DIY Solar Panels
What are the pros and cons of DIY solar panels?
The net cost of solar power can be reduced by the federal tax credit for solar. This tax credit can reduce your net cost by 26 percent, but solar still costs a lot of money and the price tag can be too much for many homeowners to pay. To save money in this situation, it’s common for people to decide to buy home solar systems from a DIY source.
Pro: Build your own solar works for small off-grid projects.
The professional DIY solar panels kits are designed with do-it-yourself in mind. While other solar kits are for off-grid use, these products can be used both off-grid and grid-tied. You can simply plug your solar panel into the grid if necessary or transfer electricity between different components of a home solar system. Although home solar kits may not be a good solution if you are trying to power your entire home, they can be a good solution for RVs, boats and tiny houses. These types of homes are usually off-grid and mobile, so they make great candidates for DIY solar.
Con: Installing solar is difficult.
Homemade solar energy requires training and experience
When buying a solar system, remember that you get what you pay for. A home solar kit may be less expensive, but solar installers offer tremendous value for a relatively little additional cost. When it comes to installing an expensive electrical system on your property, finding someone who knows what they’re doing can actually save you both time and money in the long run.
Con: Might be illegal
Getting the right advice is crucial to the success of any solar project. For homeowners still prepared to choose DIY solar installation, the first step should be to check with local zoning regulations. Your state, county or subdivision could have laws against solar installation without certification.
Con: More than just the panel
Solar panels, an alternative energy source, aren’t for everybody. They are far more complicated than they appear and may not be affordable for everyone. Panels, charge controllers, batteries, and meters are just the tip of the iceberg. For those that are interested in going green, hire a professional.
Time and effort
Installing solar panels on your home can take at least a week to install. The primary stages are gathering supplies, removing the current roofing, installing racking to hold the panels, and then installing the panels. Most DIY solar panels take around 8 hours to install. You will need a team of 3-5 people in order to assemble and install your rooftop solar system on time. You will also need to calculate 3-4 days for shipping the products you need for installing your solar panels.
Risk of roof damage or leaks
DIY solar panels offer an opportunity for cost-effective and green energy. But the biggest risk with DIY solar panels is fire. Generally, this is caused by using the wrong materials or because the installation was not carried out properly. Many DIY tutorials will recommend soldering panels together yourself or even using wood to back them – this is especially dangerous considering the temperature that the panels can reach.
The design and complexity of solar panel systems require professional installation. Working on a roof can be dangerous, so only trained professionals should mount solar panels. Also, even if you wire your system properly, there may be damage or loss due to vandalism or theft of equipment. Don’t risk your home insurance by neglecting to call a licensed technician to connect solar panels to the electrical grid.
No support for faults or warranty claims
Be sure to ensure that your roof is structurally appropriate for solar panels. This can be accomplished through research but an expert will be able to provide on-site inspection and testing to determine your actual situation.
Warranties only cover components installed by experts. These experts make sure that the installation was done correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. So if something goes wrong, you can’t get help. Additionally, you’ll lose out on warranties offered by your solar installation company. While these will vary from one company to the next, they can be immensely valuable to your solar investment.
Solar Panel Building Regulations
A permit to install solar panels on your roof will have to be acquired from your local building department. To acquire this permit, you will need to provide a site plan and share the details on how you’ll install the system. This will include things like how the panels attach to your roof, proof that your roof can support the additional weight of the solar system, and the spec sheets for your solar system’s components.
You will need to provide the electrical diagram for the system, along with calculations proving it is compatible and safe. Additionally, you will need to show how you plan on connecting the system to the grid.