You've read all about solar panels and now you're gung-ho to get them installed on your home. Well, slow down there, sunny. Safety is a priority on any project and solar technology requires a wide knowledge of specialized technology. To see if you are qualified, Solar Today magazine has put together a list of 10 questions you should be able to answer before you start (on page 66) :
Are you familiar with volts, amps and watts?
Can you find the tangent of 22.6 degrees?
Can you determine the maximum open-circuit voltage of a PV module at your home?
What size lag screw will resist 350 pounds of up force in fir lumber?
What do the symbols THWN, USE and RHW mean?
Are you a skilled do-it-yourselfer with a wide assortment of hand and power tools?
Have you bent and installed EMT?
Do you have a torque screwdriver?
How do you seal roof penetrations that will last for 40 years?
Can commonly available DC-rated circuit breakers be used at 600 volts?
It's strongly recommended to hire a contractor who specializes in solar technology if you cannot answer these questions easily.