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Mistakes in solar installations could cost homeowners

by Tia

Solar systems not only save homeowners money on their electricity bills, but also offer an attractive escape from the tight grip of persistent load-shedding and energy insecurity. However, correctly installing a solar system and ensuring that the components work perfectly together, is just as important as selecting the right panels, inverter, and batteries. If performed incorrectly, your solar system might turn into a costly mistake.

“Anyone with a passing knowledge of electrical systems can load a solar setup on the back of their bakkie and install it in your home. However, it takes a qualified and experienced installer to ensure that your solar system is able to stand the test of time, and that you benefit from the maximum output and energy savings allowed by your panels,” says Rein Snoeck Henkemans, CEO of Alumo Energy.

He further explains that proper solar installation requires careful planning, the right equipment, and in-depth knowledge of both local regulations and equipment and installation standards. As a result, it’s best to consult accredited service providers.

Why solar installation matters

Solar installation is by no means a simple DIY project that anyone can do themselves. It involves working with high-voltage wiring, complex components, and strictly adhering to various regulations. If an installer makes a mistake at any stage of the installation process, it could seriously damage the system and the home/business.

Rein Snoeck Henkeman

For example, faulty installations and systems that have not been wired correctly can create a fire hazard. Although relatively uncommon, substandard components could also cause the system to overheat or short-circuit, causing sparks, flames, or explosions.

If the solar system is not designed or connected correctly, or panels are not optimally placed for maximum sun exposure, the system can experience considerable power loss. This can significantly affect your long-term energy cost savings and return on investment.

Additionally, a sub-optimally installed system with void your warrantee, with incorrect voltage designs, mismatched batteries or inadequate temperature controls could result in damage to key hardware and components, that will then require more repairs or replacements over time.

“This could substantially increase your system’s cost and reduce its efficiency. Batteries, for example, account for as much as a third of your system’s total cost. If the batteries have to be replaced more frequently, they could substantially raise your total system costs,” warns Snoeck Henkemans.

“Likewise, to avoid risk to your property, it’s important to choose a credible and qualified service provider with a proven track record of successful, high-quality installations.  Also make sure they’ll be a round to offer you a back up service or assist with trouble shooting after installation.”

Benefits of hiring accredited professionals

Professional service providers will tailor your solar system according to your specific needs and preferences. They will ensure that it is the correct size for your output needs, with the optimal number of batteries and solar panels, has the right orientation, and avoids shading problems, as mistakes in the system design or installation can reduce the efficiency of your system by as much as 40% in some cases.

Accredited installers can also issue a certificate of compliance (COC) for your solar system, which is a legal document that proves that your system meets safety and quality standards. A COC also specifies what was added or changed in your house through the addition of renewable energy technologies, which is important for insurance and home resale purposes.

“There is real monetary value and savings to be gained by appointing experienced and dedicated service providers supported by technical experts, full customer support functions, and strong track records. Choosing a reputable solar company will give you peace of mind that should anything go wrong with your system in the future, you have a reliable team you can turn to for assistance, safeguarding the value of your investment.”

For example, Alumo provides clients with regular maintenance and improved warranty services to help keep systems in good condition, extend the systems’ lifespans, and help avoid costly repairs and replacements. Alumo also ensures that its sales representatives and technical teams raise issues with clients, such as potential shading and efficiency loss, making recommendations before the sale is made or the units are installed.

“Solar is a sizeable but worthwhile investment that will benefit you and your family for years to come. That’s why it’s critical to do your homework before selecting a reputable service provider, as the right installer will walk the journey with you to ensure you get maximum value out of the system, saving you huge amounts of money in the long run,” Snoeck Henkemans concludes.

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