Many people ask me about the installation process for solar PV. The good news is that installing solar PV panels brings minimal disruption to your home and your daily routine. There are two main aspects to the job: Electrical work and installation of the panels. Here’s an overview of the process so that you’ll know what to expect:
Installation of the Panels
Only use qualified and reputable roofers to install your solar panels. Good roofers will use roof hooks to secure the panels to you roof structure and never drill holes through your slates or tiles. This way, the panels are securely fixed to the structure of your roof while also preserving the integrity of your roof as a barrier against the elements. The job takes one or two days and causes minimal disruption because the work is done from outside. Ground-mounted systems are also straight-forward to install. However, you will need to give the concrete foundations of ground-mounted systems time to harden. The installers will return to finish on another day once the concrete has hardened. Your solar PV company will discuss all of these factors with you in advance of the installation.
Like the installation of the panels, the electrical work takes one or two days and generally involves minimal disruption. If your consumer unit (fuse box) doesn’t meet current safety standards then the electrician will replace it with a new one with modern safety features. This means that the job might take two days instead of one and it will add approximately €200 to the cost of the job. Replacing an unsafe consumer unit is well worthwhile because of the improved safety for you and your family. The electrician will also install a new Earth rod if necessary.
Solar PV companies can do the roofing and electrical work on the same day. This means that your new PV system could be up and running by the first evening. For more complex jobs, the work might two days. A site survey will help determine how long the installation will take for you.