One of the most important aspects of a solar system is the quality of the installation work – after all, you can buy the best quality solar panels
and a high performance solar inverter
and still have the system perform poorly if it is not installed correctly.
But how do you tell whether an installation is done with the right quality?
This article looks at what an average consumer can look for on the day of installation – we will post other articles about how to select the right installer in the first place and how to ensure they use quality components.
As consumers, most customers are not qualified to look at whether the electrical component of the installation is done according to the required standards – however, as with most tradesmen’s work, you can usually (but not always) tell a good job by looking at the little details.
Of course, if you are qualified to review the details around electrical work (ie if you are a builder or electrician), your installer should provide you with all the detail you need.
For a non-electrician, a good quality installation can usually be determined by looking at three key areas:
1) Pre-installation Planning
2) Customer involvement in the installation
3) Visual inspection
1) Pre-installation Planning of Your Solar System
You should, at the very least, receive well prior to the installation date full details of the location and layout of the panels and inverter – including an aerial photo of your roof with the panels drawn in.
You should also have received a full list of the brand, model numbers and specifications of the major components.
The solar company should ensure any queries or concerns are dealt with prior to the installation – so that the installers know exactly what needs to be done on the day.
2) Customer involvement
The installers should always review with you their plan to ensure there hasn’t been any last-minute changes.
They should also raise with you any issues they discover during the course of the installation and of course provide advice if necessary.
3) Visual Inspection
Always check the little things with an installation – including:
- do the rails extend significantly beyond the edge of the panels?
- is all the conduit neatly installed or does it look haphazard?
- is any excess sealant around switches cleaned up?
- are all cables on the rooftop secured so they are not exposed to direct sunlight?
- has the installer cleaned up any dirt and removed all their rubbish?
- has the installer demonstrated the system to you?
Naturally, there is a lot more to it than this – but the above can be used as a minimum guide.