How To Install Solar Panel | Solar Panel Installation Made Easy @ Mcsea Group.
Solar systems are made up of solar panels (modules);
a mounting system and an inverter with computerized controller. Solar panels produce DC electricity from sunlight. Then the inverter converts the generated electricity into AC, so that it can be used in the household. The computerized controller manages the solar system and ensures optimal performance. If you want battery backup system or an off-the-grid solar system, a battery is required.
The most common location for the installation of solar panels (solar PV) is the roof. Most roofs typically have the desired specifications for the installation. Nevertheless, if installation on the roof is not applicable or desired, the solar panels could also be mounted on the ground. You just need to make sure that there are not objects constraining their access to the sun.
- With increasing fuel costs and epileptic power supply, switching to solar gives your home or business affordable reliable 24 Hours power. Say goodbye to the inconvenience and expense of running a generator set. A solar home system will transform your life.
- A Solar Home System guarantees constant and reliable electricity. It’s that simple. Get ready to enjoy the peace of mind, well-being and productivity this will bring to your life.
- One of the biggest disadvantages of running a generator set is constant exposure to toxic exhaust fumes and noise pollution. Go solar and eliminate the pollution in your immediate environment, increasing your health and well being.
How To Install Solar Panels At Home
We will be showing instructions on how to install ONE array of solar panels. The measurements here will vary depending on the size of the solar panels you’ll be installing. As solar panels bring in more WATTS, they become bigger in size. Make sure each array of solar panels you do, has the exact same solar panels to ensure proper fitment across the entire array.
Layout the Locations of the Stanchions
Which Will Be Supporting the Solar Panels.
Before you place any kind of solar panel on the roof, you need to pick the locations where you’l be placing your stanchions that will be supporting the solar panels. Once you market each location properly, with even distance from all sides, we are ready to move on to the next step.
Locate and Screw Each Stanchion Into The Roof Rafters.
This step is VERY important, since the roof rafters will be the solid wood that will be holding your stanchions in place. How you can check for your roofs rafters is by doing a “knock” test, using something like a hammer. Take the hammer and gently tap the area of where you market for your stanchions to be installed. Odds are it will likely sound hollow, so you’ll need to tap a bit more towards the right or left until it feels like something solid is beneath the shingle (create a new mark once this happens). Once you do that, repeat for the other marketing.
Please use your eyes and a tape measure to coordinate even distance between your marketing.
Each stanchion should have a flat mount which fits beneath the shingles, make sure you this is fitted properly and is sealed off with roof caulk to prevent leaks.
Fasten The Upper and Lower Aluminum Rails.
How many solar panels you’ll have will determine how long each rail will be. Assuming you already picked the appropriate length of rails, the next step requires you take your aluminum rails which will be holding the actual solar panels and mount them horizontally when facing the roof head-on. Use stainless-steel bolts to do the mounting to ensure your whole system stays resistant to weather.
When you are done mounting your rails, measure diagonally across from the end of the upper rail to the end of the lower rail. Repeat for the other sides to make sure everything measures equally.
Since we are doing a single array of solar panels, you’ll want to make sure the distance between each side is appropriate to the size of your solar panels vertically.
Mount Your Solar Panels.
This next step requires you to mount your solar panels directly into the rails. Each rail is going to have little brackets which will be holding the panels. Using a drill, carefully screw these brackets to the aluminum frame of the solar panels, being careful not to overdo it and crack the glass on the panels.
Connecting The Array of Solar Panels.
Once you have your stanchions and rails installed properly, have the solar panels mounted, its time to connect the solar panels together.
What we will be doing here is connecting the solar panels you installed in PARALLEL. This will help to keep voltage the same while at the same time, increase amperage. As mentioned earlier, it is VERY important your entire array of solar panels are exactly the same in size and WATT output.
Also, when you wire everything together… use as little wire as possible because long wires lose energy due to resistance.
Lets say you have 4X 100 watt solar panels and you want to connect them all together in parallel, all positive cables are connected together and all negative cables are connected together. What you get in the end is just two cables which represent all inputs from our solar panels.
Side Note: To connect all solar panels together, since most use the MC4 connections, we recommend you get the appropriate MC4 Y adapters found here.
Run These Cables Into Your Home.
It’s now time to run these cables directly into your home. You can drill a hole through the shingles, run the wires through and use roof caulk to seal-off what’s remaining to ensure no water makes it through. You have TWO options as to what you want to do with that energy.
Do you want to use and store it for later use, or do you want to simply use it yourself and when you are not, feed it back into the grid and let others use it. The latter is called Net Metering, and this is options from state to state (check your local regulations for more info).
We will dive deep into the system if you wanted to store it for later using batteries, but first.. let’s quickly cover what you do if you want to do Net Metering and feed excess back into the grid.
BONUS Step 6.5. Net Metering, How It’s Done.
Let’s say you want to do Net Metering and use the solar energy for yourself, and when you are not, feed it back into the grid. To do this, you’ll need to run your DC current from the panels, through an AC inverter.
For example, if you have 4x solar panels putting out 400 watts MAX, you’ll need to do next is get a 400 watt alternating current (AC) power inverter. Using that inverters AC current, you can then wire it into your homes electrical service panel which feeds electricity into your household.
In the event that your solar panels produce MORE electricity throughout the day than you actually used, your electrical meter will spin backwards, putting the excess electricity back into the grid for others to use.
At night when demand is lowest, your home will tap back into the grid and consume electricity that way. When you connect the solar panels directly into your home, the only difference you’ll notice is in your electric bill.
Run Solar Panel DC Power Into A Charge Controller.
In the example above as we have shown, we had 4x 100 watt solar panels putting out 400 watts max, so we are going to match THAT with the appropriate solar charge controller.
Each 100 watt solar panel would put out MAX of 22.5 volts and around 5.29 amps. All 4 being wired into parallel, we would have 22.5 volts MAX and about 21.16 amps MAX. For this setup, we found a PWM Charge Controller with 40A and can have 12 or 24 volt input. This should cost around $30-$40 dollars. Connect the solar panel positive and negative terminals into the PV inputs on the charge controller.
Batteries + Charge Controller.
Now here’s where we store ALL of our electricity captured by the solar panels, we are going to get for this setup 2x 232ah medium flooded batteries and wire them in parallel. From there, we are going to run a single positive and a single positive, and run them from the 2 batteries, into the charge controller.
Remember, this parallel wiring is exactly the same how we did it with the solar panels. What you’ll have now is solar panels constantly charging the batteries and a charge controller preventing damage to the batteries once they reach 100% state of charge. Next step!
DC to AC Inverter Connected to Charge Controller.
For this setup, we recommend a Sine Wave power inverter (600watts). You’ll connect the positive and negative terminals of the inverter, directly into the “load” section of the charge controller. Once this entire system is setup, you’ll have a complete solar power system ready to go.
To run your entire home, you’ll need to scale this up GREATLY. Regardless of the size, the setup will be mostly the same with exception of more expensive hardware due to increased power and load.