What Does a Solar Installer Do?

Nick Mann

Working as a solar installer revolves around setting up solar photovoltaic systems for both homes and businesses. Essentially, these individuals are responsible for designing and installing a system that meets the power needs of each customer. In general, a person must have a high school diploma and complete at least two years of training to obtain a job in this industry. Along with this, it's ideal to have a certification as a solar installer. Some typical duties associated with this position include discussing solar needs with customers, inspecting locations, installing and weather sealing solar panels and maintaining inventory.

A solar installer can install solar panels to convert the sun's rays into electricity.
A solar installer can install solar panels to convert the sun's rays into electricity.

In most cases, the first part of each project involves discussing the solar needs with each customer. For example, a homeowner may only need a simple solar system installed to power appliances in a home. On the other hand, a business may need an extensive system installed to power a large store. It's the job of a solar installer to assess each customer's situation and make recommendations. Consequently, an individual must have an in-depth knowledge of solar equipment and excellent interpersonal skills.

A house with solar panels.
A house with solar panels.

Once the details have been worked out, a solar installer will usually inspect the location. During this time, he will check the proposed area — often a rooftop — to make sure that solar panels and other equipment can be safely installed. In some cases, he might be required to clear a location of debris or anything that else that could pose a hazard.

After this step is completed, the installation process can begin. A solar installer must first gather the necessary materials like solar panels, electrical equipment and any other tools for the job. He will then install the system and connect wiring to the electrical system of a home or business. Due to the somewhat complex nature of tasks performed, a solar installer must have a sound knowledge of solar equipment and perform the installation correctly and in accordance with safety guidelines.

For many projects, he will also weatherseal the solar panels. Since most solar panels will come in contact with the elements, it's often necessary for a solar installer to use a weather seal. To accomplish this, he must follow the regulations and specifications of each individual product. Otherwise, the lifespan of the panels could be jeopardized.

Additionally, a solar installer is sometimes required to maintain inventory. For example, he may need to monitor the quantity of solar panels or other equipment and order new supplies when necessary. Along with this, he might be required to organize a warehouse and optimize its efficiency.

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