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Solar panels have already created a name for themselves as one of the most readily available alternatives to fossil fuels. 

So if you’re tired of spending too much on electricity bills and have an urge to go solar for your house, you must consider the installation of residential solar panels. 

This article aims to resolve your doubts regarding residential solar panels and help you understand everything about s in an easy, straightforward manner.

What are residential solar panel systems?

In easy words, residential solar panel systems are a collection of solar photovoltaic cells that can absorb solar energy and convert it into electrical energy for residential usage.

Residential solar panel system allows every homeowner to reduce their carbon footprint and help nature. It also reduces one’s dependence on local electrical grid based systems.

Read our article on “Benefits of residential solar panels.”

solar panels for home
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How does a residential solar panel work?

These systems work in a manner just like any other solar panel does. The PV cells absorb the sunlight rays that fall on them. The semiconductors inside the photovoltaic cells then convert the absorbed solar energy into electrical form, using its internal charge gradient.

The converted electrical energy is used for lighting the house, charging devices, and running appliances.

Solar panel installation for residential purposes- Steps

The following steps are involved in the installation process of residential solar panels:

Installation of panel mounts 

Solar mounting brackets are installed on the roof. The mounts provide stability to the PV panels.

The installation service providers use a solar tracker to get a clear idea of the direction and angle suitable for the panel installation.

Setting up the panels 

After the complete installation of the mounts, the panels are attached to the support using nuts and bolts. The installation is done securely, so the system lasts for a long time.

Installation of wires and other accessories

After the panels are attached to the mounts, it’s time to get them wired up. Wires are connected to the PV modules. Reliable installers ensure that the casing of the cables is durable and long-lasting.

Connecting solar inverter and battery and power grid

Finally, the solar inverter must be connected to a solar battery for unfavourable days.

After wires and other accessories are installed, one has to connect the inverter to a solar battery in a proper way.

solar inverter

How to determine if your home is eligible for solar panel installation?

There are a few determinants to determine whether your home is eligible for solar installation.

Requirements for residential solar panel installation

1. Suitable roof conditions 

In most residential solar installations, the panels are placed on the roof. Therefore, to avoid execution hassles, ensure your roof is big enough to install an average solar panel. 

Generally about 5.5ft long and a little over 3ft in width of roof size is considered as a minimal requirement for rooftop solar panel installation.

You also need to check whether your roof is damaged or not. A solar installation wouldn’t be possible if your roof is damaged. 

Additionally, ensure that the roof remains free of shade during the peak sun hours. 

2. Weight capacity of the roof 

Solar panels are pretty heavy in size; hence, it’s necessary to determine whether your roof can bear that weight. It’s best to consult an expert to check whether the top supports solar installations. 

3. Determining energy consumption 

The energy needs of every house is different. It depends on the number of appliances that are powered.

A standard residential solar installation consists of around 36 to 72 photovoltaic cells. Each cell produces an average of 0.5 volts of power. Using this information, you can find the energy needs of a place.

If the energy needs of your place are high and if it is seen that too many panels are required, it’s better to drop the installation idea.

To get a bette runderstanding of the suitability of a building for solar panel installation, experts also recommend calculating the sun number score

How long does residential solar panel installation typically take?

Once you’ve chosen a set of panels and your place has been inspected, it may take anywhere between one to five days to set up the solar panels.

installing residential solar panel
Photo by Kindel Media

Solar panel maintenance

Ordinarily, solar panels require very little maintenance. That’s why they are so popular.

However, one needs to clean the panels from time to time so that no dust or leaves accommodates on the panel. Additionally, if you want to track your panels’ health, you can install a solar monitoring system.

Read more in our article on “Solar panel maintenance.”

What is the average cost of residential solar panel installation?

Unfortunately, the downside of getting solar panels is their installation cost. Generally, it is safe to say that a solar panel of 7 kW capacity for a (1500 sq. ft) house can cost about 21000 USD.

If you wish to use a hybrid system with a battery backup, it might include another 9000 USD to 11000 USD, depending on the storage capacity.

On the other hand, if you wish to install an off-grid solar, it could cost around 50000 – 70000 USD before the deduction of the federal tax credit.

While the installation costs do sound overwhelming, they long term cost effectiveness of solar panels for a house far outweighs the same. 

Concluding Remark 

Various residential solar panel types and sizes are available in the market. The choice would essentially depend on your requirements and budget. 

However, before you install one, it would be beneficial to have some information about the apparatus, cost variability, installation process, and maintenance.

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