Integrating solar power into your home can be as simple as installing a single panel and battery system or as robust as having a full array of panels powering your entire home.
There are pros and cons for any solar setup, but the upfront costs of a big system can be a major deterrent — a fully functioning 5-kilowatt system could cost upwards of $15,000.
But homeowners can lower costs for a solar system by installing components themselves, saving thousands of dollars on installation fees.
Keep reading to learn more about DIY solar projects.
The Challenges of Home Solar Panel Installation
Once you have evaluated your power needs, using a cost calculator
will help estimate some of the upfront costs and savings of a solar system.
Generally, the average U.S. home uses just under 900 kilowatt-hours of energy per month, so you’ll want a system that can cover that use.
Installing the panels is one of the easier parts of the process, though connecting the system requires experience with high-voltage electrical systems. Certain states, such as Florida, require a licensed technician to legally install solar setups.
DIYers interested in solar arrays should have experience with outdoor electrical wiring before attempting an installation, as poor wiring can be damaged by the elements and may create electrical hazards. DIYers who accept the risks associated with such a project should proceed with caution.
Mounting the panels at the optimal angle to absorb as much sun as possible is critical. Roof installations are the most common, but stand-alone arrays may do a better job, depending on your location.