Step 3: Installation Process

What to expect when the work begins.

1.  Setup

For a roof-mounted system, expect scaffolding, ladders and other safety equipment to be set up alongside the house for workers to gain access to every part of the roof they’ll be working on. Workers may also need to access to your attic and electric breaker panel.

2. Mounting hardware

Mounting is usually next. Most panels weigh 2 to 3 pounds per square foot, which isn’t a problem for most roofs. Brackets are generally secured with a long lag bolt into the roof truss, and sealed with a weatherproof sealant. Look around your neighborhood for roof-mounted solar systems and you can usually see how the panels are mounted.

3. Inverters

Inverters are connected to solar panels, and they convert direct current into alternating current. There are several different types of inverters that the contractor may offer. They will be installed, wired, and grounded before being connected to your electric breaker panel. 

4. Panels

Once brackets and mounting hardware are installed, panels often install quickly. Experienced contractors and their crews can position and mount panels in a matter of days.

5. Getting connected

Once the system is installed, your town’s building inspector will come to inspect the installation and electrical work. Your utility may also need to inspect the system and will install a new digital meter, referred to as a “net meter.”

The net meter is capable of reading power to and from the electric grid and is necessary to credit and bill you accordingly. Once the town has approved the work and utility has issued approval to energize, you should be able to energize the system – but confirm with your contractor on the exact procedure.

Once your system is up and running, a Connecticut Green Bank inspector may contact you for a final inspection. To view a list of these inspectors, click here. 

6. Get a tutorial on how to operate your system

Your contractor should walk you through the entire system and explain its proper operation.

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How to Speak Solar: Glossary