Solar Panel Installation

The Full Solar Panel Installation Guide for Aussies (2024)

A simple breakdown of how you can conveniently install a solar panel system from the box to your roof.

This article contains all the essentials for installing solar panels: What’s included in a PV unit kit? How are they installed? How long does the installation last? Our insights and more. Read on.

Key Takeaways

  • Installing solar panels will help you control your energy usage and generate 0% carbon footprint power.
  • A solar panel has several parts— Photovoltaic cells, battery charges, and more. Read more below.
  • You can install solar panels yourself, but it’s normally better to hire professionals to do it.

Why Install a Solar Panel System in Your Home or Business?

There are plenty of benefits going solar has to offer. One, it allows users full control of their energy usage, thus, gaining insights on how users can further optimize their methods to save even more energy as they minimize the electricity bill. Next, solar is clean and renewable energy, generating 0% carbon footprint (no carbon emissions) to generate usable electricity—a strong reason why more Aussies have shifted to solar. Lastly, it’s safe and an excellent alternative to powering any home from the grid.

PV systems are versatile in design and utility. They’re customizable depending on the conditions and requirements of your project: design, solar battery capacity, and add-ons. Making at-home solar power systems a great investment and a long-term solution for Aussies’ energy needs.

Solar Panel Installation Inclusions: PV System Parts

Solar Panel Installation Inclusions

Indicated below are the inclusions when you avail solar PV system units and have them installed:

For installing a grid-tied solar power system for your home, there are 8 main components (although 2 are optional) that you will need and we will organize these in the order in which they will be connected to your home solar energy system.

1. Solar photovoltaic panels

The main receptor of sunlight. Before, in most home solar panel system installations, panels are assembled from scratch. Although at present you can still do that, it’s not a practical and not ideal option because you can purchase your panels online either as a prefab or second-hand, discounted, and sometimes bundled with a free installation service. PV units can be assembled into 80W, 100W, or 120W solar panels adjusting to the home’s energy requirements.

2. Solar power system disconnects

It’s a simple electrical switch to suspend or completely disconnect the DC and AC power output from your solar panels—should repairs ever be needed, or you have to shut it down.

3. Battery charge controller

Battery charge controllers, or charge regulators, help keep batteries from overcharging. It maintains a consistent flow of electrical power sent to the batteries to meet the recommended amount of charge. This feature also ensures the backup batteries do not discharge when not in use. *Most PV systems come with a battery backup.

4. Deep cycle battery storage

Your PV unit will need a deep-cycle battery storage to store all excess solar energy. They’re robust and specifically designed for the unique way of charging and discharging cycles of PV units.

Note: Brand new deep-cycle solar batteries are expensive but reconditioned batteries are cheaper.

5. System power meter

Its purpose is to indicate how much a user saves by using solar energy. Although a power meter is optional for PV units, it’s a nice-to-have component that allows users the full experience of owning a solar system unit. However, Keep in mind that NOT all PV unit packages come with a power meter out of the box, others don’t as it depends on the intended build of the unit or per manufacturer.

6. Solar inverter

As you know, PV units generate DC power initially, while home appliances and electronics run via AC power. Solar inverters convert the DC solar energy from the PV panels into usable 115, 220, or 240V AC electrical energy using electronic switching techniques.

7. Backup power

In a stand-alone PV installation, it’ll likely be a diesel generator. The PV systems, in case of scarce electricity or power outage, will be supplied with backup power. Sometimes backup power can be a small-scale wind turbine or a pump connected to a hydro system.

8. Mounting kit

Extreme weather conditions such as cyclones or strong winds are inevitable. To address the worries, specialized mounting kits made of sturdy materials are useful to protect your investment. A mounting kit consists of the following:

  • Feet (depending don’t the roof type: tin, tiled, slated)
  • Rails
  • Mid clamps
  • End clamps
  • Splice kit
  • WEEBs (washer, electrical equipment bonds, etc.)

What about it?

  • Used to keep the solar panels in place on the roof regardless of the weather
  • They are made to be fixed to tin, tiled, or slate roofs
  • No rusting and loose placement

Understanding the Basics of Solar Energy

For a successful solar energy system project, make sure that you start with the basics.

To start, obtaining usable solar energy is, believe it or not, simple. PV units or solar panel systems either collect sunlight or trap heat to induce electricity. After being converted by the inverter (DC>AC), the accumulated electricity is already usable to power homes or VVP (virtual power plant), electric vehicles, and establishments.

PV units can be used to power both residential and commercial establishments. PV units can range in size from small residential rooftops up to utility-scale PV units or ‘solar farms’ stretching over acres of rural land. [Source]

When planning your solar power system project, consider the average and the overall power consumption of your home or establishment. With accurate details about our usage, determining the right size and number of solar panels you’ll need for your system will be easier.

Additionally, solar panel systems are highly dependent on sunlight. This is why the energy your PV unit can collect and convert may vary, or even fluctuate, depending on the weather conditions—thus battery storage is a necessity.

Once you get a grasp of the basics (of owning a PV system), collecting, storing, and maintaining your unit becomes convenient.

A Step-by-step Guide on How to Install a Solar Power System at Home

A Step-by-step Guide

Sweet and simple. Here’s a detailed installation guide to help you with your project.

Step 1: Planning and gathering the materials

The first step is to gather all the necessary information, plan the design of your system, and gather the materials for your project if you’re going DIY. If not, please reach out to a professional.

You can start your research by looking up information on search engines. Make sure to use reliable resources with accurate information that suits your needs. For additional information you can’t find in the available materials, you can also join online groups and forums and ask away for opinions from people with an existing solar system about their first-hand experience.

Once done with the research and planning, proceed to gather your materials. Your materials should include solar panels, an inverter, a charge controller (if you’re using batteries), batteries (optional), wires, and mounting hardware.

Reminder: Make sure to purchase compatible materials. There are different sizes, so be careful with that. If you’re a beginner, our shop offers a variety of PV kits that are ready to assemble to make your DIY project a breeze. To browse our PV kits, click here.

Step 2: Installing the charge controller and inverters

Connect the charge controller and inverter. The charge controller’s use is to regulate the electricity in and out of your battery. On the other hand, your inverter converts the collected DC power from your solar panels and battery into usable AC power.

Step 3: Mounting the solar panels

If there’s a manual, kindly follow the instructions closely. Mount your solar panels on the roof or in a sunny location in your yard. Make sure that your mount is completely secure. The mount serves as their only protection from strong winds and storms, and to keep your unit in place. This will help prevent damage or loss.

Make sure to install the solar energy panels facing south on a north-facing roof for optimization

While the sun moves throughout the day, the north (in the Northern Hemisphere) generally receives the most sunlight throughout the year. A north-facing roof is ideal for solar panels, as long as there are no trees or buildings blocking sunlight. If there are obstructions, choose the closest unobstructed north-facing space. [Source]

Step 4: Wiring your system

Connect the solar panels to the charge controller, then connect the charge controller to the battery storage. Using the correct size wires is important because the wiring is responsible for disconnection, overcurrent protection, and overall safety. To conclude Step 4, connect the inverter to the battery storage and the main electrical panel.

Step 5: Connecting the solar power unit to the grid

A grid-tied solar power system is necessary to feed the excess power back to the grid and lower electricity bills. To connect to the grid, the homeowner must first earn the DNSP’s approval by following their guidelines for setting up. It may require a professional to make electrical connections.

While electrically isolated off-grid systems do not require a utility interconnection permission agreement, it’s better to consult to avoid possible conflicts. Secure the acquisition of necessary permits, and do not forget to comply with the local authority’s jurisdiction.

Step 6: Testing the solar power unit

Activate your solar power system and check if everything is working alright. If unsure, ask for a professional electrician’s expertise if you can, or have them collaborate with you to finish the project. It’s always better to consult an expert as they have years of experience to guarantee that your work is properly executed.

Step 7: Maintenance and troubleshooting

To guarantee the consistency and longevity of your investment, make sure that you maintain it properly. Clean your solar panels regularly and check for any signs of damage. If problems arise in your system, act quickly and remedy them before it reaches an irreparable state. This strategy will also prevent more serious damage or potential safety hazards caused by a faulty PV unit.

  • Maintain solar panels’ cleanliness
  • Track your energy production
  • Conduct a thorough examination of the inverters
  • Consider potential power outages
  • Address any issues promptly

Can I Set Up Solar Panels Myself?

Absolutely! Suppose you can rock a handheld screwdriver, assemble prefab PV solar panel parts, and are willing enough to spend a day or two on your roof (unless you’re mounting the panels on the ground) while simultaneously looking for reliable references. In that case, you can install your solar system.

However, if you wish to work with a professional installer, kindly let us know so we can help you.

DIY is great if you’re on a budget, but if you’re looking for quick installation and can shell out a little bit more for your convenience, then a professional installer is surely your best option. However, if the budget is tight and non-negotiable, try communicating it to your contractor. Maybe they have different payment plans or might be able to offer you a discount for your patronage.

Final Thoughts

As long as you read the instructions thoroughly on how to start a solar panel installation project and have the right tools at your disposal, assembling and installing a solar panel should be easy.

Fortunately, there’s an abundance of tutorials circulated online—take this article for example—that you can use as a reference for convenience for your component search and the actual installation. There are only 8 components that a PV unit has so it shouldn’t be that difficult.

However, skill will be the determining factor in whether or not your solar panel installation project will be a success or not. If we’re only talking about the parts, replacing them is easy if mistakes must happen—but wasteful. Should you ever need professional help with your project, don’t hesitate to contact us so we can connect you with one of our experts. Click here to get a quote.


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