Solar Panel Installation Guide

More than one million residential solar arrays have been installed across the United States and many more homeowners have begun to consider solar energy for their home. If you are considering installing solar on your roof, you probably have some questions regarding what occurs when your solar company comes out to install your brand-new solar array. At Solar Is Freedom®, our goal is to make installation day a breeze for our customers. We have a team of experienced installers and electricians that have worked on hundreds of solar installations in the past 5 years.


Solar panel roof on a home in the woods.


After signing up to go solar, Solar Is Freedom® will submit an Interconnection Agreement Application with your utility company. This application initiates the net metering process, which allows you to sell any excess electricity you produce back to the utility company. While the Interconnection Agreement is being approved by the utility company, the Solar Is Freedom® production team orders all the materials required for the installation and we stage the project. Once the parts and materials arrive at our warehouse and the Interconnection Agreement is approved, we schedule the installation.


Upon the day of installation, the Solar Is Freedom’s® install team arrives to begin the installation. Every single installation begins and ends with a full roof inspection. Our installers have extensive roofing and carpentry experience and will inspect the entire roof before initiating the installation to ensure that there are no issues with the roof. We must also determine where the wood trusses are on your roof to ensure that we are attaching to the wood frame of your roof, rather than just going through the shingle.


After our installers have confirmed that the roof is intact and we have found our studs, we begin the installation. The first part of installation is installing the rails that the solar panels will attach to. We install a specialized solar rail system that allows us to install on any type of roof (shingle, metal, slate, rubber, etc.). This rail system is made of an aluminum alloy that can withstand winds up to 160 mph or up to 70 square pound-feet of snow. The engineering behind how the rails attach to the roof is 100% leak proof, but Solar Is Freedom® goes one step further and seals the point of attachment with a rubber polymer to ensure that it is watertight. Our solar rail system is now installed.


The next task for the Solar Is Freedom® installation team is to install the power optimizers. The power optimizer ensures that your panel is operating at the highest efficiency, reducing loss from partial shading and enhancing low-light production. Each panel is installed with one power optimizer, and this is installed directly onto the solar rail system. Then, once each power optimizer has been installed, the Solar Is Freedom® installation team will connect each power optimizer in a string and run the wires off the side of the roof for the electric work to be complete.


Once the rail system is installed and the power optimizer has been attached, it is time to install the panels. The Solar Is Freedom® installation team installs your system one panel at a time, ensuring that each panel is hooked up to its individual power optimizer and tightly secured to the rail system. Each panel on your roof will have 4 points of attachment to the rail system, ensuring that your panels are tightly secured for the 25-year warranty they offer. After each panel is connected to its power optimizer and connected to the rail system, the Solar Is Freedom® installation team comes down from your roof and your system is ready to have the inverter installed.


One of our Master Electricians will take the reigns from here. Our electrician will take the wires from the system and protect them using conduit that will come from the roof and run all the way to your inverter. The inverter will be installed next to your electric meter and connect into your electric panel in your home. Connecting the inverter to your electric panel allows you to use all
the electricity your system produces to power your home. The electrician will also connect your inverter to your electric meter to allow you to sell any excess production to the utility company, which will be credited to your bill. Once the inverter is installed, the electrician turns on your system and establishes the communication for the panel by panel monitoring, which allows you to track your system production in real-time.


Our work here is done! Your solar array is installed and operational. The very last step in the process is having the utility company come and swap your old unidirectional meter for a brand-new bidirectional meter. This new meter has the ability to dial forward when you are pulling from the grid but also dial backward when you are overproducing and selling electricity back to the grid. Your Solar Is Freedom® consultant will take care of informing your utility company that your solar installation is complete and a technician from the utility company will be out to take care of the meter swap.