Explained: How To Install Solar Panels On Your Rooftop?

How To Install Solar Panels On Your Rooftop

Solar panel installation on your rooftop will be one of the best decisions of your life. Why, you ask us? Do you mean besides the fact that your electricity bill will slash by more than half and you’ll be less and less responsible for global warming?

Although the government solar subsidy is the causation behind the increasing popularity of solar rooftop installation, it isn’t the only factor.

This guide has been specifically curated to walk you through the aisles of why the solar installation is beneficial and, most importantly, how to install solar panels on your rooftop and whether you can do it on your own.

Installing Solar Panels on Your Rooftop: Should You Do it on Your Own?

“You must continue to gain knowledge, but avoid thinking like an expert

↝Denis Waitley”

You can read countless books on human anatomy and form opinions. But, does that make you a surgeon? Can you operate on a human body? No, right? That’s exactly the case with solar rooftop installation.

Having theoretical knowledge doesn’t make you an expert when it comes to practical implementation. Solar panels are intricate pieces of the latest machinery.

Solar cells alone are extremely delicate. The mounting structures have to be strong enough and strategically placed if you want them to even have a chance against weather extremities such as the wind and rain.

Only experts have the knowledge and the right tools to even attempt a solar rooftop installation.

With the hope that we’ve made the dangers of DIY attempts of solar rooftop installation very clear, let’s now address the elephant in the room: how to install solar panels on the rooftop?

Top 5 Steps to Install Solar Panels on a Rooftop

First things first, you need a pro-solar installation company in your corner. Once you have them, there are five elemental steps that go into solar rooftop installation.

Care to venture into the details since you’re about to add a mammoth structure on top of your house? Here’s an eye-opening, enlightening guide!

#1. Analysis to find the right spot for solar panel installation

Just when you thought all apples are the same, enter the concept of red apples and green apples! Ain’t it funny how the context of the amount of sunlight falling on a specific spot on a rooftop is no different?

What we mean is that not all spots on the rooftop will receive the same amount of Sunlight. This is why experts consider the following factors when trying to find the right spot for solar panel installation.

  1. Finding a shadow-free area that would receive constant sunlight between 9 AM to 4 PM throughout the year.
  2. Designing the plant layout in such an angle that shadows, if any, can be minimized.

Fun Fact: Did you know that ideally, a solar panel should face South since, in India, maximum sunlight is received from the south direction?

#2. Picking the right mounting structure

Different solar panel mounting structures are made of different materials. The two most significant ones pertained to residential solar rooftop installation are:

  1. Hot-dip galvanized steel mounting structure – This one goes best with an RCC terrace type.
  2. Aluminum rail structure – This one goes the best with a metallic sheet roof.

Selecting a mounting structure is probably the deciding factor when it comes to durability since it’s the mounting structure that holds the panel during heavy winds and storms. Solar mounting structures designed without considering the wind loads expected at the installation location, have been known to get damaged and uprooted during heavy winds.

Fun fact: Did you know that the ideal tilt angle for a solar panel installed in South India should be abount 10 degrees and one installed in North India should be about 20 degrees?

#3. Inverter and Cable installation

Solar energy is harnessed when the positive end of one cable is connected to the negative end of the next cable and so on, forming a string.

The connected solar panels thus run in a series called as a string. Finally, the sunlight is converted into DC voltage using this circuitry.

The strings that carry the DC are attached to a DC combiner box. The purpose of the box is to offer DC isolation since the DC voltage produced during solar harvesting can go up to 1000 V.

Then, the strings are connected to the input side of the inverter, which converts DC power into AC power. The output end of the inverter is attached to the bi-directional electricity meter through an AC combiner box.

Fun fact: Every single DC cable uses an MC4 connector and all the DC cables connections should be done using MC4 connectors crimped using an MC4 crimping tool only. 

#4. Earthing

All the DC and AC components in the solar panel are Earthed using separate earthing rods, each spaced 2 to 3 meters apart from one another.

Fun Fact: Did you know that it’s important to install a lightning arrester (at least 1 meter) on top of the rooftop solar panels?

#5. Solar system commissioning

After a successful solar rooftop installation by professionals, DISCOM replaces the energy meter with a net meter. Henceforth, the inverter is switched on and the supply of solar power begins.

Concluding Thoughts  

If you’ve been thinking about installing a rooftop solar panel yourself, don’t!

There are so many factors that have to be taken into consideration (design & material of the mounting structure, angle of the solar panels, et cetera) and so many components that have to be connected (AC cables, DC cables, AC and DC combiner boxes, inverter, et cetera) and installed that doing things on your own poses safety risks. 

Bear in mind, only government-approved installation firms have the tools, professionals, and right skills to carry out a successful solar rooftop installation.

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