Have you thought about generating electricity at home? Do you want to know how to do it through a solar photovoltaic installation? Do you dare to install solar panels on your roof and get the sun’s energy ?
INSTALLATION OF SOLAR PANELS AT HOME
Some aspects to take into account to produce electricity from the roof and, incidentally, reduce emissions from our home.
1. The surface for solar panels. The first thing we must take into account to plan the photovoltaic installation and the placement of the solar panels is the surface that we have.
In principle, any roof or roof without shadows of adjacent buildings or trees, sunny and capable of withstanding the weight of the panel structure is valid to house the installation.
2. Inclination of solar panels. In the Iberian Peninsula, the solar panels should be inclined about 30º on average to the south to optimize the solar uptake. As an example, on a roof of 20 m2 we can install about 2 kW. This point depends on the geographical area + where you find the house.
3. Who installs the solar panels? There are authorized installers who can offer us a turnkey service, which includes the necessary materials, the installation, the processing of permits to sell the electricity to the grid and even maintenance.
4. Does it pay to install a photovoltaic system for self-consumption? If we only want to use the energy produced for our own consumption, a domestic installation can allow us to save around 30% of the electricity bill, basically supplying the installation of lighting and small appliances.
5. Can we sell the energy generated with our solar panels? An alternative to self-consumption is to sell the electricity generated on our roof to the electricity grid. Let’s make the numbers for an installation of this type. With 2kW installed on our roof we can sell energy worth 900 euros per year .
The cost of the installation is around 9,000 euros. If we also take into account maintenance costs and taxes, it will take between 10 and 15 years to amortize the installation. Of course, if the maintenance is adequate, the installation will have a useful life of more than 25 years.
From the environmental point of view, converting our roof into a 2 kW solar power plant can prevent the emission into the atmosphere of about 1 ton of CO₂ per year.
If we think that each Spanish family emits about 5 tons of CO₂ per year, we will be contributing to mitigate our footprint on the planet by approximately 20%.
Install solar panels yourself
Installing solar panels yourself can save you hundreds of euros. An installer quickly charges € 800 in installation costs for around 12 solar panels.
But installing solar panels yourself is not for everyone. You must be a practical handyman and not suffer from the fear of heights. In addition, the installation must be connected to the meter cabinet. That is not for everyone.
Install your own solar panels for an inclined roof
Working on a sloping roof carries additional risks. You must bear in mind that you are installing solar panels with a weight of 25 kilos. At the same time you should keep yourself in balance.
And if the sun shines brightly, loose solar panels, even when they are not connected, may already be under tension and have a shock effect.
Therefore, always opt for fall protection and, preferably, place an elevator to the edge of the roof.
The most difficult thing when installing solar panels is the alignment. Many roofs are not level at all. Or often the ridge does not even run parallel to the eaves.
In many cases, you must choose how to align the solar panels. After all, you do not want to discover after installation that the solar panels appear to be aesthetically inclined, even if you have used the spirit level correctly.
The assembly principle is as follows (see photo above). The roof hooks are placed on the roof (under the tile or on a corrugated sheet). The rails are mounted on these roof hooks. 2 rails per row of solar panels should be used. The solar panels are fastened to the rails.
The choice of mounting material is determined to a large extent by the roof hooks. A distinction is made between bolted and fastened roof hooks.
The bolted roof hooks are fixed to the roof structure under the tile. The attached ceiling hooks are fastened around the roof batten and the tile. The latter is much easier to assemble, but weaker.
Install your own solar panels for a flat roof
Placing solar panels on a flat roof is easier than on a sloping roof. But here you must also bear in mind that the roof can be slippery and you can receive an electric shock if you touch the solar panels, even if they are not yet connected.
The hardest part is the preparation. You must determine how you are going to install the solar panels:
- Horizontal or vertical
- Oriented to the south or ordered with the roof line.
- East-west arrangement (with small roofs).
Be the first to make a placement plan. To do this, download our practical installation plan design sheets for flat roofs.
It is advisable to install solar panels on a bitumen roof on a cloudy roof. The material is not usually adequate to walk frequently.
You should buy fasteners especially for flat roofs ssn. As a general rule, the mounting material is loose in the ceiling. The installation is fixed by ballast (stones or tiles). Screwing the frames to the ceiling can cause leaks.
Very important is the weight of the counterweight you need. The roof construction must be able to transport the entire installation effortlessly, even if a lot of snow is added. For example, it is generally not recommended to install solar panels in a dormer window.
Transit tubes for wiring
The hardest thing about a flat roof is still making a watertight guide for the wiring. Special transit tubes are available for this purpose.
You should also make a hole of approximately 2 cm. Alternative transit is often possible, for example, through a ventilation pipe or simply over the edge of the roof through the wall.
The location of the investor is subject to a series of restrictions. There must be enough space and ventilation. Read all about the best investors
Connection of solar panels to the inverter.
The solar panels are connected in a chain (a loop). In certain situations, it may be convenient to make several chains (loop chains through panels). 2 DC cables (one plus and one minus) are connected to the inverter by chain.
ATTENTION! Be sure to always connect the DC cables with a plug before connecting one side. A very high voltage may be present in a conductor that is exposed. Touch is potentially deadly.
Connecting the inverter to the electrical panel
You connect your inverter to your meter cabinet through an AC cable (usually 3 wires). To do this, install a separate earth leakage circuit breaker, unless you are installing less than 2 solar panels.