Why Solar Panel Kits Usually Fall Short

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Why DIY Solar Panel Kits Usually Fall Short for Most Consumers

Going solar is no small feat. It takes time, savings, and know-how. Many people think that it is as simple as unpacking the solar panels and then putting them on your roof — but there is far more to it than that. 

What Goes Into Whole House Solar Kits

Firstly, let’s take a look at the actual parts of a residential solar kit. While solar panels get the most press, there are multiple parts that go into any solar installation. All of these components are essential to a working solar energy system.

Residential Solar Panels

The first, and most important, part of your installation is your panels. There are two main types of solar panels: polycrystalline and monocrystalline. 

Polycrystalline Solar Panels for Your Roof

Polycrystalline solar panels are made from smaller silicone crystals welded together. Polycrystalline panels are cheaper and tend to be included in home solar panels kits. However, because they are formed from multiple crystals, they lose some of their efficiency — they convert less sunlight into usable electricity. Most solar energy advocates do not recommend polycrystalline solar panels to power your home because they produce less electricity.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels for Your Roof

Monocrystalline solar panels are of higher quality than polycrystalline. They’re made from large silicon bars sliced into wafers. They are much more efficient than polycrystalline panels and, for that reason, can be more expensive. That said, despite being more expensive upfront, they can save you more money in the long run by producing more electricity for you, which you can convert to money with net metering. 

Inverters for Residential Solar Installations

Inverters are the next most important part of your installation. An inverter is required to change the raw solar energy into usable electricity. Residential buildings use AC power for appliances like lightbulbs, washing machines, and climate control. Your solar panels, however, will produce DC power — requiring an inverter. There are three types of inverters. String inverters are all wired together and are the cheapest, but they can also lose production while shaded. Microinverters are small inverters that go on each individual solar panel, which means you lose less electricity from shade but have to pay more upfront. Finally, there are hybrid inverters that bridge the gap. 

Mounting System for Your Roof

Solar panels won’t stay on your roof by themselves. You need to have a good racking system to attach them to your roof. To install a racking system, you will need to drill multiple holes in your roof and properly install the racks.

Miscellaneous Materials for a Residential Solar Energy System

Alongside panels, inverters, and racking systems, you will also need wires, piping, and potentially battery backup, along with many other things.

The Installation Process

The installation process is where the biggest difference between professional and DIY solar energy systems comes in. Adding solar to your roof takes a lot of expertise and time — most of which the average homeowner will not have. 

The Knowledge Needed To Install Your Own Solar

There are a few things you will need to know for installing solar. Firstly, you will need to know your home’s electrical system and how to work with it. Secondly, you’ll need to know how to get your equipment onto your roof. Thirdly, you’ll need to know how to do the paperwork. 

Knowing Your Home’s Electrical System

One of the leading causes of house fires is problems with the electrical system. Most states require electricians to be certified, as working with electricity is dangerous on multiple levels. This is particularly true when it comes to working with solar panels. A home’s solar installation will be providing most of its power throughout the day. If you install solar battery backup in your home, your installation will also be providing your power throughout the night as well. Because there’s a lot of electricity moving through your panels into your home at any given time, you’re going to need robust wiring to ensure that your system doesn’t overload. Not everyone can do the electrical work necessary, which is why many people look to a professional. 

Getting Your Solar Products on the Roof Is No Easy Feat

Something that many would-be DIY solar installers don’t consider is how to get the equipment onto your roof in the first place. Solar panels can be deceptively heavy, with the average weight clocking in at 40 lbs. On top of that, the average solar panel is around five feet tall and 3 feet wide, with some panels being larger. Getting them up onto your roof can be very difficult when all you have is a ladder.

Doing Solar Paperwork Can Be Confusing

Finally, doing your own paperwork can be a mess. Knowing which forms you need to fill out, who to give them to, and what you need before you start can be a big hassle. Having a professional solar installer who has done the paperwork before can be a huge boon to potential solar homeowners. Having a company that can do the paperwork for you will take a big load off your shoulders.

Why a Professional Solar Installer Is Best

As we’ve seen, installing solar yourself can be a monumental task. You need to be a competent electrician, be able to list dozens of heavy objects, and have a sharp enough mind to keep track of all the paperwork you need to do. Luckily there are people who are willing to do that for you. If you’re interested in going solar, look no further than Go Solar Group. Get a free solar quote with us today and see how your home can become powered by the sun. 

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