Over half our customers do install and maintain their own solar power systems. Some hire extra help for part of the installation. Most have an electrician or other professional do the wiring and metering into the house.
So, yes! You can size your system to suit your needs and budget. You can pick the components. And you can install it and maintain it.
Here's part of an article from wholesalesolar.com that explains the decision process and the steps needed to build your own system.
- Find a consultant with lots of experience. Our sales/design team know the products and the process. Most of us have solar on our own homes. We'll steer you to the right products for your system.
- There are some essential questions you need to answer before you invest time and money in solar:
- Do you have room on your roof or on your property for an array of solar panels?
- Would you rather have panels on your roof or on the ground where you can reach them easily?
- Does the sun shine on this area for most of the daylight hours?
- Do shadows from trees or other structures fall on this area at certain parts of the day?
- Is your roof structurally sound enough to add the weight of solar panels and racks?
- Will you be able to face your solar panels so that the winter sun hits the panels at as close to perpendicular as possible at noon?
- (Whew! See? You need an experienced person to talk to. Call 1-888-608-3394.)
- Check your electric bills for how much electricity you use during your highest months of usage. This is a kWh number at the bottom of your bill. Write that number down so that you can refer to often.We always recommend— first— lowering your energy usage, so do read about lowering your energy consumption. Every dollar you spend on energy efficiency saves you up to $5 in system cost.
- Educate yourself! Read our website, starting with the Getting Started thread. Whether you plan to hire an installer or do it yourself, these are things you need to understand. Subscribe to Home Power magazine. Check out your local bookstore for how-to manuals on solar. If you plan to make your own electricity, you need to understand the basics of electricity and more. Make safety your priority and you will sleep better at night.
- Learn the difference between gridtie and offgrid systems and decide what kind of system is appropriate for you. See Gridtie to Offgrid to understand all the options.
- Size your system. The process is different for sizing offgrid or sizing gridtie.
- Once you have an idea of how many panels it would take to produce all the electricity you use, you can look at comparable systems to come up with a ballpark price. Now you need to set a realistic budget.
- Check out the solar subsidies—local and state incentives, utility rebates, and the federal tax credit— and then refigure your budget.
- Contact your county or city building department and be prepared to install “to code” in order to qualify for incentives. We ALWAYS recommend installing to code for safety. Make contact early on with the electrician you will hire to do the final hooking up of your system.”
To learn more about installing your own solar power system please read the rest of this article from WholesaleSolar.com.