At a high level, installing a home solar panel system is really establishing a power plant on your roof. So, it’s only natural to ask, is it safe? We understand that when it comes to your home and your loved ones living inside, safety is the number one priority – as it should be! That being said, the solar energy experts at Green House Solar are here to put your worries to rest. Our team has answered some frequently asked solar safety questions. Let’s take a closer look:
Is solar safe for my home?
There are a few aspects to Solar energy safety when looking at Residential Solar which typically involves panels installed on the roof. One aspect is the physical safety of the installation, the weight of them on your roof. Green House Solar’s team carefully inspects the condition of your roof, the age of your shingles, the sub-roof plywood and many other elements. Measurements are taken and calculations made to ensure that the roof structure is sufficient to support the weight of the solar system, including snow loads and anticipated wind shears and we will make or recommend appropriate repairs if necessary, prior to an installation. We will never place a solar array on a roof that can’t confidently support the weight for the lifetime of the panels. And with decades of solar experience, we don’t take shortcuts with materials or mounting options because they are faster/cheaper.
Are some solar systems safer for my home than others?
Another safety concern is the electrical aspects of solar safety. After all, the whole point of this is to have the panels generate and distribute voltages and currents to your home and possibly the grid, and potentially charge your backup battery system. All of this must be handled correctly and carefully to ensure maximum safety.
At Green House Solar, we prefer systems utilizing micro-inverters for our residential customers. Micro-inverters convert the electricity generated from DC to AC at the solar panel. This means that the electricity on the roof is lower voltage (and safer) with micro-inverters as opposed to string inverters. Micro-inverters also have other advantages that maximize production when partial shading is a concern.
One other thing to consider is the electrical knowledge base of the company designing and installing your solar system. The owner of Green House Solar is a licensed electrical contractor. Our knowledge of code and general electrical work gives us a leg up on many installers who need to stick to one way of doing things.
What about solar back-up batteries? Which battery is safest for my home?
There are two main chemistry types of home energy storage batteries currently on the market – Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP). Here at Green House Solar, we recommend and install LFP batteries exclusively because of their safer chemistry – they will not combust when punctured.
What kinds of permits and approvals are required before my system can be installed?
At the local municipal level, permit applications are submitted for structural and electrical approval, including fire official approval. State and utility submissions are also required. As is the case with many home improvement projects, following installation and commissioning, inspectors will review the work to ensure compliance with applicable codes and ordinances.
What are some of the regulations that ensure my solar system is safe?
There are many regulations in place to ensure that the design of your residential solar system is safe. These have evolved over time so that solar systems installed today are safer than ever. Green House Solar follows all requirements and as mentioned before, we are licensed electricians. Regulations include fire codes which specify the size and location of pathways for firefighters should they need access. In addition, there are specific requirements for disconnects and shutoff capabilities that will stop electricity production immediately should the need arise. Stamped electrical and structural engineering designs are generally required for residential systems and are part of the permit application process.
Safe and Affordable Home Solar Panels in New Jersey
By choosing solar panels installed by licensed electricians, you not only enjoy the economic benefits of solar energy, but also do your part to create a cleaner and greener future. At Green House Solar, we can address all your safety concerns, help you navigate the process of installing solar panels, and take advantage of all the tax incentives available. From design to installation, our team will be there every step along the way to ensure a safe and reliable solar energy system for your home.