Converting your home’s energy use to a cleaner, greener alternative is simple! However, it cannot happen overnight. Here is the process:

4 simple steps to powering your home with solar

Step 1: Site Survey for Engineering Design

Before deciding on the make, model, and installation layout of your new solar panels, you will need an experienced solar engineer to come by your property to evaluate the following:

1.   The condition of your roof; to ensure that it is structurally sound and sturdy enough to hold solar panels.

2.   Inspect your distribution board (DB); ensuring that the power of the proposed solar system will be compatible with your home’s incoming power.

3.   Study your roof type; calculation factors include the angle and position, shape and size of the roof, the direction of the sunlight, and whether there is any significant shading surrounding your roof.

Once these attributes have been taken into consideration, your solar engineer will be able to create an accurate and customised solar system design along with a financial analysis of the return of investments (ROI).

Step 2: Solar Panel Procurement and Safety Assessment

Upon confirmation of your solar engineering design proposal, your system integrator will begin procuring the necessary equipment and components in the preparation for your solar installation. This may take up to a few weeks to arrive, depending on the availability and brand of solar panels you have chosen. The solar engineer will also carry out the necessary health and safety compliances, assisting with submissions to meet stipulated regulations by the relevant governmental authorities:

·       Building Construction Authority (BCA)

·       Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)

·       Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)

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Step 3: Photovoltaic System (PV) Installation

The actual installation is an exciting day for every solar homeowner! Your solar engineers will begin with mounting frames: an essential component in a solar panel system.

·     They help secure your solar panels to the roof: for flat roofs, they can be used to adjust the angle of your solar panels for maximum sun exposure.

·     Angling your solar panels slightly will also help with “self-cleaning” when it rains.

The way that mounting frames are attached to your roof is typically minimally invasive, dependent on the type of roof on your property.

For metal roofs, there are mainly two types:

1.   Standing seams: installed with clamps without penetrating your roof’s surface.

2.   Trapezoidal standing seams: require penetrating the roof’s surface during installation.

As for tiled roofs, they will require a 2-step process; roof tiles are temporarily removed to allow mounting frames to be attached before the original roof tiles carefully placed back as they were.

To prevent potential roof leaks that may occur from the mounting process on a deteriorated or seasoned roof, there might be a need for waterproofing, and your solar integrator will advise accordingly.

Step 4: System Testing & Commissioning

The final step of going solar, is officially commencing the generation of power from your rooftop. Before your solar panels are connected to the electric grid, your solar integrator will conduct tests on your solar system, and this assessment will include:

·     The various components tested by their respective vendors, to ensure that the electrical isolation points of the systems are adequately sized.

·     Checking integrity of cable insulation on outdoor cables, to withstand high temperatures and UV exposure for an estimated period of at least 20 years.

·     Ensuring PV components are properly grounded: cables must be properly connected, secured, and routed.

This is a quality assurance protocol that will make sure your system is performing as efficiently as it can be.

With 4 simple steps and a trusted solar installer, you will be ready to generate your own renewable electricity to supplement the power usage of your home. An additional benefit of having solar panels is that they act like an armor that protects your roof from exposure to the elements; ultraviolet light, rain, and other forces that contribute to wear, resulting in your roof lasting longer than it would otherwise. Not only does utilising solar energy bring you long-term savings, but it also supports the development and growth of clean, sustainable energy to drastically reduce the carbon footprint on our planet!

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