After all the planning is complete, the actual day of energy independence is finally on the horizon. Now we can finally get to the most exciting part, the time when our installation team comes to your home and installs a solar energy system on your roof! With solar system design approved, and all direct ownership payment plans finalized, its now time to look forward to the actual system installation. You may have seen our install trucks around town
On your day of installation, one of these trucks will back into your driveway and raise ladders to your roof. The best part is the crew will say hello and give you a quick overview of your installation plan. If you have any questions, they are very helpful in explaining and providing answers to ensure you’re on the same page. For my home’s solar array, they asked me where I wanted the combiner box, and explained how the wiring process enabled my REC meter to communicate energy consumption with PNM.
While the electrician is in your garage to enable solar power connection to your circuit breakers, the install crew is carrying your racking system onto the roof to outline the solar array and configure according to system design. The racking equipment is used to mount solar panels to the roof. For a flat roof home, the racking is a ballasted system utilizing concrete pavers to anchor your array to the roof. The ballast bay is “J” shaped and connects one row of solar panels to another. Once the racking is set up, the solar panels are brought up and fastened into place.
The most exciting part of the process is seeing the asssembly line of teamwork it takes to transport solar panels from the truck to the roof. Each panel weighs roughly 40 pounds, and each install member safely passes it along up the ladder. I watched every panel taken out of the truck, and saw how carefully it was handled at each stage during installation. Once the panels were safely on the roof, each one is secured to the racking and the soalr array takes shape. The next step was to install the microinverters to the panels, and connect each microinverter so the DC energy collected by the solar panels can be converted into AC power.
As the install team finished on the roof, the electrician was working in concert to finish the installation of the combiner box, REC meter, and utility system disconnect box. All of these are necessary to ensure that your solar energy is able to be correctly monitored by the utility company, and even turned off by safety personnel in the event of a fire. Once everything was installed, the team walked me through the operation of each component, and activated by Enphase system monitoring system. The last step needed is to wait for PNM to inspect the solar system and certify it is ready to operate. Once that happens, we can officially flip the switch and enjoy energy independence!