Installing solar photovoltaic panels is an important investment for your home and for the environment. However, it is important to take certain precautions to avoid costly mistakes that can compromise the performance of your system. In this article, we will look at common mistakes to avoid when installing solar PV panels.
Mistake #1: Ignoring location
The location of your solar PV panels is crucial to ensure optimal performance. It is important to choose a location that receives sufficient sunlight throughout the day. In addition, it is important to take into account obstacles such as trees, buildings or cast shadows that can reduce the amount of sunlight your panels receive.
Be aware that if your environment is not suitable, all is not necessarily lost.
Indeed, thanks to specific technologies, it is quite possible to deal with obstacles such as shadows and other problems.
For example, the Solax brand has developed the so-called "shadow fix", which identifies sub-optimal panel voltages, so the inverter scans all the best production points of the panels. If one or more parts of the panels are in the shade, these panels/parts of panels can be moved away from the best voltage points. However, it is important to have panels with this technology. For example, Sunpower panels, or IM Solar has this technology.
The location of the panels can be influenced by the weather conditions in the region. For example, areas subject to hail may require solar panels that are more resistant to hail. Areas subject to windstorms may require stronger mounting brackets to withstand high winds.
Also, tools are in place today to find out the photovoltaic potential of your address. The Alma Solar team can help you to send you a specific report allowing you to identify month by month, according to all the parameters of your installation, what will be the most beneficial for your installation. You will then have a month by month estimate of your future installation.
It is important to take these factors into account when planning your solar PV installation to ensure that your system works optimally and is resistant to local weather conditions.
Mistake #2: Under sizing your system
It is important to properly size your solar PV system according to your energy consumption as well as your future consumption. Under-sizing your system can result in poor profitability, while over-sizing can be costly and unnecessary. It is important to make an accurate assessment of your energy consumption and size your system accordingly.
When planning your system, it is important to take into account how your future energy consumption will change.
For example, if you are planning to add energy-intensive appliances such as a spa or swimming pool or an electric car, you should consider their future energy consumption when choosing your equipment. It is then preferable to opt for a more powerful inverter.
At Alma Solar you will find that the price difference between two inverters of the same brand but of different power is sometimes very small. The choice of an inverter must be well thought out because it is a significant cost that will be for a minimum period of 10 years. For example, SMA or Solax inverters are generally guaranteed for 10 years.
It is also important to consider the performance of the solar PV panels. Higher quality panels have a higher efficiency, which means that they can generate more energy from the same amount of sunlight.
It is also important to take into account the region in which you are installing. In Belgium or northern France, it is important to oversize your inverter. If you are subject to the pro-sumer tariff in Belgium, oversizing your inverter is imperative.
Mistake #3: Not taking into account local rules and regulations
Local rules and regulations vary depending on the geographical area and the legislation in force. It is important to find out about local rules and regulations before installing your solar PV system. Some areas may have restrictions on panel placement or maximum system size, while others may offer tax credits or incentives for solar panel installation.
In addition, some building codes may require permits for the installation of solar panels.
In France, for example, you must get approval from the local council before installing solar panels. It is important to comply with all local regulations to avoid fines and additional costs. You can contact your local authorities for information on the rules and regulations in your area.
If you wish, Alma Solar can be commissioned to manage your application for work at your local council.
Mistake #4: Not choosing the right products and guarantees
The choice of products is critical to the performance and durability of your solar photovoltaic system. It is important to choose high quality panels that have high efficiency and long life. Lower quality panels may not perform as well and may require early replacement, which can be costly. We recommend checking customer reviews and product warranties. In general, solar panels are guaranteed for 30 years, and inverters and batteries for 10 years.
In addition, it is important to choose a provider with strong guarantees. Warranties can cover manufacturing and material defects, as well as the performance of your solar photovoltaic panels. Warranties can vary in length and coverage, so it is important to read the terms carefully before choosing a provider.
At Alma Solar, you benefit from comprehensive insurance which is free of charge for all orders placed on the site and installed by a Workee professional. This insurance is there to protect your solar panels, the solar inverter, the solar batteries (if included in the order), the ground or roof mounting, the dedicated electrical protection as well as all cables and connectors. Don't forget to declare your warranty to benefit from this insurance
Mistake #5: Not hiring a professional installer
Installing solar photovoltaic panels is a complex task that must be done by a professional installer who has the required qualifications. Professional installers have the experience and skills to install your solar PV system safely and efficiently.
It is important to research and choose a quality professional installer with proven experience and appropriate certifications. Professional installers can also help you navigate local rules and regulations and obtain the necessary permits to install your system.
At Alma Solar, we work with the WORKEE network of RGE certified installers, to provide you with a smooth and cost-effective installation.
Installing a photovoltaic solar panel system can be a wise decision to reduce your electricity bill and protect the environment. However, it is important to take certain precautions to avoid costly mistakes that can compromise the performance of your system. By avoiding common mistakes such as under-sizing your system, not considering location, or not hiring a professional installer, you can ensure that your solar PV system is working optimally and that you are reaping the full benefits of solar energy. In addition, by choosing quality products and a provider with strong warranties and complying with local rules and regulations, you can be sure that your investment in solar energy is protected and profitable over time.
To make the process easier, use our free, easy-to-use online configurator to quickly estimate the cost of your future installation. Our teams are also at your disposal to assist you from A to Z and answer your questions.