solar panel installation

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Solar Panel Installation

Solar power is the energy harnessed from sunlight. One of the most common ways to capture the energy from the sun is through photovoltaic solar panels, which are often installed on rooftops. Solar panel installation is not a very complex process but professional help is advised. One of the most important aspects of solar panel installation is making sure the panels will get as much direct sun exposure as possible to increase the amount of electricity that will be generated through them.

In case the roof does not get as much sunlight as ideally it should, then the panels should be tilted. Itís also important to consider how adequate sunlight will be through the yearís four seasons. How should the panels be tilted? The guideline is:

  • 0-15 degrees latitude: 15-degree tilt;
  • 15-25 degrees latitude: same tilt; (the same proportion applies until 40 degrees of latitude);
  • Latitudes of 40 degrees and above: add 20 degrees of tilt to the latitude.

Another important aspect to consider is that a building permit may be necessary in order to carry out a legal solar panel installation. The local authority will be able to provide information on requirements for the specific zone where the building is. Solar panel mounts are placed 48 inches apart and on top of a rafter or a block of wood placed on the underside of the roof. Mounts must be kept in a straight line, which can be done with a laser sight or a chalk line. One important aspect is that the completed rack should be a few inches off the roof to allow sufficient airflow under and around it. Each mount should also have roof flashing over them to prevent leaks.

The assembling process will vary according to manufacturer, who will provide the hardware to secure the solar panels to the racking system. Itís important that the panels are anchored securely and the rack with the panels on them should be grounded according to local electrical codes. The final stage of the solar panel installation includes connecting the panels to each other by opening the junction box found on the back of each panel and then attaching the wires to the positive and negative terminal screws. Each box has a knockout which will allow the wire to run between panels. From the final panel the wire will run to a separate array junction box and from there the wire is run through the electrical conduit to reach the next electrical component of the system.