Rooftop solar panels are an excellent alternative for homeowners looking to decrease their carbon footprint and monthly energy costs. Homeowners in Kentucky can take benefit of solar energy’s many advantages because of the state’s abundant sunshine and rising interest in eco-friendly practices.
After collecting the 30% federal solar tax credit, the average price for an installed household solar system in Kentucky is presently $9,836, as per SolarReviews. This shows the significance of Install Solar Panels to create a sustainable future at an affordable price.
Now, let’s get into the details straight away!
Things to be Considered While Installing Solar Panels on Home Roof
Now, let’s discuss some key things to be considered when installing solar panels on your home roof here:
Ideal House Position
First look if your roof is in the right location to receive the most sunlight and is not blocked from obstacles like trees, buildings, or some other thing. If most parts of your roof are in the shade, then there’s no point in installing solar panels on your roof.
Also, check if there are any future changes in your surroundings that could obstruct your roof, like newly planted trees or the construction of new buildings around your house.
Aligning and Adjusting Panel Position
The solar panels are always installed at an angle that increases their sunlight exposure. Most solar panels are usually tilted at 30 to 45 degrees which can vary depending on your latitude.
Additionally, if you live in Kentucky, the solar panels should be installed facing the true south, as Kentucky is located in the northern hemisphere.
Pro Tip: You can use a solar calculator to find out a suitable angle for your location. Also, you could contact an experienced roofing company for a roof inspection to determine the suitable angle for solar panel installation on the roof.
Types and Construction of Roof
There are many types of roofing materials that affect solar panel installation in Kentucky. The most common roofing material is asphalt shingle, which is perfect for installing solar panels. Similarly, composite and metal roofing is also suitable for solar panels.
Additionally, when you renovate your roof early, it will negate the cost of removing the panels and remounting them after repairing your roof. The solar panels could also be installed in various locations to reach the average energy produced, that is, around 1 kilowatt (kW) with 100 sq ft. (9.3 m2) of panel coverage.
Strength of your Roof
Firstly, check if your roof can withstand the weight of the solar panels. The average weight of a polycrystalline or monocrystalline panel is about 2.5-2.7 pounds per square feet, hence not that heavy.
Once installed, solar panels last for 25 or more years. It is always recommended to get in touch with a professional to check if your roof fits for the solar panels and is capable of supporting them as well. This is especially important when your house is very old.
Assess the Sunlight Quality
Solar panels can work in all kinds of weather conditions, but it is most suitable for you to install them when your area is mostly sunny. This is because they need a sufficient amount of sunlight for best performance.
For instance, there are, on average, 189 sunny days every year in Kentucky and 205 sunny days in the U.S.A. These number of sunny days are still enough for preparing your roof for solar panels and receiving the benefits of energy savings.
Review the Legal Constraints
Verify if your newly-installed solar panels are eligible for the various codes. To do this, first search for any homeowners’ association you might’ve or if you live in a historic district. In this case, you may have restrictions on placing solar panels on the rooftop. Other cases could be that ground-mounted panels may require to be away from public view or stay at some distance from your property area. Lastly, you could also need a permit for your building for the place you live in.
8 Steps to Install Solar Panels on Roof
Here we are going to discuss the steps for installing solar panels on your home roof as follows:
Gather Essential Materials, Tools, and Safety Equipment
The first thing that should be done for installing solar panels on your rooftop is to collect all the required materials, tools, and safety equipment. These include solar panels, stanchions, a drill, PV wire, mounting brackets, lags, and screws. Also, keeping a tool belt to keep all the tools nearby (i.e., on the roof). Above this, wearing legitimate fall protection equipment is crucial as well.
Designate the Position of Stanchions That Hold Up Solar Panels
After you have all the materials needed in one place, the location of the fixed vertical bar on your roof is marked next. The roof bars are there as support structures in the form of metal screws that hold the solar panels upward. These will be attached to the rafters, so you will also need your home’s blueprint.
Note: “You need to ensure that stanchions are in level before drilling the holes. Also, all the stanchions should be placed at least at a distance of four feet.”
Place the Stanchions
For fixing the stanchions, drill holes in your rafters first. Then secure the roof stanchions in place. To secure them, use an impact driver and steel bolts.
Set up the Flashing Below the Shingles
The flashing should be put in place underneath the shingles, and a bolt should be used to fasten it to the rafters. Even after drilling holes in the tiles, the flashing keeps your roof waterproof and prevents leaks.
Affix The Rails
Your solar array panels will be carried on railways. The bolts that connect the rails to the stanchions must be firmly tightened. You could use an impact driver to do this work.
Remember to install a power inverter kit under every panel. Next, check to see if your inverter kits include copper wires. The connectors must enter and exit the solar arrays.
Get the wires out coming from your panels to an electrical meter and then to a sub-panel. Guide the power inverter kits’ wires via through the rail, which contains a trunk.
Install the Panels
Connect all plugs before attaching panels. Place your panels on the roof stanchions thereafter. Attach the brackets to the solar panel on the ground first. Lift the panel, align it with the rails, and secure it with clamps and bolts. Connect each panel in the same way.
Parallelly wire the solar array panels. Create a conductor system by wiring panels and join them to power inverters. Inverter wires should fit through the rail hollow.
Link with The Inverter
To connect the panels to an inverter, an electrical meter, & an electrical sub-panel, it would be ideal to pull cables from the panels. Join the solar inverter to the electricity panel of your home.
Make sure the inverter is connected properly by using the accompanying wiring diagram. Keep your solar inverter away from direct sunlight if it is outside. Additionally, attach it to the battery and fuse board. The battery comes in use during cloudy days when panels are not producing enough energy.
In conclusion, we learned the important things to be looked for before installing solar panels in Kentucky. These included the location of your house, setting panel position, types & conditions of your roof, the strength of the roof, sunlight quantity, and legal limitations.
Then we discussed eight steps that are being followed to install solar panels on your home roof. These steps are to collect all the things, position stanchions, put the stanchions, set up flashing under shingles, fix rails, wiring, install panels, and connect with the inverter.