How to DIY Solar Panels [Step by Step Guide]

man attempts diy solar panel installation

In recent years solar panels have gained popularity, although they are available for decades now. It's simple to understand the attractiveness of solar panels if you're a homeowner. From saving on electricity bills to having a positive impact on the environment, there are many reasons why someone would choose to install solar panels. However, installing DIY solar panels can be more complicated than you think, and hiring a professional is a much better investment. In this article, we will discover why that is the case.

What Are DIY Solar Panels?

DIY solar panels, also known as homemade solar panels or DIY solar kits, refer to solar power systems that are built and installed by individuals or enthusiasts rather than being purchased from commercial manufacturers. These DIY projects involve assembling and connecting individual solar cells to create functional solar panels.

DIY solar panels give people the chance to learn more about solar power systems and alternative energy sources. When compared to solar panels that are commercially produced, they may be more affordable, but they also demand technical expertise, time, and close attention to detail. When working on a DIY solar panel project, it's crucial to make sure that safety precautions are taken and that all local laws are followed.

It's important to note that, unlike solar panels that are sold commercially, DIY solar panels could not be as effective, durable, or covered by warranties. To ensure a successful and secure project, it is advised that anyone thinking about building their solar panels do their homework, consult reliable sources, join online forums of solar lovers, and adhere to established norms and best practices.

Is It Possible to Install Solar Panels by Yourself?

Solar panels are a big investment for many households, but this investment has great returns when you see how much money you will be saving on electricity bills. However, if you are tight on money, paying around 10% of the solar panel's price for installation can seem too much. This is usually the time when people start thinking of installing solar panels by themselves.

Doing it yourself can save money when it comes to initial costs, but in the long run, there can be many different problems you can encounter because of your installation. We strongly advise hiring a solar panel installation expert if you are less mobile or handy than you once were because rooftop solar installations can be risky if you are not careful. Saving any amount of money is never worth putting your health in danger.

Don't purchase low-quality parts just because they are inexpensive. Purchase high-quality parts instead that are economically priced. By doing this, you may be sure that you receive the most for your money.

Hiring a qualified installer is strongly advised for large solar installations. A qualified installer can assist you with processing licences and other relevant documentation in regions with stringent PV laws. Some utilities require the signature of a licenced electrician as verification that your system can be connected to the grid.

What Is the Price of a DIY Solar Panel Installation?

Hiring a professional installer can cost anywhere from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand pounds on average. The average labour cost to install a solar system is 10% of the price of all your components. Therefore, if your components cost roughly £5,000, the installation will cost about £500. This price can vary a lot depending on your location, the size of the house, and the components you buy.

When it comes to the cost of a DIY situation, this varies on how many pre-assembled parts you purchase and the quality of these parts.

Reasons to Let Professionals Do Solar Panels Installation for You

After watching a few videos of experts saying how easy it is, DIY projects can seem very appealing! However, you may actually lose money in the long run, so consider these reasons before you start looking for tutorials online:

Cost and Labour Involved in Installing DIY Solar Panels

Installing things yourself is the only option if you cannot pay a professional to do it for you. That requires a lot of human labour and effort, both of which you will have to do by yourself. Additionally, if you do not hire a professional, you may not qualify for tax benefits and different programmes available for green energy.

Installation Issues

To correctly manage the wiring and other technical parts of installing a complete solar panels system, you should at least have a basic understanding of electrical work. You'll probably have to perform work in hazardous environments, such as the roof or around dangerous cables.

Crossed wires have the potential to cause electrical fires and different kinds of malfunctions, raising the stakes for an accident. Depending on the zoning restrictions in your municipality, doing this job without assistance from a professional can also be against the law.

It’s also worth noting that making these kinds of modifications to your home may but your insurance at risk. If not supervised or signed off by a qualified professional, your insurance may become void should any accidents occur as a result of the solar panel installation. Check with your home insurance before proceeding.

professional solar panel installation

Use of Solar Panels

The majority of DIY solar panels installations are not designed to displace conventional energy from the grid. They provide the option to supplement the grid's power or to power more compact structures like RVs or tiny homes. However, a properly installed solar panel system is probably optimal for a full-sized home.

If you’re looking for a solar system solution for a tiny home or RV, we recommend purchasing a portable solar generator kit to maximize safety and efficiency.

bluetti solar generator kit

Solar Panel Maintenance

Although solar panels have a 25-year lifespan on average, problems might still arise. DIY solar panels may need more upkeep than professionally installed solar panels since the quality cannot be assured. By purchasing less expensive, more brittle panels, you may have attempted to lower your upfront costs. Sadly, you might end up having to replace them all by yourself.

You may need to replace panels if they are not covered by the manufacturer's warranty. By installing the panels yourself, you may unintentionally void the guarantee. Professionally installed panels frequently come with a guarantee of some kind from the firm that does the installation. Any problem you might have can be resolved by them, and they can even pay for it in many cases.

System Performance and Efficiency

Installation of solar panels must be well thought out to maximise performance and energy output. System efficiency can be considerably impacted by variables such as panel orientation, shading, wire layout, and tilt angle.

Professional installers evaluate these elements and create an appropriate system using specialised equipment and software. Due to a lack of knowledge and resources, DIY installations can not be as effective.

Complex Electrical Wiring

For a solar power system to operate safely and effectively, proper wiring is essential. DIYers might not know just how essential it is to size and connect electrical components correctly, which could result in system failures, poor performance, or even property damage. The ability to plan and implement wiring layouts that adhere to regional electrical codes is a skill held by certified installers.

Is It Ever a Good Idea to Build Your Solar Panel System?

You might be in a good position to start your DIY solar panel project if you're an electrical engineer or an expert in the field of solar energy and you are thoroughly familiar with everything we have covered so far.

If this doesn’t sound like you, we advise you to work with a professional team of solar panel installation experts.

diy solar panel installation on home roof

How to Know What the Best Option is for Your Home

In addition to adding value to your property, DIY solar panels (when done safely and correctly) provide extra electricity from a sustainable energy source. Solar panels work best in compact areas, like sheds or tiny houses.

Consider hiring a professional installer if you want to completely cut your connection to the grid and power your entire home with solar energy. The advantages of a professional installation include support in the event of a problem in the future and potential access to tax breaks (check your local area) which could mean the solar panels eventually pay for themselves.

What to Use Instead of DIY Solar Panels?

It’s always best to invest in high-quality solar panels and hire professionals for the installation, whether you are setting up solar panels on your RV, in your home, or in your backyard.

High-quality solar panels are made to effectively transform sunlight into power. They make use of cutting-edge technologies and high-performance materials that can absorb and transform more solar energy into useful energy. To maximise the return on your investment, this leads to higher energy output and enables you to produce more electricity with the same quantity of sunshine.

Reputable solar panel manufacturers frequently provide thorough warranties that include product flaws and performance assurances. The panels will function as expected for the duration of these warranties, which offer a guarantee of that. The manufacturer will guarantee your peace of mind and safeguard your investment by fixing any problems or replacing the panels.

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