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The process of installing Solar!

I have a long time reader/friend that reminds me from time to time when I have spent a lot of time on a single topic. He politely says it might be time to move on. Normally it is an email sent to me saying time to take a break. I got the email on Transactive Energy yesterday. Although in this case, my friend suggested that I spend a little more time talking about the impact of solar power. In particular, he said, talk about the process of adding solar to your home (he I found out is contemplating a solar install!)

There are three parts to a solar installation on your roof or in your yard. The first part is the survey. Frankly, the survey is critical to your success. The most important thing about your survey is to make sure you understand how much power you use. You care most about peak, and you care about valleys. We had purchased a home generator the year before (a great Generac product, frankly, an amazing system). We knew exactly how much power we consumed peak. Based on that we helped our survey team out by giving them those results. They then focused on where on our roof we would have panels. We ended up doing front and rear of the house.

The second part of the process is the installation. I highly recommend before you begin your solar installation that you have your roof checked. If you needed to replace your roof in the next couple of years, it would be wise to replace the roof. The team will deploy safety ropes (that was fun to watch) so that the workers don’t risk falling off the roof! They will also haul up the solar panels on  Installation is comprised of three parts.

  1. Installing the mounts for the solar power
  2. Installing the actual solar panels
  3. Installing the wiring for the system

They install your system in off mode. Power is generated but doesn’t flow through the system.

Because the last part of the process is getting your system activated with your power company, including a digital meter. You won’t, by the way, get credit for any power that flows from your house to the power company in most places. There are a few places that support the two flow of power. Many do not support the two-way or Transactive Energy system. Check with your power company before you assume!

Once you have your digital meter, they will notify you, and you turn your system on. It is simply turning a single switch. Once the system is active during daylight hours, you will be creating your power! Of course, all three steps have to be completed in order. Keep your eyes on the power company for the last step. While they are often responsive to customers asking for new power service, people are reducing their billing rate by installing solar, aren’t always on the top of their list!

What do you think?

8 points

Written by DocAndersen

I am a long time blogger and technology poster.I focus on what is possible, but I also try to see what is coming. In recent years I have been focused on sharing the memories of my family, as part of my Family History Project.


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    • The power-grid provides two parts to the equation. One is the ability to sell your excess produced power to the power company. The second is as a fail safe- ie if for some reason snow covers your roof (reducing solar production to less than 5% of capacity, you still have power.

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