Installing solar panels has become more common globally and in Singapore. Going solar has endless benefits, from the usage of renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions to saving expenses on utility bills. Thinking about installing solar panels for your home? With solar installation not being a topic commonly spoken about in Singapore, the process of a solar panel installation can come across as foreign and confusing. Fret not! Here’s a step-by-step guide that we’ve put together to run you through everything you need to know about the solar panel installation process in Singapore.
The Solar Panel System Installation Process
1) Scaffolding (if required)
Solar panels are generally placed on rooftops — I mean, we won’t want to have solar panels balancing on drying racks now do we? On a serious note, having solar panels on the roof helps to ensure that they are able to receive as much unobstructed sunlight as possible. Practically, this also ensures that bulky solar panels don’t take up additional space in the living area of your home. With this in mind, solar installers will need to be able to access your rooftop in order to install solar panels on them.
Whether your property requires scaffolding or not will depend on the layout of your home and roof. Homes that have two floors or lesser or have an attic balcony that allows access to the roof usually don’t require scaffolding. Roofs that are above two storeys or are significantly sloped will often require scaffolding to be set up prior to the solar panel installation process.
Pro Tip: If you’ve got ongoing construction or renovation that involves roofing works, it’d be a great time to consider installing solar! The scaffolding that is already in place can be used by your solar installers, helping you to save cost.
2) Solar Panel Delivery
After agreeing on your proposal with your solar installer, the necessary parts for your solar panel system (your solar panels and inverter) will be delivered to your home in advance for your solar installation. This may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the availability and the brand of solar panel you’ve purchased. Some brands like REC Solar have a manufacturing base in Singapore. This will help cut down on delivery time and will allow you to get your solar panel system up and running sooner. Once you’ve received the parts for your solar panel system, make sure to keep them in a safe space to prevent unwanted breakages — keeping them outdoors is fine too.
3) Attach Mounting Frames
Mounting frames are an essential component in a solar panel system. They help secure your solar panels to the roof. For flat roofs, they can also help to angle your solar panels in the right position for the greatest sun exposure. Angling your solar panels can also allow them to “self-clean” with rain. The way that mounting frames are attached to your roof would depend on your roof type.
For metal roofs, they are usually clamped directly onto the seams of your roof, without any penetration. As for tiled roofs, it’s usually a 2-step process. Your roof tiles are first removed temporarily, and the mounting frame is attached afterwards. Once this is completed, the roof tiles are returned to their original location.
In certain cases, depending on your roof’s condition, your solar installer might also recommend roof waterproofing to prevent roof leakages that might be unintentionally caused by attaching the mounting frame.
4) Secure Solar Panels to Mounting Frames and Connect to Solar Inverter
Once the mounting frames are securely attached, we can move on to the next step in the installation process. This would be to fix your solar panels onto the mounting frames.
After this is done, your solar panels will be directly connected to a solar inverter. The solar inverter is responsible for converting direct current – generated by your solar panels – into alternating current for use in your home.
The solar inverter can be placed both indoors and outdoors. Your solar installer would likely recommend for it to be placed indoors. This is down to a few reasons. First and foremost, your solar inverter needs to be connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network and this will be best achieved if your solar inverter is located indoors. More importantly, keeping your solar inverter in a cooler environment indoors can also help improve its conversion efficiency by 1% to 3%. It can also help ensure that your solar inverter lasts longer.
Note: The solar inverter can occasionally result in some excess heat being generated in your home.
5) Set up Wiring
Now that most of the solar installation is done, next comes the wiring works. Nearly all solar installations in Singapore are “grid-connected”. This means that your solar inverter will be connected to your house’s electrical system via your property’s distribution board. It’s then connected to the grid through the same distribution board. This will allow your house to tap on the energy generated by your solar panel system, and in cases where you generate more electricity than you consume, you’ll be able to inject excess solar into the grid and be paid for it.
6) Testing and Quality Assurance
Finally, your solar installers will conduct testing and quality assurance to make sure that your solar panel system is in full functioning condition. Any required paperwork for your solar panel system will also be handled at this juncture.
So, how long will the whole solar installation process take? Well, depending on weather conditions, in Singapore, this entire solar panel installation process should take around 7 to 10 days.
Installing Solar in Singapore: Licensing
In Singapore, you’ll have to abide by various standards and regulations when installing solar panels. A registration with SP Services is also needed for you to sell excess solar energy to the grid. But unless you’re trying to install solar DIY (we don’t recommend it in Singapore), don’t worry too much about these. Licensed top solar installers are best equipped with the expertise to install your solar panel system for you. They’ll also be familiar with the necessary safety standards and measures that are required for all solar installations in Singapore.
Solar installers will often conduct site visits beforehand to determine the location and design for your ideal solar setup. Let us help you get in touch with qualified solar installers to assist you with your solar panel installation.
Get an Instant Solar Estimate for your Home Now!
Whether you’re ready to install solar panels on your rooftop, or just wondering how you can benefit from solar, use our instant solar assessment tool to get an estimate of the solar potential of your property and find out how much you can save. At Solar AI, we combine geospatial analysis of satellite imagery with big data and artificial intelligence to provide you with reliable and accurate solar information so that you can make a better solar choice!