Walking Through Our Solar Energy System Installation Process

Published April 25, 2023

Interested in investing in a solar energy system but don’t know what the installation process is like? In this blog, we’ll walk you through the entire process, from consultation to final system activation. The solar energy installation process is comprised of 5 steps:

  • Solar project consultation
  • Site visit
  • Engineering & procurement
  • Installation, inspection, and final system activation
  • Post-installation analysis

Solar Project Consultation

First, we begin with a solar project consultation where you can speak with one of our experts over the phone and get a good idea of what your solar project will entail, including ballparks costs, system benefits, and more. We can answer any initial questions you may have, like: 

  • What is the cost of solar?
  • Do I have a good site for solar?
  • What are the benefits of solar?
  • Why should I choose LightWave as my installer?

Then, we’ll view your property via satellite imagery to see if you have a suitable site for a solar energy system. After this step, we can provide you with custom cost estimates for your solar power project. Costs vary depending on the type of solar panel mounting (roof or ground), number of solar panels, and number of solar storage batteries. 

Site Visit

Once LightWave receives a thumbs up from you on our cost estimates, we will conduct a thorough site visit. Using a drone, we gather site data, including:

  • Roof measurements 
  • Shade impacts of trees
  • Location of chimneys, vents and other obstructions

We also take photos of your electrical panel, electric meter, and attic, and we determine good locations for your solar inverter and batteries. This site data allows us to give you a site plan drawing, annual solar generation estimates and your proposal for a turnkey solar installation. Once you approve the proposal, we can move ahead with the project. 

Engineering & Procurement

Once you sign your LightWave contract, we button up the details to hand off to our Operations team. Our experts will start the full engineering of your project and complete all the paperwork required by your local power company, if applicable. Then, we’ll order your solar energy equipment and obtain your electrical permit. Once we have all the materials we need, we can schedule your solar energy project installation. 

Installation, Inspection, & Final System Activation

Our average residential solar + storage installation typically takes about 4-5 days to complete. First, LightWave Solar technicians mount solar racking to your roof (or on poles for ground-mounted arrays). Then, we typically install DC optimizers. DC optimizers are small devices under solar panels that meet the NEC rapid shutdown requirement, and they help boost production when any shade is present.

Next, we attach the solar panels to your racking and run all conduit and wiring necessary to connect your solar inverter, breaker panel(s), and batteries into one cohesive system. We also program your monitoring software so you can see your system’s performance online. 

Lastly, we coordinate your final inspection and commissioning with the state electrical inspector and local power company (LPC). LightWave works diligently to pass inspection and schedule your LPC commissioning, so we can perform your final system activation! Then, you are up and running  — generating cleaner, solar power to reduce your grid consumption and keep your home powered in a grid outage.

Post-Installation Analysis

LightWave is here for our customers beyond the installation. Shortly after activation, we analyze your solar energy system’s performance and follow up to answer any questions you might have. Plus, LightWave has a 5-year workmanship warranty for residential and small commercial systems, just in case. Our solar service team is dedicated to resolving any issues that might arise in the future.

Rely on LightWave For Your Solar Energy Needs

LightWave has been installing solar for 17 years, and you can count on us. If you’re considering investing in a solar energy project for your home, book a consultation with one of our experts. We will help guide you through solar energy system design and installation, and we will be here for you for years to come!

Click here to see some of our previous solar energy projects.