Adding Solar Panels to Existing System

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Did you know that by adding solar panels to existing system of your home or business, you can help do your part in reducing your carbon footprint? Solar panels are a great way to generate clean, renewable energy, and they can save you money on your energy bills too!

Many people falsely believe they must replace their entire solar panel system to get new panels. Adding solar panels to an existing electrical system can seem daunting. Don’t worry, and this project can be completed easily by most homeowners.

In fact, you may be able to add solar panels to your existing system relatively easily. In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps necessary to add solar panels to your home. We will also provide you with some tips on how to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Why You Should Expand Your Solar System

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Homeowners usually expand their solar system after installing it for one of these reasons. If any sound familiar, then a solar upgrade would probably work well for you and your home:

1. Smaller Initial Costs or Payments

It can be preferable to break up the cost of your solar panel system into smaller payments. Just like other investments, solar panels will eventually pay for themselves. That’s why sometimes it’s more convenient expanding a system slowly at your own pace – so you don’t have to worry about the initial investment cost as much. 

In many cases, it’s more financially savvy – and less risky – to install a smaller system at first. Once your panels have paid for themselves, you’ll then be able to afford to invest in more of them down the line.

2. The Current System Doesn’t Produce Enough Energy

If your current solar panel system can no longer generate enough energy to fuel your family’s needs, then adding new panels may be a good option. Even if you have an installation that is 10 years old or more, it should still be able to produce some amount of electricity. 

Of course, the legislation and financial incentives governing these issues change all the time, so make sure you check with relevant experts before making a decision. The size of your panels will depend on the capacity needed to keep up with your home’s power requirements.

If they don’t match each other well or aren’t installed correctly, then this could result in inefficient output and poor performance from both sets of panels. 

Also Read: How to Calculate Solar Panel Power Output

3. Adding Panels Will Increase Your Home Value

Even though adding panels might sound like a home improvement or renovation project, they actually count as renewable energy features. This means that they will attract more potential buyers and increase your home value when you eventually decide to sell up.

And once again, financing can come in handy for those who want to jump on this opportunity but don’t have the cash available yet. 

By adding more solar panels to your home, you can offset the additional electricity usage from your home expansion. This is also an environmentally friendly solution that provides many other benefits. Furthermore, additions often provide additional roof space for mounting another solar rack.

4. Take Advantage of Solar Renewable Energy Credits

If you have a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) marketplace in your municipality, you can make money by selling leftover electricity back to the grid. Commercial businesses must reach renewable energy quotas and buy excess electricity through this marketplace.

Getting paid for extra panels can be tempting because of this incentive. Or, you can just invest the extra money and use it to pay off your solar loan sooner.

Factors to Consider for Adding New Solar Panels to an Existing System

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Energy needs

Before you begin adding solar panels, it’s important to consider your home energy needs. If you have a large family with high-wattage appliances and electronics, then you may need to install more panels than the average homeowner would require.

Space for new panels

Another factor to consider is whether you have the space on your roof or property for new panels. Depending on how many panels you need and how large they are, it may be necessary to rent additional space from a neighbor or even stake out some free ground in your yard. Of course, this could also change the cost and timeline of your project.

Solar panel upgrade and compatibility

You should ensure that your new panels are compatible with your existing installation. If they’re not, then you’ll likely need to do some remodeling and rewiring to get everything running smoothly. This can add extra time and cost to the project, so it’s important to be aware of this upfront. 

Inverter replacement

You may need to replace your existing inverter if it is too outdated or damaged. This will also incur additional costs and time for the project. However, newer, more efficient inverters can help you get more power out of your new panels and improve the overall performance of your system. 

Installer to add on the panels

It’s important to choose an experienced solar installer who can help you determine the best solution for your needs and budget. They will be able to recommend additional upgrades and improvements if necessary or offer other financing options if you need extra time to pay off the cost of installation.

Permitting and interconnection

Be sure to check with your local permitting and interconnection office before starting your project. They will be able to provide you with important information, such as any required inspections or fees that may apply.

By taking care of these details upfront, you can help minimize delays or issues down the road. 

Incentives

Although you may have to pay for your solar panels upfront, there are often incentives and grants available to help cover the cost. For example, many municipalities offer tax breaks or special financing options that can make adding solar panels much more affordable.

So it’s important to research these programs and take advantage of them whenever possible. 

3 Approaches to Adding Solar Panels to Existing Systems

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The following are some of the most common approaches to adding solar panels to an existing system:

Adding More Panels to Existing System Using Your Original Inverter

When doing so, remember that you may need to replace your existing inverter if it is outdated or damaged. This may involve additional costs and time, but newer, more efficient inverters can help you get the most power out of your new panels and improve overall system performance.

Replace Your Small Inverter with a Bigger Inverter and Add Panels

Another approach is to replace your existing inverter with a larger, more powerful model that can support the added load of your new solar panels. This typically requires professional assistance and may involve some additional costs, but it can be an effective way to maximize power generation and improve system efficiency overall.

Get a Whole New Separate Solar System Installed Next to the Original

Alternatively, you may want to simply install a separate solar system that is dedicated solely to the added panels. This can be a more expensive option regarding upfront costs, but it can allow for increased flexibility and customization and help you precisely optimize your power generation based on current needs and future growth opportunities.

How To Add Solar Panels to An Existing System: Step-By-Step Guide

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The process of adding solar panels can be broken into three options: planning and preparation, installation, and post-installation.

1. Planning and preparation: 

Before you begin adding solar panels to your existing system, it’s important to assess your energy needs and space constraints. You can use tools like a solar calculator to determine how many panels you’ll need based on your household size and typical energy usage. 

2. Installation:

To install your new solar panels, you will need to work with an experienced installer. They will help you choose the best position for your panels on your roof or property and make any necessary wiring or electrical upgrades as needed.

When doing it yourself, you must ensure that your system is properly permitted and interconnected with the local power grid. 

3. Post-installation:

Once your solar panels are installed, you can start enjoying the benefits of renewable energy. Depending on the size of your system and available incentives, you may be able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your electricity bills every year.

Plus, you’ll be doing your part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. 

Conclusion

Whether you are looking to add solar panels to your existing system for environmental benefits, financial incentives, or simply as an investment in your home, there are a number of steps that you can take to ensure a successful and cost-effective installation.

By following the tips above, you can be sure that your new solar panels will help increase the efficiency and value of your home for years to come.

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