How Long Does It Take Residential Solar Panels?

If you're thinking of getting a solar energy system, chances are good you have many questions. Naturally, since you're eager to cut your utility bills, you'll want to know when the system will start operating! As with any kind of home construction or renovation project, it takes some time for the system to be installed and start producing electricity. If you're wondering when you can expect to start using Las Vegas solar power, here's an outline of the installation process. 

The Site Visit 

After you sign a contract, an engineer will evaluate your property to ensure that it is capable of supporting a solar energy system. If you're planning to put a system on the roof, this is the time when the engineer will do a comprehensive roof inspection. The engineer will also look at your electrical panel to determine whether or not it needs to be upgraded. 

Permitting And Documentation 

Once everything clears, you move to the paperwork stage. Fortunately, the installer usually handles most of the paperwork for you. The paperwork that Las Vegas solar installers submit includes an application for the federal tax credit and other applicable state and energy credits. The installer also files papers with the local town office such as building and electrical permits. Depending on where you live, it can take a few weeks for the paperwork to be processed. 

Getting The Right Equipment 

After the paperwork is complete, it's time to start ordering equipment and assembling the system. Your installer will help you select the components for your system, including the panels and inverters. You'll probably be presented with a few brand options to compare, which lets you select the most durable and cost-effective parts. 

Installing The Panels 

When the system parts arrive, it's time to put the system together. Fortunately, this part goes fairly quickly, and most installers can put up the system in 1-2 days. To start, Las Vegas solar installers configure the electrical wiring. Next, they install the racking system, which is attached directly to the roof and holds the panels. The panels are then mounted to the racking system. Lastly, the inverters are connected to the panels, where they have the important job of converting direct current (DC) energy to alternating current (AC) energy, which is the type of electricity that is used in your home. 

System Approval And Interconnection 

The last part of getting your system up and running is scheduling a system inspection from a local government inspector. The inspector does a final check to ensure the system is working properly before signing an official document of approval. The inspection checks that the system's electrical wiring is correct and that the system complies with all applicable codes. Once the official gives your system an “okay,” you can hook up the system to the grid and start producing electricity! Depending on your town, this part can take anywhere from two weeks to a month.

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