Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
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Solar panels are going up on homes across the nation. As solar becomes more of a trend, more homeowners are looking for ...
answer regarding solar panel financing and installation. In Part Two of this series, David Lupberger shows how "going solar" is done.
Tags:Solar Panel Installation,green living,Installation Guide to Solar Panel,Residential Solar Panel Installation,servicemagic,solar
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David Lupberger: Hi, I’m David Lupberger with servicemagic.com. It’s the morning of day two for the installation of solar panels on my home. This morning, they’re focusing on getting all the rails in place so they can begin to mount and finish the installation of all the solar panels.
After yesterday’s hot afternoon sun forced work to stop, the crew from Namaste Solar is wasting no time in getting things started this morning. Their goal is to finish installation by this afternoon. After placing 44 brackets into my roof, they’re now installing the rails that will eventually hold the solar panels. This layout on the western side of my house isn’t the ideal situation. In fact, this positioning for the panels is the third choice for Namaste to work with.
Amanda Bybee: Every area in the United States is going to have its own set of optimum characteristics. Here in Colorado, our optimum installation faces do south, it’s completely unshaded and it’s installed at a tilt angle of 40 degrees which is the equivalent of our latitude.
David Lupberger: But my roof doesn’t have a southern exposure. The second option Namaste likes to go with is the east side. However, my chimney casts a shadow that would dramatically hamper the system’s efficiency.
Amanda Bybee: Just given the layout of your roof, west ended up being the best option even though it isn’t quite optimal.
David Lupberger: Remember in part one of this series, we focused on the financial decisions to go with solar. Having to install the panels on the western slope of my roof reduced maximum efficiency to 75% and that impacted the rebate from my utility company.
Amanda Bybee: When we find that a system is going to be less than 90% efficient, we actually prorate the rebate accordingly. And so, that’s been taken into account for example on your application and on your proposal. Your rebate amount was amended to reflect that your roof is unfortunately not quite optimal.
David Lupberger: However, it still made financial sense for me to go through with it. As the solar panels began to head skyward, another Namaste crew begins working on the wiring, installing the wires that will bring the power collected from the sun right into my breaker box.
This is the inverter. It effectively functions as the brain of the PV system. When all was said and done, the inverter will show me how much power is being generated and how much CO2 is being offset.
Throughout the course of the day, the crew works tirelessly to hoist each panel to its permanent location on my roof and make sure they’re properly secured to withstand the fiercest of storms. In less than two days, my roof is gone from a unit that protects my house from the elements to one that will produce power from my home even on days when the scorching heat of the sun can’t burn through the cloud cover.
I’d like to say that we were through at this point but there are a few more steps to go through before the system is operational.
It’s the end of day two and all the panels are in place. It appears to be functioning but there will be two more inspections, a local billing inspection and then the utility company will certify all the work has been done well. It will be turned on permanently then all of the power that we use in that house will be coming from the sun.