In addition to their more well-known work, electricians also install and maintain solar panels. Anyone considering installing a solar energy system for their home will need a licensed electrician to do so.
There are many benefits to using solar panels – just as there are many benefits of working in the solar energy industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2031, demand for solar photovoltaic installers is expected to increase 22 percent. If you’re interested in becoming an electrician with a specific specialization, then solar energy may be a great fit for you.
How are Solar Panels Installed?
Electricians who install solar panels typically specialize in renewable energy solutions in some way or another. Substantial amounts of energy can be generated with the correct installation of a solar panel system.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the responsibilities electricians undertake when installing solar panels:
Installation and Wiring
Most often, solar panels will be installed on rooftops. However, some might be installed on ground-mounted bases located where the sun hits best. Panels will connect to inverters, batteries, and related electrical components.
Connection to the Electrical Grid
In addition to connecting panels to smaller internal components, it is also the electrician’s job to connect them to the electrical grid. Connecting solar panels to the electrical grid must be done carefully and in compliance with local regulations.
Maintenance and Repairs
Electricians will also work on the maintenance and any needed repairs for solar panels. This process may include weather-proofing, troubleshooting, inspections, and basic cleaning of these solar panels.
Adherence to Regulations
As with any component connected to the electrical grid, electricians will have a set of regulations to follow. Solar panel installation will require an adherence to building codes, safe workplace practices, and any renewable energy regulations specific to the area.
Where can Solar Panels be Installed?
In general, people will want to install solar panels on rooftops facing south that receive plentiful sunlight. Roofs that face east or west will likely also convert enough energy for a household.
However, there are some instances where rooftops are not angled in a favorable position for sunlight (such as a north-facing rooftop). In these cases, electricians can install ground-mounted solar panels. If a property has a substantial space that allows for more sunlight than on its roof, electricians can also install ground-mounted panels.
Electricians who install solar panels – whether on ground mounts or on rooftops – will want to ensure the orientation and tilt of the panels are correct for maximum sunlight exposure.
Are Solar Panels Worth it?
There are many key factors to consider when installing solar panels – someone’s location being a major one. Those who live in regions that receive more sunlight tend to be favorable candidates for solar panel installation over residents located in areas with routinely less sun.
Another factor to consider is whether a consumer’s area offers financial incentives – such as tax credits – for installing solar panels. These incentives can make for a great return on investment in the long run for customers. In many instances, solar panels can increase a home’s property value, making them an attractive quality for consumers.
Not only do solar panels tend to have a positive impact on people’s finances – they also positively affect the environment in offering sustainable energy solutions.
There are many factors that make a career as an electrician an attractive decision. One of the largest reasons being the anticipated demand for greener energy sources. If you are someone with a passion for renewable energy solutions, or simply someone who would like to delve into a growing trade, becoming an electrician who specializes in solar energy might be a perfect fit for you.
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More reading: How to Become an Electrician