How Does Solar Work?

We know you might have many questions about how solar energy works. Here is a guide on how the installation process goes.

Strategic planning and research.

Each of our installations go through a thorough evaluation process before construction starts. The building is inspected, sealed, and reinforced, then once we’re confident, we’ll then move on to the electrical work.

Most installations consist of the following steps:

  • Measurement and Layout
  • Remove Tiles (if tile roof)

If the panels are to be installed on a tile roof, tiles where the roof mounts are to be located are removed.

  • Locate Rafters

The rafters into which the roof mounts are to be installed are located using a variety of method (including audibly, electronically, or physically).

  • Install Roof Mounts

Roof mounts, that will secure the panels onto the roof, are fastened into the rafters per code and best practices to ensure proper installation and water seal.

  • Install Rails

Rails are attached to the roof mounts (upon which the solar panels will be mounted) to facilitate positioning, spreading the solar panel load and stress among the roof mounts.

A clean, fresh install.

After a solid prep has been done, we’ll start installing ground wire, power optimizes, and solar panels.

  • Install Ground Wire

To ensure the same electrical reference point and safety, continuous copper ground wire is connected to all rail segments and junction boxes.

  • Install Microinverters or Power Optimizers

Each power optimizer conditions the DC output from one solar panel to optimized DC to be fed into a central string inverter.

  • Install Junction Boxes and Wiring (over roof or attic run/wall run options may be available)

Microinverter or power optimizer wiring, including ground wiring are consolidated into electrical junction boxes on the roof.  Wiring is then run from the junction boxes to the ground level, via conduits, either over the roof or through the attic (for better aesthetics) and down or through the wall (for better aesthetics).

  • Install Panels
  • Finish Rails and Install Skirts

A safe system is a smart system.

Once the bulk of the installation is complete, we’ll install safety devices and make necessary upgrades to the existing wiring. Finally, the system is inspected and the installation is complete!

  • Install Cutoff Switches / String String Inverter / Monitoring Devices

Wiring from the roof is then connected to an AC cut-off switch. The cut-off switches provide a quick, accessible means to disconnect the solar system in case of emergency or servicing.

  • Prep or Upgrade Electric Main Panel
  • Install Breakers for Solar
  • City Installation Inspection
  • Install Net Meter
  • Utility Inspection and PTO

As the final step in the installation process, the Utility company inspects the installation from solar, electrical, and grid connectivity viewpoints and provides their “Permission to Operate” – “PTO”.  It is only after the PTO is granted that the system can be “Turned ON” an put into operation.