5 Steps for Installing Cost-Effective Home Solar Panels

solar panelsSolar is a renewable energy resource that uses photovoltaic (PV) systems to create electricity. A solar PV system uses light to generate electricity, which is then used to power your home or office, effectively reducing your energy bills and your impact on the environment.

Solar power is energy from the sun harnessed by modern technology. Solar energy has been considered a serious source of energy for many years because of the vast amount of energy that is made freely available.

What is a solar panel?

Solar panels are active solar devices that convert sunlight into electricity. They come in a variety of rectangular shapes and are usually installed in combination to produce electricity.

Solar panels are different from solar cells. Solar panels do not generate electricity directly, but instead, heat up water directly. A pump pushes cold water from a storage tank through pipes in the solar panel. The water is heated by the sun and then returns to the tank. They are often located on building roofs where they can receive the most sunlight.

How does a solar panel work?

In a crystal, the molecules are made of electrons that are shared between all of the atoms of the crystal. As light is absorbed, some of the bonded electrons become excited to a higher energy level and can then move around more freely and cause a current.

Imagine that you have a ledge, like a shelf on the wall, and you throw a ball up on that ledge. That’s like promoting electrons to a higher energy level, and they can’t fall down. A photon which is like a packet of light energy comes in, bumps up the electron onto the ledge representing the higher energy level, and makes it stay there until we can come and collect the energy by using the electricity. Here is five easy Steps to Install a Solar Panel in Your Home:

Step 1 – Locate the Rafters and Remove the Tile

Use your electronic stud finder to find your rafters. Use a chalk line to mark where your rafters are located. After marking, remove the tiles directly over the studs. You will have to firmly push and pull the tile as it is likely held in place by a small nail.

Step 2 – Fill and Drill

Ensure that your sealant is room temperature and use it to fill in the hole that formerly held the tile in place. With your drill and a3/16 drill bit, drill a pilot hole into the stud.

Step 3 – Install the Mount and Replace the Tile

Turn one of the mounting brackets bottom-side up. Place sealant on the surface and place it over the hole you drilled in Step 2. Use the screws that came with the bracket and secure it to the stud. The sealant should flow from the edges of the mounting bracket once it’s properly seated.

Return the tile you removed in Step 1back into its position. Once it is secure, use your drill and a 3/8 carbide drill bit to drill directly through the center of the tile. Slide a lag bolt through the hole in the tile. Ensure the bolt is seated securely in the mounting bracket beneath the tile and use 9/16 wrenches in opposite directions to secure the lag bolt.

Step 4 -Seal the Tile and Attach the Rails

The structure of your tile has been compromised. The hole that was drilled through the tile has to be sealed. Use your sealant around the base of the hole where the bolt enters the tile. This will ensure that the tile remains waterproof. When the mounting system is in place, you can attach the rails to the mounting brackets. Secure the rails to the brackets with the 3/8 bolts provided.

Step 5 –Install the Solar Panels and Replace Any Broken Tiles

Carefully place your panels on the rails and secure them. It is important that your panels are secure so that they don’t shuffle around in high winds. After the panels are secure, run the conduit from the panels to your electric converter in your home. Finally if necessary, use spare pieces of tile to replace any that you may have broken while walking on the roof or while drilling.

In summary, while these steps outline how to install a home solar panel, it is always helpful to consult or hire a professional for the installation work.

This article has been contributed by Evie Coles. Find her in Facebook


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