Thinking of expanding your existing solar system?
Here is something you should know
Solar owners who have realized that it’s time to expand the existing solar system typically have a series of questions/queries on their minds. If you are one of them, this post is for you.
Find out the key points to consider, details to heed and what knowledge to possess while anticipating solar system extension– all at one place.
Probable reasons why adding solar panels makes sense for some:
There are different reasons why some of you want to connect extra solar panels to the system. However, here is the list of the most common ones:
- electricity consumption has risen due to the addition of appliances
- recently you’ve bought an EV (Electric vehicle)
- Your existing PV system has a large capacity inverter, and now you wish to utilize it
- You are planning to add battery storage and need extra panels to generate more power.
- You have space that can accommodate several more panels.
What factors to pay attention to while planning solar panel expansion?
Following are the significant aspects of your exiting PV that will contribute majorly while planning the up-gradation. Consider all and go in-depth with them.
Full inspection of the Photovoltaic system:
Take a look at the hardware. Inspect the solar panels for possible corrosion or any signs of degradation. Generally, solar panels work fine for more than two decades. However, if you encounter anything that needs fixation, this is the right time when you think of adding some more panels to the system.
Check wiring all the way through the inverter. All these factors will influence the design and budget of your solar panel expansion.
Evaluation of Energy requirement:
First and the principal question which will cross your mind is –how many panels do I need? For which, a quick energy consumption analysis will come handy. Check your electricity bill post solar. The installer will gather all the required information from the bills, will understand your growing electricity needs, inspect your existing system and then propose the right number of panels to be attached.
If you wish to calculate it, you can retrieve necessary information from the energy bills; check out the energy meter or inverter data logger to find out the system’s output. It will help you understand the process and some pre-knowledge is always a plus point.
Space of additional panels:
You need extra panels but do you have a vacant place for them? If yours is a rooftop solar and the majority of roof space is consumed, the answer may be no. On the contrary, if you have a ground mount solar, space wouldn’t be an issue.
If you find yourself in the situation where there isn’t much space for additional panels, don’t give up on the idea. You can explore supplemental solar arrays and place them on sheds or carports on your property. The solar installer will utilize the right space.
It’s one of the most critical components of the solar PV system. If you already had a large capacity inverter installed sighting the future rising energy needs, your inverter is good for the panel addition. However, if you need more panels than what the inverter can handle, you’ll need to replace it.
Ad-on projects seem hassle-free if the existing system features micro inverters. Here, you need not worry about the inverter capacity. Each additional panel will have its separate inverter.
If you have a string inverter system or a power optimizer one, the former case will apply.
Permitting and interconnection:
You may likely need to acquire authorization and submit additional interconnection documentation to your utility company. It all depends on how many panels you are adding, the inverter needs a replacement or not, and your locality’s permitting requirements.
Generally, the add-on installers are aware of any such permits and interconnection obligations to be performed before starting the work. Your installer will identify it and may assist you to do it.
These are the key areas which needs your attention while connecting extra solar panels to the system.
How Vista meets the standards while connecting extra solar panels to your solar system?
A thorough check-up of your existing system takes place before moving ahead with up-gradation. This activity helps in underlining the system compliance ahead of the change.
After analyzing the energy consumption and requirements, the additional solar capacity is identified. Subsequently, the team validates inverter against the new solar system size. If it can accommodate the new power output, there’s no need to change it.
Area-specific codes need to follow if the proposed capacity is relatively larger.
The same capacity panels are a top priority in order to maintain the aesthetics and power output so that the system will run smoothly.
Apart from all the fundamental activities, Vista Electrical Controls will let you about any crucial factor in your case and help you resolve it.
With solar panel upgrade, your energy needs will be fulfilled, and you can even think of going fully energy independent with solar batteries. If your existing PV system is storage-ready, this is the perfect time to go off the grid.
Collecting this information regarding the solar expansion will pose you as an aware customer, and allow you to ask questions to the installer until you get satisfactory answers. A qualified solar installer will have answers ready and will try to resolve each of your queries.
If you are in for a solar PV upgrade, do not hesitate to contact Vista Electrical Controls. Get in touch with us for further details.