Thinking of installing solar panels? Don’t DIY

Thinking of installing solar panels? Don’t DIY

We live in a DIY culture and a common question we receive is ‘Can I install solar panels on my roof by myself?’. The short answer is yes, but you have to be extremely diligent and careful in the process.

Yes, solar panels are built and designed to be durable. They are rated to withstand medium hail and storm damage and will not shatter instantly like normal glass. But we are still talking about sensitive technologies made of silicon that comes from sand – which also makes glass.

Many of these panels make a long journey from China (where the majority of panels are manufactured) and need to be packed and shipped with extreme care to ensure that they reach your home in pristine condition. It would be a crying shame for them to become damaged in the process of then getting them onto your roof, so here are our tips for safely installing solar panels on your home, without damaging them in the process.

Consider the condition of your roof first

If you have a roof that is over 20 years old, you are going to want to have it inspected by a professional before attempting to install solar panels on it. There could be any number of structural issues that could lead to leaking, sagging and ultimately collapse which would likely destroy your panels in the process – an expensive problem to repair.

How to carry your solar panels

Can you imagine buying a big-screen television only to drop it on the way from the car to your living room? Your solar panels are very similar and require plenty of due care when moving them. But you don’t have to drop solar panels to dodge them. For example, trying to carry one on your shoulder is likely to result in a power loss of about 1 per cent. You need to spread the load across your shoulder, head and hip so one point is not digging into the panel and causing damage.

How to get your system onto your roof

Forget the ladder. Even with a team of people, this method is fraught with danger and you are going to need to hire a dedicated lift or crane to get your panels onto your roof. For this reason, we always recommend investing in the expertise of a professional installer. If you’re not sure how to access or vet your options, you can find out how to get the best option for your needs here

Don’t step on your array

This may sound like common sense, but there are still many people who will step on their panels. This includes using your boot or any other blunt devices to press down on the panels to put them in place. This is going to cause small cracks (that could be invisible to the naked eye) that are going to cause power loss and reduce the lifespan of your panels.

Do not attempt the wiring yourself

You can install panels on your roof to a point. Unless you are an experienced, licenced electrician, though, NEVER attempt to do the wiring yourself. Please.

The consequences of any mistakes are way too high and there are laws, regulations and safety standards that must be adhered to for full compliance. This part must be left to the professionals – and you can kick back in front of Netflix while they do it.

Article provided courtesy of Energy Matters Australia.

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