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How to Install Solar Panels: A Basic Guide for Homeowners

More than 2 million solar installations adorn roofs across the United States, bringing cost-effective energy into our homes.

If you’ve been considering adding solar to your home, you will want to know more about what goes into installing solar panels or even how to do it yourself. The average home installation uses about 20 panels, so it’s not a small job.

Before you start, know that there might be local building permits required for you to install solar panels. You also need to take time to determine the best location for the panels. Once you have those items lined up, you can follow this guide to complete your solar panel installation.

Install Solar Panels and Platform

Start with an inspection of your location to ensure all shingles or tiles are firmly attached. You’ll then construct a platform of metal rails to hold the solar panels for your home.

Your platform needs to be strong enough to handle any weather and be secured with steel bolts. You’ll also need conduits from the platform to inside the house so generated power can flow in.

Home solar panels mounted onto the platform with bolts, clamps, or brackets. The goal is to make sure the panels are firmly in place. Once everything is secure, you can move on to connecting it up.

Connect the Electrics

The solar modules now need to be wired together with junction connectors or a fuse combiner box. Once that’s done, connect the outside wiring to the interior control panels. That connection sends energy from the panels to a charge controller and battery bank for storage.

Now you need to connect the various components — the panels, charge controller, battery, and inverter. After you confirm that has been done correctly, you can start sending power from the inverter to the house’s main electrical control panel.

(If you decide you aren’t comfortable with electrical work, you might search for “solar energy companies near me” to find a company to help you with the installation.)

Ground Everything

Grounding rods are a critical safety consideration and should be six inches above the ground. The inside control panel should also be grounded if it isn’t already.

Your solar panel system involves a lot of metal, which should always be grounded when connected to electricity. Ground the system will protect from electric shock and fire. It also protects your panels from lightning that causes a power surge.

Enjoy Your Green Energy

Once your panels are in place, you can feel good every time you flip a light switch in your home knowing you’re using green energy to fuel your life. This guide is meant to help you install solar panels yourself, but a large project or a high roof might make a contractor a good choice.

Now that you know how to install solar panels, check out our other articles on energy efficiency for more tips on creating a green home.

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