Did you know you could save huge amounts in your solar system installation cost by doing (at least some) of the work yourself? Follow our tips to find out how!
Where To Put Solar Panels
Solar panels always go on the roof, right? Well no, not always. And even without including portable solar panels, which may be used when camping and other off the grid adventures in Melbourne, there are more places to put solar panels than you might have realised. It might surprise you to know that solar panels can also go on the ground. Sometimes, if a roof is not suitable, or possible, then a solar panel can be mounted at ground level. The main proviso is that there is, well, sunshine! As long as there is nothing blocking your portable or mounted solar panels then you can place them quite securely in your backyard or garden.
Residents Guide To Installing Solar Panels
SCAFFOLDING: First, you will need to put scaffolding up for your and everyone else’s safety. This is assuming the solar panels are going on a roof, anyway.
MOUNTS: You will need a complete mounting system, something to add to the installation cost. The mounting panels act as a support for the solar panel base. You must tilt the mount at an angle of 18 to 36 degrees, for the best results.
INSTALL: Now that the mounts are up, the panels themselves should be fit to the mounting structure. Pay special attention to the nuts and bolts, tightening them so they don’t slip in a wind.
WIRE: Now the panels need to be wired in. If you are not technically qualified it is advisable to call an electrician to complete the wiring of the solar panels. Usually, MC4 connectors are used because they work with all kinds of solar panels. It should go without saying that the mains electrical supply should be shut off during this process!
INVERTER: After the wiring, a solar inverter is connected to the solar panels. This usually goes close to the main panel and may be inside or outside. It is advisable to keep the inverters in a cool place. But if you have to place it outside, put it away from the noonday sun. Melbourne residents installing solar panels often place the inverter in the garage as they are usually cool and ventilated.
BATTERY: Now your inverter is up and running, it should be connected to the solar battery. This is vital if you want to be able to use electricity when it’s cool or cloudy outside – crazy but true, even in Melbourne there are some days when the sun doesn’t shine! Solar panels with a backup solar battery will save on your bank account.
CONSUMER UNIT – Next, the inverter is connected to the consumer unit. This will enable it to produce electricity. You should also install a generation meter, to monitor your electricity usage. This way you can keep tabs on the performance and efficacy of your solar system installation. This can be helpful for many reasons. Knowing what times of day generates the most power might help you decide when to run your washing machine, for example.
TEST: Now you’re all done, the only thing to do is to switch the kettle on and make a cup of tea to test out your new solar energy system! And don’t forget to check out the solar hot water system installation when you come to wash it up!