Do I need a professional to install a PV solar system or can I do it myself?


Do I need a professional to install a PV solar system or can I do it myself?

Asked by James Perry

I have installed light fixtures and water heaters and have bulit storage sheds.

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Hamid Kashani - AIA, LEED Green Associate's picture

Simply put, installing a PV solar system consists of two main tasks.

  • One is the physical installation of the panels, most commonly on the roof.
  • The electrical connections aspect of the project requires the expertise and services of a registered electrician.

In both cases, nothing replaces the importance of experience and proper training. Recently I read a report about a roof fire due to incorrect installation of a PV system and lack of the proper shutoff system for the firefighters to disconnect the electrical currents!

In addition, to optimize the performance of the solar PV system, one really needs to rely on the professional expertise of a solar installer. Considerations include:

  • proper solar orientation and angle,
  • proper securing of the panels to the roof substrate and waterproofing
  • electrical connections and installation of panels and the inverter and shutoff system.

It is usually most efficient to hire a company to provide and install the system. That way, they take care of any warranty issues as well as service and care that may go into that.Ideally you would want to work with a professional withNABCEPcertification.

For more information:

Check GreenHomeGuide's directory of solar installers to find a pro near you.