How to Install Solar Panels with Microinverters
Ask This Old House home technology expert Ross Trethewey shows host Kevin O’Connor how to install solar panels on the AskTOH workshop roof
- Before considering solar panels, a contractor can analyze if a rooftop is a good fit. The ideal roof is pitched 30-40 degrees, faces south, and is free of shading obstructions like trees. If all of these aren’t met, solar may still be an option, but production may be limited.
- Lag and flash roof stanchions into the roof structure.
- Attach the aluminum racking to the stanchions.
- Solar panels create DC power, but houses require AC power, so an inverter of some kind must be installed. Microinverters allow each panel to create individual power, and the array will still work if a panel is shaded or malfunctions.
- Microinverters attach to the aluminum racking and then get wired to a trunk cable.
- The panels get wired to the microinverters, then mounted to the racking system.
A rooftop solar array should be installed by a professional contractor.
The microinverters that connect to a web interface for energy monitoring are manufactured by Enphase Energy.
Expert assistance with this project was provided by SolarFlair Energy, Inc..