How to install solar panels step by step

SunnyWell Energy presents its solar panels' installation guide for DIY projects. As we strive to deliver the best service, we want to help out and share our knowledge with customers. That's why we gathered some vital information in an easy-readable manual for those of you who seek it. You are welcome!
House with the solar panels installed on the roof
A high angle shot of a private house situated in a valley with solar panels on the roof

1. Choose the proper location for your panels. 

The ideal location for installing solar panels is where the slopes are about 20-30 degrees, pointing due South, without shading, and if possible, no snow in winter.

The majority of solar panels installations are roofs. Check with the certified engineer if the desired roof can handle the extra load caused by the PV panel. On the other hand, if the roof is not available for the solar array, the panels can also be mounted on the ground. Just ensure that no objects are blocking the sunlight exposure.

2. Install the solar mount structure. 

First, the solar mounts have to be set before interconnecting the solar panels into an array. The mounting structure has to be firm to support the base of the solar array. The racking system should be angled between 20 to 35 degrees to produce the maximum over a year. Seal the wholes when drilling through the roof, preventing water leakage.

Use the protection gear for safety when being on the roof. 

3. Install Solar Panels

After installing the mounts, the panels have to be attached to the racks. There is a broad range of fastening parts used for hooking up the panels to the roofs, and the majority of them are doing a great job. Tight up all bolts and nuts, so it fastened reliably.

4. Interconnect the panels. 

The most common connector used for interconnecting the panels is the MC4 connector. Before connecting the panels, make sure that you understand the system layout, for example, the number of strings and the number of panels in one string. It’s crucial to have the system design before deploying it on-site to prevent safety risks and damage to the equipment. Make sure the string voltage does not exceed the inverter PV input voltage. Do not disconnect the panels under the load. Interconnect the panels in the desired layout. Do not forget to install the rapid shutdown switch RSP. Ensure the power is off on the grid side and any other source where the panels connect to the house.

5. Install an inverter.

Make sure to settle the inverter type and interconnection design before installation. Typically there are two common types of inverters:

  • String inverter

The power electronic component is used in the solar photovoltaic area to convert the energy generated by a solar array (Direct Current) to usable electricity (Alternating Current) such as in the utility grid or home. It usually handles a few strings of panels connected in series, forcing the output to be equal to the worst performing panel.

  • Micro-inverter

The power electronic component serves the same purpose as the string inverter but converts the DC to AC at the panel (connected to the back of the panel), pushing the AC current straight to the house. 

Depending on the inverter, connect the solar array to the inverter. The string inverter is usually installed close to the main house panel, and it can be indoors or outdoors. Keep the inverters in the shaded areas and avoid directly exposed sites.

6. Connect the solar inverter to the batteries (if applicable)

There are generally two methods: AC-coupling and DC-coupling. In the case of using a solar inverter, use the AC coupling method. Thus, connect the PV inverter to the battery inverter on the backed load panel or the main house panel. A great option is to use batteries during the day, supplementing the solar panels when the price is high and recharged back during the night when the electricity price is low.

7. Connect the inverter to a bidirectional meter.

The system should be connected to the bidirectional meter to measure the two-way directional energy flow and the general solar output to use your washing machine or other utilities. Check the local jurisdiction for any additional approval before being connected to the grid. The system has to pass the electrical inspection.

8. Solar system commissioning. 

Switch ON the system by flipping the appropriate breakers ensuring the inverter doesn’t have any alarms and the system is in sync with the grid. Refer to the appropriate inverter manual. Consult a certified electrician if DIY is not possible. 

9. Solar Panel Maintenance

In general, there is little maintenance since the solar photovoltaic system doesn’t have any moving parts. Once or twice, you should do an inspection every year. Clean the panels once or two times per year to keep the panels free of dirt. Nothing must object to the panels from the direct sun exposure.

Before cleaning the panels, you should reference the manufacturing guide or installer concerning warranty conditions. Some PV manufacturers could terminate the warranty if self-cleaning is done improperly.


Please note that this is just for reference only. ALWAYS read, yes, we mean it, not look through but carefully read installation manuals for all products. Should you have any specific questions, please get in touch with a specialist before installation. May the solar power be with you!


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