You’ve chosen Vellco Solar Company to design and install your new solar panel system; now you are ready to begin generating power. The last step is a final inspection! After months of planning, paperwork, and installation, your new solar panel system is finally ready to start soaking up the sun and generating clean energy. As a solar energy professional with over 20 years of experience, I know firsthand how exciting yet nerve-wracking this process can be. There are a few important steps we need to take to ensure your system is fully operational, safe, and optimized to start powering your home.
Completing a Thorough Inspection
Once the solar installer has finished mounting the panels, wiring the components, and completing the physical setup, it’s time to schedule the final inspection walkthrough. As president of Vellco Solar, I’ll come out personally to verify that everything was completed properly and look for any issues or flaws in the materials.
Checking Panel Placement and Connections
First, we’ll inspect how the solar panels were situated on your roof to ensure the angles are optimal for sun exposure throughout the year. I’ll also check that they have no shading from trees or other structures that could limit energy production. Proper panel placement is critical for solar efficiency. Next, we’ll look over all the wiring, connections, and hardware that link your panels to the inverter and electrical system. These components need to be secured properly to maintain system integrity through all weather conditions. I remember one install where squirrels had already started chewing through exposed cables before inspection!
Testing System Functionality
Once we’ve verified the physical setup, it’s time to test the system functionality. I’ll have one of our electricians activate temporary wiring to simulate how the system will operate when connected to your home’s electrical system. We’ll conduct a trial run converting sunlight into usable AC power to confirm all the components are working together seamlessly before official activation.
Identifying Any Defects
Throughout the inspection, we’ll be looking for any defects or flaws that could impact performance or safety down the line. This includes checking for micro-cracks in solar cells or water seals, corrosion in wiring, and even critter or insect damage. It’s extremely rare, but I have occasionally had to request re-installation if certain components failed inspection.
Rest assured, I won’t approve the system for activation until everything meets my stringent quality standards developed through years of expertise!
Activating Solar Power Generation
Once the system passes inspection, we can officially begin generating power! This involves a few final steps:
Connecting to Electrical System
Our licensed electrician will complete the wiring from the solar panels to your electrical system and install a net meter. This special meter can spin backwards when your panels produce more power than you consume, giving you credits with the utility company. It’s a great feeling to see it spin backwards for the first time!
Notifying Utility Company
We also notify your utility company before activation so they can ensure the connection is approved and monitor your account for credit accrual. Depending on your provider, an agent may even come out to oversee the net meter installation.
Configuring Monitoring System
Next, we’ll complete the setup on the monitoring software and app that lets you view system performance in real-time. It’s quite intuitive, but I’ll provide an overview of the main dashboards and how to read the power generation reports. You’ll quickly learn to get excited about checking the app and watch your savings grow!
Flipping the Switch!
Finally, it’s time for the big moment when we officially flip the switch to turn on your new solar energy system! I’ll never forget the excitement of homeowners when their panels start churning out power the first time. It’s very rewarding seeing months of hard work come to fruition.
Of course, I’ll stick around for a bit to monitor power production and do any troubleshooting if needed. Once output stabilizes, you’ll be off to the races generating clean, renewable energy daily!
Keeping a Watchful Eye
I always tell new solar customers that activation is just the beginning. To ensure optimal performance for decades to come, it’s important to monitor your system and perform regular maintenance. Here are a few tips:
- Check the monitoring app routinely to view power generation and flag any dips in output. We can then troubleshoot issues quickly before they become more significant.
- Have an expert inspect the panels and wiring yearly to identify potential damage from weather events. It’s best to address small issues early before they become big problems.
- Wash the panels occasionally to prevent dirt buildup, following proper cleaning procedures to avoid micro-cracks.
Don’t hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns, even years later. We truly want your system to operate flawlessly for the full 25-30 year lifespan!
The Journey Begins!
The inspection and activation of your new solar installation lays the foundation for decades of reliable, renewable power generation. I take pride in overseeing these final steps meticulously to get your system operating optimally on day one. Maintaining your panels properly over time will ensure your investment pays dividends for your home and the environment. Feel free to reach out at 703-953-9126 or visit our blog if you ever need guidance or troubleshooting. Let the sun bring power and prosperity!