You’ve finally mobilized resources to start building your dream home. There are a million fixtures, fittings and accessories you now need to start choosing. A solar system should undeniably be part of the long list of features you want in your new home. Experts rightly claim that a sound solar system adds value to your home, in addition to cutting your reliance on fossil fuels.
A new build is in some ways the most ideal time to install a solar system. It’s at this juncture that you can propose the most appropriate location for each house component, including the solar system. Also, you can plan for a more efficient installation and thus reduce the initial costs. Here are the steps you can follow to incorporate a solar system into a new build.
1. Consult Experts
If your career revolves around solar system installation, well and good—go ahead and design one for your new house. But if you’re like many other new homeowners who only have partial knowledge of how solar systems work, better start your search for a reliable solar panels contractor.
It’s best to work with local companies who are conversant with the regional weather conditions and the sun’s orientation throughout the year. They’ll design a system that’s guaranteed to work. So, look for Albany electricians who do solar projects if you’re in Albany and Houston electricians if you’re in Houston.
2. Design The System
Once you settle on your preferred solar company, you can work with them to design the system based on your anticipated electricity needs. Try to give them a clear picture of the number and types of electrical appliances you’d want to use in your new home.
It will help if you’re exact, since your average power consumption is used to calculate the power generation capacity for the solar system.
If you underestimate your power consumption, you’ll run short of generating the power you need. That’s especially disastrous if you intend to go completely off-grid. If you want to have a hybrid system, your system will switch over to grid electricity once you consume all the solar electricity you generate in a given day.
A good rule of thumb is to have a system with a slightly larger capacity than you need. This way, you’re less likely to run out of power. Even more exciting is the fact that depending on where you are in the world, you might be able to sell the surplus output to grid electricity companies.
3. Determine The Layout
The most popular installation location for solar panels is on the roof. Generally, the rooftop lies openly exposed to the sun, and that’s what the solar cells need. Some people don’t like the bluish hue of polycrystalline solar cells on their roofs, however.
If you’re this type of person and you have the funds, you can go in for monocrystalline panels, which are black, instead. If your property is spacious, you could opt for a ground installation. Another alternative is to have a solar roof. Instead of placing panels on your roof, you construct the roof with shingles that generate solar electricity. Do note that this is a more expensive option than conventional solar panels, however.
For best results, you want to mount the panels on a south-facing roof if you live in the northern hemisphere and on a north-facing roof if your home is in the southern hemisphere. If that isn’t possible, you can try a west-facing roof to make the most use of the strong afternoon sun.
Other Roof Accessories
Something else you need to do is to ensure nothing else sits on the roof section on which you install the solar panels. They need maximum exposure to the sun. Any shadow falling on them reduces their output. Therefore, design your house so chimneys, dormers, satellite dishes and the like are on the opposite side of the solar section.
For the same reason, you should locate your house far from boundaries with neighboring properties. If they already have houses, lucky you! You’ll know where to position your home to avoid shadows on your roof. If the adjacent plots are empty, however, you can only hope the owners won’t construct multi-story buildings and rob you of the sun’s energy.
4. Do The Actual Installation
Finally, it’s time for your installers to do the cabling and fix the batteries and inverter in place. Unless you’re going to DIY your solar system, you won’t need to assist in this part of the process. If you are going to incorporate a solar system yourself, remember to place cable conduits on the walls before you plaster them. This way, your home’s interior walls will have a neat finish devoid of unsightly wires all over the place.
Do the same for the batteries and inverters. Designate a particular room for them for the optimal aesthetics of your home.
It’s convenient and worthwhile to incorporate a solar system into a new build. You get the chance to place every component of your home in the most appropriate location, and therefore reap all the benefits of solar energy. If you wait and retrofit the system, you’ll have to work around the limitations of the house. With a new build, your solar project is bound to come out both functional and aesthetically pleasing.