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Project Description

Client: Clayton Rohan Location: Tacoma, WA

How to Install Solar Power Panels on a Commercial Building? Solar panel installation, specifically on commercial buildings, can seem like an intimidating process if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, plenty of other business owners have done this, and you can benefit through the wisdom they gleaned from their successes and their mistakes. This guide on how to install solar power panels on a commercial building will help you with everything from finding your system’s power needs to finding the right contractors to finding the most tax-friendly locations in your state where your solar panels can be installed! Solar Panel Installation Overview: The first step in solar power installation is studying your unique needs. A local installer can help you assess your electrical capacity and recommend panels based on your budget and aesthetic preferences. Once you’ve decided what size system you need, it’s time to actually install those panels—so don’t forget any necessary permits or approvals before you begin! Installing solar panels takes between two and three days, depending on their size and location. On day one, carefully unpack each panel and its accompanying hardware. Solar Panel Installation Guide: Energy efficiency has been a hot topic for years, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Recent innovations have led to even greater energy-saving opportunities in large commercial settings, from hospital campuses to office buildings. One of these is solar panel installation. Solar power panels can be used in lots of different areas, whether residential or commercial, and they come with various benefits—including big savings on your energy bill. In fact, one study found that installing solar panels reduces costs by an average of 22 percent. Despite their many perks, however, solar panels are not simple to install without guidance from a professional company that specializes in such work. If you’re thinking about adding solar panels to your business, take a look at our guide to learn more about how you can install them efficiently! ## How To Install Solar Power Panels on a Commercial Building What You Should Know Before You Begin For starters, there are two types of systems that use solar panels: grid-tied and off-grid systems. A grid-tied system relies on solar photovoltaic (PV) cells to generate electricity, which feeds into an electric grid for utility companies to use. Grid-tied systems will rely on backup generators during times when clouds cover the sun or if weather events cause electrical demand to go up too much. Off-grid systems don't connect directly to utility grids; instead, they store any extra electricity in batteries so it's available during periods when sunlight isn't available—for example when there's no sun due to weather conditions. So what are some key questions to consider before getting started? Here are some things you'll want to think through before installing solar panels. 1. Do I need grid access? If you're wondering whether or not it makes sense for your building or campus to obtain grid access, consider asking yourself these questions: Does my property sit in an area where sunshine is abundant year-round? Do I want backup power in case of an emergency? Is my building already wired for PV connections? Am I planning renovations within five years? 2. How should I pay for a solar panel installation? Going green usually requires quite a bit of upfront cash. While you might be able to finance your overall project, leasing solar panels could also help cut down your upfront cost since your monthly payments would be lower as compared to those associated with buying new components outright. In addition, you might find federal and state tax credits as well as incentives from local utilities, particularly if you’re using grid-tied technology. 3. Will my roof withstand rooftop equipment? Unless all roofs were created equal, chances are good that yours won't support bulky rooftop solar panels right out of the box. But don't worry. Companies like WASHINGTON CONSTRUCTION understand that every commercial space is different, and they offer a free inspection service to analyze your current setup. By looking closely at your particular situation, you’ll get a better idea of what kind of mounting hardware you’ll need and whether or not your commercial building is set up for solar panel installation. Then, once you've decided on a plan, they can install it fast and easily! 4. Who will handle maintenance? While DIYers love saving money on projects like solar panel installations, keep in mind that maintaining and cleaning your new panels can be tricky. Whether or not you choose to hire pros depends largely on the details of your lease agreement and who is responsible for upkeep in general. 5. How can I finance my solar panel installation? If you’re putting solar panels on your home, you might qualify for a loan or another form of financing. However, if you’re working with an owner's association, you might need to ask permission before making major upgrades—and that means convincing others in your building to invest in solar energy. 6. Can I rent or lease solar panels? Whether or not it makes financial sense to buy your own solar panels depends on several factors including when you’ll be moving and whether or not you own your building in the first place. Solar Panel Installation Tips: Keep in mind that solar panels and installing solar power systems can cost several thousand dollars. It's important that you fully research your potential return on investment (ROI) before making such an investment. Installing solar panels or solar-powered energy systems can help save your company money over time, but there are some factors to keep in mind when considering whether it’s right for your business. First, figure out how much electricity you use per month—the average American uses 920 kilowatts hours of electricity per month, so pay attention to where all of your energy is going. If you have more than one building with different needs, set up separate solar-power systems for each structure. Also, keep in mind any local laws regarding installation. Some locations restrict homeowners from setting up their own solar panels because they cause too much shade or could affect property values. Homeowners associations may also ban these systems if they look unsightly or if homeowners didn't follow procedures. Be sure to ask around before moving forward. Once you’ve done all of your homework, make sure your solar panel system offers enough renewable energy to offset what you consume every year—typically 5–20 percent depending on annual sunlight levels at your location. Call us today at (360) 930-9744 for a free consultation on your solar panel installation project.

The Challenges

Challenges we faced during installation of the solar power panels on the commercial building

The installation of solar power panels on the commercial building was not as simple as we had originally thought. Due to the unique design of the building, we faced several challenges along the way, but managed to get it done in less than two weeks! Here are some of the biggest challenges we faced during this job and how we overcame them!

Installing solar panels on uneven roofs

The solar panel installation process can be quite challenging, especially when you’re trying to install them on an uneven roof. Commercial buildings like hotels and hospitals often have large, flat roofs which are ideal for these systems. But when you get to smaller businesses with steeply pitched roofs, things can get difficult. This is a situation where a professional solar installer can help. They’ll survey your roof and give you their expert opinion on whether solar panels would make sense in your case. In some cases, it may be worth considering solar shingles instead. You should always consult with professionals before moving forward if you think solar might work for your business or organization—even if it seems relatively straightforward at first glance!

Installing solar panels where different types of roofs meet

It can be challenging to install solar panels where different types of roofs meet, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of how your solar panels will be installed prior to your solar panel consultation. To help you understand how differently angled roofs affect solar panel placement, let’s take a look at two different installations. In each case, both angles are able to accommodate at least one row of solar panels. The only difference is that in one case, there is a step-down from one roof onto another roof while in another case there is no step-down and the second roof sits right atop another roof. While it may seem like a minor detail, these differences make a big impact when installing solar panels. Because having solar panels sit lower on your roof will cut into usable space on your rooftop, moving or adding rows would change an otherwise easy install into something more complicated and time-consuming. This is because extra steps need to be taken when adding additional rows since you must run wiring across seams between panels if there are no other rows for them to connect with. So, if your solar system requires two rows but you only have room for one row, installing solar panels could prove much more difficult than expected—an outcome many homeowners want to avoid. Make sure that any solar company you’re working with understands how they will address challenges like these before signing anything! WASHINGTON CONSTRUCTION understands how to work around challenges like those discussed above, so give us a call at (360) 930-9744 today for an estimate on your new solar installation!

Adhering solar panel film to curved surfaces

All systems were going on our new solar panel installation—but applying our solar panel film to large surface areas required more planning than expected. We had to come up with innovative ways to attach it quickly and efficiently without falling behind schedule. This had become one of our biggest solar panel installation challenges. The crew over at the commercial project site was doing an amazing job. After all, for us, everything was riding on how smoothly we could install those solar panels; otherwise, none of us would end up satisfied with what we achieved there.

Applying solar panel film to large surface areas

The size of your solar panel system is one of its most important components, but taking into account how it will be installed—and installing it properly—is critical to ensuring that it produces maximum energy. When you’re preparing to install solar panel film onto large surface areas, take care to make sure you have an experienced team with years in business. At WASHINGTON CONSTRUCTION, our experts are ready to help you with installing solar panels onto your commercial or residential space.