Switching from the grid to a residential solar system comes with many benefits. You can save thousands of dollars in utility expenses over the life of the system. As long as you chose a reputable solar installer, you should have no problems with your new on-site sustainable power generator.
You and your installer should have engaged in a discussion about your energy needs before work began. They should have gone over what will happen and how much electricity your new solar system can supply. Now that the work is finished, it’s time for you to inspect the job and make sure everything is as it should be.
Checking Solar Equipment on Walls
Check the equipment installed on walls on your home. You will find wall-mounted isolators outside. These should not have electrical conduit coming in from the top. If they do, it could spell disaster when it rains because water can leak inside.
Cables going into the inverter should be well-secured and organised. You should not be able to pull them, and they should not be able to get caught on anything nearby.
Open conduits should be sealed with a gland and not silicone. The inverter or third-party monitoring system should be setup to alert you in case of a problem. This will allow you to act quickly instead of waiting for your next bill to notice that something is wrong.
Inspect the Solar Panels on the Roof
You should not climb on the roof if you are not experienced with doing so. If you live in a single-storey home, then you should be able to view the work from the ground just by looking up.
Make sure your solar panels are lined up and look level with all excess rail trimmed off. If not, call your installer to come out and correct the issue. Cables should also be neatly arranged through the roof cavity.
Panels should not overhang and should be more than 200 mm from the edge of the roof. A good installer won’t position panels past the edge or too close to it because this creates added stress from the wind.
In some situations, the installer can place the panels closer than 200 mm to the edge, but they should be using the right type and number of racking and fixings.
All solar panel clamps should be placed in clamping zones based on the equipment’s make and model. Most have four clamps on the sides that must be 100 mm to 300 mm apart. If they are too far apart or too close to the corners, they could allow flexing in the wind which can crack silicone cells.
Tilt-racking legs should be positioned at right angles to the panels. Rooftop isolators should be shielded from direct sunlight.
Make Sure You Receive Documentation
Your solar installer should give you the documentation related to your system. This is often overlooked, so make sure you request it if nothing is given.
This will include a list of all equipment, warranty details, owner manual, handbook, certificate for the array frame or racking, performance estimate, shut down and isolation instructions, maintenance requirements, site inspection checklist, connection diagram, declaration of compliance, testing checklist, earth fault alarm instructions, and a certificate of electrical safety.
If you have questions about residential solar installation, let us know. Connect Electric is here to help you get the most out of your renewable energy investment.