DIY Solar Panel Installation: Can I Install My Own Solar Panel?

install my own solar panels

Installation / September 4, 2017

Should You Install Your Own Solar Power SystemHomeowners often are tempted to tackle home improvement projects themselves because they are sure the task is not too complex or because they want to reduce the monetary cost of the job. For some do-it-yourself tasks, imperfect results can be touched up and are not readily apparent.

Installing a solar energy system might seem like one of those projects that would be easy to do yourself. After all, there are do-it-yourself kits for solar power on the market. But, an efficient system tied to the grid actually requires expertise to maximize the energy output and maximize your investment’s return in reduced energy costs.

Doesn’t it make sense to ensure that every last ray of sunshine hits your solar panels just so and generates as much energy as possible?

Basic Steps

What is required for setting up a solar energy system? The basic steps involved in installing a solar energy system on a home include planning where to place the solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and how many are appropriate, installing them, installing and connecting an inverter (unless panels with inverter chips built in are used), and wiring the equipment to your home’s electric panel. But, doing it right — particularly the planning part — is more complex than buying and mounting panels.

As a homeowner, you may still be tempted to go the DIY route. However, hiring someone with a lot of experience makes more sense in most situations. Every home is different and the architecture and electrical needs should be considered. Designing a solar power system for most homes requires some customization and expertise from a professional who has dealt with that type of residence, the climate in the area, and other factors. RGS Energy, for example, has designed plans for and installed more than 22, 500 solar energy systems in 10 states, ranging from sunny California to snowy New England.

The Design Process

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the design process RGS Energy and other solar energy system professionals use. First, specialized design engineers will do a complete structural analysis of your home and the property (if the solar PV panels are not going to be installed on the roof). This involves looking at the architecture to determine where panels and the inverter can possibly be mounted. Is there room on your roof to properly mount the panels to optimal advantage year-round? Also, it is important that the roof be structurally sound enough to support the additional weight.