Home Building While Thinking Solar!

While it’s true that most systems are placed on existing roofs, there are a lot of things you can do during construction to make a house “solar ready”:

  1. First is obviously to orient the house, so the long axis of the house faces South or Southwest, and in a space that is likely to remain unshaded for the next 25 years.
  2. The more efficient you design your home, the less power you will need to generate, process, and store. And you might look at our most recent Cost Estimate and Rail Span tables (attached) to see how much room and budget you might need. Keep in mind that these systems are easy to expand.
  3. Make sure that your electric panel is big enough to accommodate all your appliances and circuit breakers for uses in your house, and add another 20% amperage for the input onto your panel’s busbar. And add extra spaces for additional branches, a 240V monitor, and be ready for future storage capability. Just go with a 200Amp panel and perhaps a subpanel that serves only your array.
  4. Leave enough room in your utility area for a sizable battery or other storage devices (large thermal storage water tank)
  5. Have your electrician run 1 1/2″ conduit from the attic to the utility space so you can easily pull additional cable if you want. A second conduit should access the exterior wall near your service entry meter.
  6. Have the wire runs already installed; for most homes, plan for two, or if you are looking for an electric vehicle, for example, three 13 solar panel branches. Today, our inverters only require a pair of 240V cables (L1 and L2), no ground or neutral, and the wire gauge depending on the amperage and distance of the run, usually 10 or 8AWG.
  7. New homes typically are followed by new landscaping. Make sure you don’t plant big things that will shadow your array.

As you complete your house, get back to us, and we can perhaps help with buying and at least advise on its installation.