So… you’ve done your research, you got quotes and decided to take the plunge and have solar panels installed. Congratulations! But what next? Read our installation guide to find out what will generally happen on the day of the installation.
The size of the team who comes to install your solar panels will partly depend on the size of your solar system but it will usually include an electrician and his solar panel installer.
Most fittings can be completed in a day or two but can extend to a third day if your roof requires any special attention. The team may have discussed this with you beforehand.
Do I need to prepare anything for the installation team?
All you need to do is make sure that the team can have safe access to all the areas involved in installing the panels such as gardens, paths, loft, roof, switchboard as well as electricity supply. They may occasionally need to do some work from a neighbour’s property if yours is right against the boundary but the solar panel installer will have informed you of it in advance so that you can let your neighbours know.
A couple of days before your installation, scaffolding may be erected where required so you should ensure that all the areas that they will need access to are cleared of obstructions.
Here is what happens next:
- Attaching the frame to the roof
The aluminum bars that form the frame – the structure that supports the solar panels and other components – will be fixed to the roof on feet or brackets.
- Installing the solar panels
Once the frame is in place, it is time to fix the panels, which is done just by clamping them to the frame. Depending on the size of your installation and the shape of your roof, they may be installed in rows or in columns.
- Wiring the panels on the roof.
Now that the infrastructure is ready, here comes the time for the electrician to spring into action.
Manufacturers wire the panels so that all that is left for installers to do is connecting them. The best method to do so will depend on your system’s electrical characteristics and the position of the panels as well as any shading on the roof. In some cases, other components like the Enphase Micro Inverters and Solar Edge Optimizers are also mounted and connected to the panels.
- Installing the inverter
The electrician will install the solar inverter - which converts direct current from the panels into alternating current to use in the home or export to the grid. As mentioned above, Enphase has micro inverters mounted under each panel. Additional items to help better control hot water and other appliances may be mounted and connected as well.
- Commissioning the system
This is the most exciting part! The solar panels are in place, the wiring is complete, all that is left to do is switch that baby on!
The project manager will power the system, and test the systems outputs to make sure that your installation is performing correctly. Information and safety labels are attached to the inverter, switches, switchboard and meter box.
Depending on the system you have chosen, your solar production can be monitored by yourself on your home computer, your smart phone and by the Harrisons technical team. Access to your router may be necessary and your password for your router may be requested.
Once connected to your internet, and your system is enabled onto the systems cloud, you will receive an email with the various links and instructions on how to see your solar production.
- Import Export Meter
Your lines network installer will replace your current meter with a new Import Export meter. This measures power coming into your property (Grid) and power sent out (Solar). Once your system has been installed and tested, it is important to leave the system switched off until the new meter has been installed. Sometimes the meter is connected in advance of the system install depending on network and installer timeframes.
We hope that this guide to the installation of your solar panels has been useful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via our form or by calling us on 0800 00 33 54.