Is it doable? Can you install those light capturing energy converting panels yourself? While the short answer is a hesitant yes, there are some serious counter points that you should be clear on. It’s not as simple a task as wiring a plug or mounting a light fitting. And, you won’t be able to avail of the SEAI grants available if you do choose to go it alone.
DIY advocates and youtube video tutorials are all around us and very accessible when it comes to getting queries answered and advice needed; on pretty much everything. It’s incredibly rewarding figuring out things for ourselves. It might eat our time but it can save us money. We always fight for that balance and sometimes, the figuring out things part is exactly what we’re looking for. There are, however, a number of projects that should be left in the hands of registered professionals. Maybe you’re already on the same page as us, but we feel strongly that solar panel installation falls into this category.
We’ve spoken about the dangers of rushed and ill constructed panel installations (here, you go.) and as you can imagine, improperly installed panels can cost you more in the long term. Unless you’re in it for the love of learning and money doesn’t come into the equation, then embarking on this task is a counter intuitive concept.
You could need planning permission, you will need advanced techniques across wiring and you need to be confident the infrastructure of your roof is capable of holding the weight of the system you choose. The number of panels is important and the angle and orientation is paramount to optimise your yield. In addition, there’s significant setup involved in the inverter configuration and in ensuring that remote monitoring is operational and correctly configured. Funnily, there’s a lot of moving parts to a product that doesn’t have many moving parts. There’s that counter balance once again. We can’t get away from it.
All of the above isn’t to say you ‘can’t’ take on installation yourself but there are certainly a number of things that you will need to address before beginning to ensure you’re on the right side of the law and don’t compromise the capacity at which your panels can perform.
We can’t help but feel like naysayers in this instance but the writing is in our experience. If you want an energy forward thinking home, you need to give Caldor Solar a call today.
If you still want to go it alone, here’s some food for thought:
How safe is solar panel installation?
Over the past few years, you may have seen the prices of solar dropping (this has changed somewhat recently) while its technology has been consistently improving – you have researched and acknowledged its benefits and you’ve decided you don’t need the incentives and grants available from a professionally installed product. Is it safe?
You can most likely install an effective solar panel on your camper or a shed but the roof of your home or business requires a lot more thought and strategy. We have already run through some of the pain points up above but, here they are with a little more clarity.
Planning and placement – depending on the size of the solar system you’re choosing to install, it’s possible you’ll require planning permission. You will need to talk to your local planning permission authority to ascertain this information and then make an application through the appropriate channels.
How do you know how many panels you want?
This will be dedicated by roof size, energy requirements and roof pitch and orientation and what it’s load bearing capacity is. Once you know what you require and have the permissions you need, panel placement is an exceptionally important factor. If the placement isn’t as it should be, nor will the yield of power.
You’ll be dealing with high voltage wiring which we can’t encourage. It’s something that we would politely suggest needs experienced hands. The risk at this point is real. Both from the perspective of personal injury but also to your home and fuse box. If done improperly, there’s the potential to cause a power surge, blow the system and even start a fire. You need to correctly match your wiring to your residence and also be privy to local grid specifications.
Condition of your roof
We’re written about this previously but the size, angle, material and age of your roof should be considered before climbing that ladder. Its integrity will dictate as to whether it will be able to bear a solar system and additionally give an indication as to whether it will continue to bear the system over the coming 2 to 3 decades, because that’s how long the system will last. If you skip assessing your roof, it can lead to leaking sagging and worst case, your roof collapsing.
Finally, don’t forget the wealth of incentives in place when you go down the plain sailing route of working with a registered installer.
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