, be sure to research and, understand the size, voltage, and efficiency rating of the inverter that you need. Without a correctly sized and compatible inverter, the system will not function efficiently and may even be unable to accept any solar power from the panels. Ensure that the system voltage for the inverter is in line with the input and output connections.
7. Failure to Take Building Codes Into Account
Failing to take building codes into account is one of the biggest mistakes people can make when installing residential solar systems. Many local and state building codes restrict the size, weight, and number of solar panels that can be installed. Also, the type of roof they can be mounted on, and the distance of the panels from the roof edge or gutters.
It is important to be aware of and comply with these codes when planning and preparing for a solar installation. Failure to do so can result in unexpected costs, delays in permitting, and legal sanctions against the property owner.
To avoid such a mistake, homeowners should check with their local building department to make sure they are aware of the local and state regulations to follow throughout the solar installation process. They also should double-check the equipment and installation techniques to make sure they follow the building code for the area.
Avoid These Mistakes With Residential Solar Installations Today
Having a solar system installed at your home is a great way to save on energy bills. Yet, it’s important to avoid mistakes with residential solar installations at all costs. These include wrongly angled panels, improper sizing of the solar systems, wiring errors, incorrect battery charging, and overlooking maintenance requirements.
Also, choosing the wrong inverter, and a failure to take building codes into account, can be a huge mistake. Take action right away and start taking advantage of the benefits of solar energy panels today!
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