Preparing To Unplug: 3 Important Tips To Get Started With Solar Panels

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If you have ever considered powering your home on solar power, finding the components to set up an affordable solar power system is one of the first things you need to do. You could hire a contractor to come and set up the system for you, or you could do it yourself and source all the parts for the system online. There are companies that offer panels, components, and entire kits to get you started, many with options to increase or decrease the amount of energy you will produce. Here are three things you need to do in order to get started.

Design a Solar Energy System

The first thing you need to do is decide on the amount of energy you want to produce. Powering your entire home with solar energy is possible if you set up a large enough system. You can use a calculator from many of the online retailers to get an idea how many panels you will need to power your home. While the calculator will be helpful, you may need to fine tune the system to get what you need. It may even be to your advantage to add an additional panel or two to your system to ensure you have more than you need. If you are not sure what you need, you can contact the retailer for help in most cases.

Choose A Location For Your Panels

While there are many different ways to mount solar panels for your solar energy systems, the most common place for mounting them is on the roof of your home. If you will be putting them on the roof, you need to be sure that it will support the weight of the panels and brackets. If you are not sure that it will, have a contractor inspect the structure before you purchase your system. Alternative locations include pole-mounting the panels and ground brackets that allow the panels to sit on the ground near your home, although they would need to be placed in an area that has direct access to the sun.

Check Your Local Laws and Regulations

If you buy your solar panels and system through an online retailer, you may still need to hire a contractor to install it. Check with your local code enforcement office to determine whether or not you are allowed to do the work yourself. The project may fall under the electrical codes and could require an electrician to attach the system to your home's electrical panel but it may be okay for you to install it if an electrician inspects the work before the system is connected. Taking the time to check before you start any work can keep you out of trouble with the town or city and help you streamline the entire project.

Companies like ML Solar may be able to help meet your needs for solar panels and related components.