Select a Solar Electric Contractor – Installation and Commissioning

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,227
    SolarWorld Authorized Installer Keith Knowles discusses the final steps in the solar installation process and what to expect once the system is installed and activated.

    Keith Knowles: Hi! I am Keith Knowles. I am a licensed Solar Contractor and an authorized installer for SolarWorld, America's largest manufacturer of PV Modules. Today we are going to learn how to select your solar contractor and we will be covering the steps of installation and commissioning. So let's go find out more.

    The first thing that goes on your roof is the racking. Some installers sub this step out to a roofer in order to maintain your roof warranty. Others are qualified to do it themselves. This is usually the most time-consuming part of the process. Next, the solar panels go on. It's not a bad idea to look at the back of the panel to ensure that it's the make and model specified in your contract. The inverter will be mounted in the garage or a shady spot on an outside wall. The solar panels get wired into here. The inverter output is wired to your electrical panel. It will also get some new labels. Once this is done and tested, your contractor will schedule any final inspections required by the authority having jurisdiction, usually the local code inspector. Sometimes your utility may also send an inspector to make sure everything is up to their standards. Before making the final payment to your contractor, you should have assurance that your system was successfully commissioned and is now working. You also want to make sure that any open issues you brought up with the contractor have been resolved. Most contractors will have developed a punch list with you and will be more than happy to show you that everything has been completed.

    Except for inverter service in 10 to 15 years and an occasional washing of your panels, your system will be maintenance-free for 25 to 30 years.