Going for Solar: Construction (Step 9)

Beyond the first few steps in the waiting process comes the real work, construction.  Every solar project will be a little bit different depending on the design, location and local building requirements.  Our solar awning project construction happened in three steps:

  • Awning Construction – Step 9a – coming soon
    Because our roof orientation and configuration was not suitable for a solar installation, we decided to think outside the box and go with a solar awning.  This is basically a ground mounted system, which is technically attached to the house.  One big advantage to this approach is that we could avoid the trouble of replacing the roof before installing the solar.  Since the solar system should last 25+ years, if your roof isn’t new, then the best practice is to replace your roof and then do the solar.  Another wonderful advantage is that we now have a beautiful covered porch area.
  • PV Panel Installation – Step 9b – coming soon

    After the structure is in place, comes the actual PV panel installation.  We used a Unirac solar mounting system, which SunBug Solar installed when they built the structure.  The panel installation was very quick and all 24 panels were installed in one a day.  We choose Sanyo HIT Double panels so that we would get some light under the awning which spans the entire 1st floor southern wall including several windows and a door.

  • Inverter Installation & Wiring – Step 9c – coming soon

    The final step in construction is wiring all the panels together into the various parallel series and then hooking that into the grid-tied inverter and eventually into the utility meter.

Follow the links (coming soon) to see the construction and installation process of our solar pv awning in more detail.

Here are some pictures throughout the construction process:

Having a good solar contractor/builder makes the construction much better. Read on to find out about the other steps in our Going for Solar Series.

Happy Greening!
Jon & Alicia

solar PV awning
Going for Solar Series

To learn more about residential solar installations, check out our series Going for Solar, which details every step from dreaming about installing solar, through picking a contractor and the steps in construction.  We provide information and advice for every step of the way, as well as different approaches such as paying for it yourself versus leasing a system.  Don’t miss the steps on how much money we saved during our first year of usage!

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