It’s actually not uncommon at all for those who purchase solar panel systems to wish to expand in the years immediately after, particularly those who only get a system that’s about equal to their current consumption at the time. Expanding a roof-mounted or ground-based solar array by adding additional panels can help you generate more electricity and keep your savings at a maximum, but is it even possible to do so? It depends on a few things, which we’ll explore here briefly.
Adding Solar Panels to an Existing System: Easy as It Sounds?
When it comes to adding a new solar panel, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- Do you have enough room? If your prime solar-energy collecting spot on your roof is pretty much full, you may not be able to add another panel that can generate enough power to make it financially worthwhile. However, if you have room to grow and can place extra panels without much issue, then you could consider expanding.
- How old are your existing panels? If your panels are 10 years old or more, you probably won’t be able to add modern panels to your existing system. Solar technology is changing rapidly to become more efficient and easier to control, so adding new panels may not be possible with the infrastructure already in your home. You may be better off simply upgrading your current panels to new ones in a more modern system (which will generate more power as well).
- How big is your current power inverter? Solar panels generate “direct current” or “DC” power, but the appliances and devices in your home run on “AC,” or “alternating current” power. Therefore, you need an inverter to change the power type and feed it into your grid. However, inverters can only handle so much load, and overloading them can lead to a blowout or power failure. Adding more panels may generate more power, but if your inverter can’t handle the load, you won’t have any power flowing through your home at all.
Your Upgrade Options
When you have an older system and wish to expand, you might have to consider installing a second system and running them side-by-side. This is a great way to dramatically increase your energy production, but it’s also a more expensive option and you might not have room for all of the additional panels. Otherwise, you might simply wish to upgrade your panels to new technology.
If you have a newer system, expanding can be as simple as adding a few panels, but you may also need to upgrade your inverter if the added flow is too much. One option a lot of systems are starting to include are “micro-inverters” which actually do away with the central inverter all together. Instead, each panel comes with a small inverter already installed that can handle the flow of electricity that panel produces. As a result, the panels themselves feed AC power directly into your home’s system, reducing the risk of an inverter failure and making expansion far simpler than ever before.
If you’re looking to expand your solar panel system, call SunPower® by Quality Home Services now! We offer a wide range of high-quality and high-efficiency products produced by SunPower®, one of the leaders in solar technology in the United States to ensure you receive quality products that will keep you completely satisfied. We also back up each of our installations with top-quality service and maintenance to keep your home running efficiently and your electric bills as low as possible.
Request a free solar estimate today! Call SunPower® by Quality Home Services at (800) 496-3074 to schedule an appointment!