Many homes or business owners started their solar panel systems small. There are many reasons why people start with a smaller solar panel system. For one, it might be because solar panel installations were more expensive, and they might have had a limited budget.
It can also be due to the energy needs they had in the past, which only required a smaller solar panel system. However, upgrading your solar panel system is highly advisable, so if you think that your solar system needs to be upgraded, below are the vital things you need to consider.
Limitations on Space
If you plan to upgrade your solar panel system, you must first consider the space on your property and see if there is enough space for an upgrade. Sometimes you will need to install more panels to produce more electricity to meet your needs.
The majority of PV systems are installed on rooftops. However, if you don’t have enough space to add more modules, you can opt to install ground-mounted or solar carports instead. The batteries and inverters of your solar panel system are usually placed in the garage or electrical room.
Homeowners who don’t have a garage or an electrical room place it outside their homes. If this is also the case for you, protect your inverter from the sun’s heat by placing a cover over it from reputable brands like Sunny Covers. Doing this helps your solar inverter avoid the risk of overheating.
One reason you should upgrade your solar panel system is the increasing energy needs in your household. As you add more appliances or buy more gadgets, your home’s energy requirements will increase compared to when you first installed the system.
Improving energy efficiency in your household or business is one way to reduce some usage. You won’t even need more panels when upgrading. However, investing in an additional capacity than how much your home or business requires is a wise decision.
You can do this by upgrading an existing panel to produce more energy. Doing this will enable your system to power more of your activities during the night or on gloomy days.
Choose Your Installer Wisely
Choosing the installer wisely when upgrading or even during first-time installation would be best. If you are happy with the installer who initially put up your solar system, you can contact your previous installer and let those installers do the upgrade of your system.
Meanwhile, if you plan to look for another installer to do the upgrade for you, there are things you should look for when shopping around a solar panel installer, such as:
- The installer should be accredited to install solar panels in homes and establishments.
- Avoid solar companies that use high-pressure sales tactics. Good companies don’t need to resort to this tactic to entice customers. Their reputation is enough to attract customers.
- Collect at least three quotations from different installers.
- Do your homework and research the companies you plan to hire. It would be best if you also asked for references from family, friends, or neighbors.
- The installer should provide additional advice and information before and after the upgrade or installation.
- The solar installer should visit your home to inspect and discuss the process and price. Avoid transactions over the phone.
- You should know what you want and choose an installer that could provide you with it.
- Ask what the quotation covers.
- The installer should offer you aftercare after the installation or upgrade.
Compatibility of the Hardware
Another essential factor you must not ignore is ensuring that all components are correctly sized and designed to operate with the other system components. It can be challenging when installing the system for the first time. However, it becomes even more challenging if the installer works on a system and hardware other people set up.
You must consider that solar panels must be equally strong if you add a new panel in parallel or series to a current system. Furthermore, the existing inverter should be capable of handling the added energy.
If the panels and inverters you currently have are still in excellent condition or still under warranty, what you can do is install a new pairing with them instead of replacing them altogether. Since each panel has its own inverter, this remedy provides excellent flexibility. It allows the panels to be aligned in any position and performs better in gloomy circumstances when compared to string inverters.
Know What Should Be Replaced and Added
Knowing what part of your system needs to be replaced and added for the upgrade is vital in knowing how much the upgrade will cost. Therefore, it is best to talk to an installer first. Then, ask for the installer’s help to populate a list of the things that need to be done.
Before the upgrade, it is advised to list it all down during the installer’s inspection. Consider the parts of your solar panel system that need replacing due to wear and tear.
Plan Your Upgrade Ahead of Time
Many factors need to be considered when upgrading a solar panel system. Therefore, you should start planning as soon as possible if you plan to upgrade your system. This way, you can study how much an upgrade will cost or how huge this project will be.