Solar panel technology is one of the most popular and rapidly growing renewable energy sources of the modern era. It has become the primary energy-producing alternative for most households worldwide, especially in the United States, where there are over 3 million installations.
Solar panel systems are continuously advancing and now you can even get solar systems for boats and portable solar panels for camping. Additionally, you now can upgrade existing systems to stay in touch with the latest solar technology.
If you want to add additional panels to your existing solar panel system but are unsure of the process and the steps to take, then you’ve come to the right place.
The following article will aid you in the setup process of adding extra panels to your solar system, as well as the benefits associated with the new additions.
Things to Consider Before Expansion
Modern systems allow you to increase the number of solar panels in your existing system, which further improves its ability to convert and store solar energy. If your energy needs aren’t being met, then this is the easiest way to give your system that extra kick it needs.
The ability to upgrade your solar panel system, in addition to reducing your monthly energy bills, is why so many people are making the switch to solar energy.
Before we can go ahead and add a solar panel to our existing solar systems, there are a few considerations that we have to take into account.
These factors are integral to every solar system and cannot be overlooked when expanding your existing system.
There are a few things that need to be put into place before installing an extra panel or two. Adding a panel without these considerations can lead to electrical damage and high maintenance costs.
There are three main considerations, so make sure you take them into account before going ahead and installing additional panels.
Your Energy Needs
Energy needs, which are the first step in building a solar system, are also the most important factor in deciding whether or not to add additional panels to your existing system.
If you experience an increase in energy consumption, then it’s probably time to add an extra panel to your system.
You could be using much more electricity since your first installation and now you require a few more panels to offset the increase in additional power.
You can work out the number of panels by yourself or you can visit ShopSolar Kits where we can advise you on the number of additional panels you need to cover your energy needs.
Most solar panel owners experience months where their electrical usage has substantially increased, especially in the winter months when heaters and lights are left on for longer periods.
Adding an extra panel to your system can help cover your increased usage so that you have energy enough energy to power your home without interruptions.
Do You Have the Space for Extra Panels?
If you notice that you need an extra panel, it’s a good idea to scout the available space on your roof before purchasing one.
Unfortunately, if your roof doesn’t have any available space, then you won’t be able to add a solar panel to the existing array.
Thankfully, solar panels can now be ground mounted so you have an alternative to roof installations provided you have the yard space.
Make Sure of Solar Compatibility
Before adding a solar panel to your existing system, it’s important to make sure that the additional panel matches the existing one.
It’s always good practice to install the same type of panel as your original solar array. This ensures that there is no discrepancy in energy. Additionally, it ensures that the power outputs and efficiencies are the same.
If you’re unable to get the same brand of panel, the next best thing would be to get a panel with similar output. Getting a panel that exceeds the existing output can damage the entire solar array.
Adding the Solar Panel
Now that you know about the intricacies of adding extra panels to your existing system, you can move on to installing them.
If you have the additional roof space, it’s easier to install the panel directly to your array. It saves you from linking the wiring from one array to another which can be tricky if you don’t have much electrical experience.
Your additional panel can be installed directly into the existing string of panels. This gives you increased energy capacity without any significant changes in your existing system.
There are 3 other options that you can use to install additional panels.
Use the Same Inverter
The next best option and the simplest one is just to keep the same inverter and add your new panels. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, it’s important to keep the total kilowatts below the prescribed amount.
However, you can exceed your inverter's peak power by around 133%. That means that the power output of your array can be significantly larger than your inverter. You can do this because there’s a substantial loss in kilowatts between your solar array and solar inverter.
To put it into perspective, let’s say you have a solar array with a power capacity of 3 kW. In reality, this solar array will only produce around 2.4kW of power. This means that you can have a solar array of 4kW to account for the power loss.
Replace Your Inverter Before Adding Panels
Replacing your inverter with a newer improved model allows you to add significantly more solar panels to your existing array.
This is the next best option if your new array exceeds your inverter power by a substantial amount. Modern inverters can help you overcome these issues because they can hold a larger electrical load.
Additionally, these new inverters have multiple inputs, which makes it easier to combine your new array with your existing array.
A Separate Solar Array
The last option, if none of the two previous ones works for you, is to have a separate solar array installed.
This option costs you the most money because it involves installing a new solar array with a new inverter and solar battery.
The upside of having a separate array is that you qualify for additional government incentives and tax rebates, so your second panel will pay for itself fast.
Adding solar panels to your existing system is an easy task, but for newcomers, it can be a bit daunting. It’s important to take the previously mentioned considerations into account before even thinking about adding a panel.
If you are having trouble finding the right information or need assistance from professionals, then visit Shop Solar Kits for the best advice. You can also find the best solar panel kits for the home, solar panel systems for RVs, and small solar systems for general use.
We are more than happy to take you through the process of installation and advise you on the appropriate panels that can be added to your existing array.
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