Diary of a solar panel installation – Day 1

The big day arrived – Day 1 of our solar panel installation. Originally promised to us as one day job, it is now stretching into a three day job. Oh well, I’d rather they do it right, no matter how long it takes. I would be there for the 1st day, and Namita has been (and will be) there to supervise for Days 2 and 3.

The installers came knocking around 9 am Thursday morning, and I showed him where the electrical panel in the basement, and the attic to see whatever he wanted to see. When the supervisor arrived, he and I had to discuss where to install the inverter. This is a key component that converts the DC current from the solar panels into AC current as it enters the electrical grid. Normally, it would be installed outside or in a garage, utility room, or near the home’s electrical panel. It wouldn’t work in our basement near the electrical panel, due to size, and we didn’t want it just hanging there near the home theater, humming. Weeks ago, I contacted Trinity to have them assure me that we could agree on a reasonable alternative, like the garage.

if it’s going to be installed outside, you don’t want it in direct sunlight. The problem is that if it’s in a hot, dusty, or poorly ventilated environment, it won’t run efficiently. If that happens, your overall system won’t be efficient either. When you’re talking about a system that costs more than $30,000, let’s get it as efficient as possible.

When the supervisor came, he tried to sell me on having it outside. It’s easier and quicker for them, but more inefficient for us. I asked if we could shade it somehow, and he said no. I asked if they could install in the garage. They said yes, begrudgingly. I said unless you have an alternative, then please install it in the garage on Friday. Here are the pictures from Day 1. They spent most of the day installing the brackets and mounts on the roof.

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