Green Living

What is it like to have solar panels installed? Shelley Ferguson explains

Article by Homes to Love

After deciding that solar power was the right fit for her busy family home, Shelley Ferguson wasted no time getting panels installed. She takes us on her journey 

What is it like to have solar panels installed? Shelley Ferguson explains

The day of my solar installation dawned sunny with scattered clouds and a slight chill in the air. While waiting for the HRV solar team to turn up, I got a cup of tea and sat in a sunny spot out on the deck. For obvious reasons I had sun on the brain, so I took a few moments to really appreciate that delicious feeling of warm morning rays bathing my body. Did you know that in a single hour, the amount of solar energy striking the earth is more power than the entire world consumes in a year? What an incredible natural resource­ we have at our fingertips  every day. It was time to harness it for my home!

The full team of HRV engineers, riggers and electricians turned up which was great for peace of mind – you never know when life can throw a home reno hitch your way. Our old switchboard had already been upgraded to a snazzy new one so the next step was to get panels on the roof. I was really curious to see what the panels actually look like – I’ve seen them in pictures but never met one up close in real life. They came in a stack, and are large slim rectangles almost like pieces of dark organic chocolate.

First, flat framing was attached across the roof then the panels were passed up via a ladder and placed in the most optimal position for the sunlight (with a small space between for airflow). An inverter was installed round the back of the house – a slim unit that gets attached to the wall. Once those elements were sorted our meter was swapped over to a two-way system. From there a happy little solar marriage happens. The sun gets friendly with the panels and the panels feed energy to the inverter which converts it into ‘home ready’ format for our electrical system. Within a few hours, our 21st Century solar system was in. That was it. Finished in a flash thanks to the handsome and helpful HRV army.

So what does it look like? Okay I’m going to admit it, I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to things obscuring the mid-century roofline of The Blue Lady (birds excluded), so I was worried I’d end up with some giant Transformer-like tower up there. But I’m chuffed with the subtle appearance of this system. The framing and panels are so slim and streamlined you can’t see them at all from any point around the house. It’s only when you walk up the steep driveway that they’re visible on the roof, happily vying with the treetops for sunshine.

And how is it working? Just swimmingly, thanks for asking. Not only is the energy our system generates sustainable, it has also future-proofed our home and my family’s needs. That’s what I call a heart (and home) warming result.

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