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Easy Way Of Adding New Solar Panels To Existing Systems in 2020 | DroneQuote

By DroneQuote | Posted January 09, 2020

Adding New Solar Panels To Existing Systems

Adding New Solar Panels To Existing Systems

Add Solar Panels to existing systems – After

Easy Way Of Adding New Solar Panels To Existing Systems in 2020

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

So you made the plunge to install solar panels on your roof and have now been enjoying the benefit of near-free electricity. Now see how to add solar panels to existing system to increase your usage.

Things to consider before adding new solar panels to existing systems.

Before you start the process of getting quotes to add solar panels to your existing system, there are a few things you should take into consideration to start the process off on the right foot. Please, consider the following:

  1. Is your current solar panel system meeting your needs?
    The byproduct of living free of the utility rates and really living it up in your home is something called the Jevons paradox. Simply put, as you increase the efficiency of a resource the use of that resource increases as well. Now would be a great time to have a clear understanding of how much power you have used on an annual basis after you installed your system. Additional electricity usage combined with the annual loss in electricity production can cause a deficit in electricity.
  2. What changes are going to take effect on the future usage of power?
    If you are going to go through the trouble of adding solar panels to your existing system, you should also make efforts to future proof the system as much as possible. To do that, consider changes in your home that may impact future usage. Are you adding additional panels because there is a change taking place that will significantly increase electricity usage? Electric vehicles, hot tubs, new or additional AC units, new-pool equipment, or even things like portable space heaters can have a noticeable impact on how much power you use.To put a number to how much extra electricity a device may use, take a look at these on-line calculators to help you determine how much power different devices may use:Electric Vehicle Use Calculator – An excellent tool to calculate annual electricity use (kWh) by the model of the vehicle according to the miles driven per year.Estimating Appliances and Home Electronic Energy Use – An excellent tool used to calculate hot tubs, AC units, pool equipment, portable space heaters, or any “additional” appliances you may be looking to purchase for your home.
  3. Should I add a battery storage system?
    Since the time you installed your original solar panels, today when you are reading this, the cost of batteries has come down and technology gains have gone up. Not to mention that a lot of homes in areas prone to fires are subject to constant power outages that are quickly becoming the norm. For those reasons, if you are adding solar panels to your system, it makes a lot of sense to consider adding a battery storage system to the mix. Other factors that may motivate you to consider including a battery storage system:Time of use rates – These rates of electricity fluctuate depending on the time of day you are using power. This matters because most net metering agreements pay you the retail rate for the power you produce. Adding a battery will allow you to store power at cheaper rates and use it when it’s more expensive – thereby avoiding the higher rates of the utility.The orientation of roof – If your home has an orientation (or shade) that will make for higher production in earlier times of the day, this may impact your return of investment if the net metering agreement is paying you less for that early-day power generation.
  4. Utility considerations.
    A homeowner grandfathered into any net metering agreements with a utility is advised to call their utility company to inquire about limits regarding additional solar panels to existing systems.
  5. How did you buy/acquire the existing solar panel system?
    This is a very important topic because it may dictate whether or not you can add solar panels to the existing system, or if you have to install a whole new system aside from the current one. If you purchased the system by means of a cash purchase, you, my friend, are all set. You can add to your system without anything but the warranties to be mindful of. If you financed your system by means of a loan, typically the bank holding the note will not let you add to the system unless you pay off the balance. If you leased the system by any means of lease or power purchase agreement, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you cannot modify the system in any way.
  6. What are the technical considerations of adding new solar panels to existing systems?
    There are some technical things to be mindful of when it comes to adding additional solar panels to a system but I won’t go into details of amps, watts, efficiencies, string sizing, or other technical jargon. Instead, I’ll spare you the details and tell you that if you have space on your roof for additional panels, you can maybe add solar panels to an existing system but you can for sure add a supplemental solar panel system to work alongside your already existing solar panels.
  7. How will adding new solar panels to existing systems impact warranties?
    The existing solar panels and components have warranties that come directly from the manufacturer, but the installation contractor’s warranties come directly from the installer. This matters because installers typically consider their warranties voided if the system is modified by a party other than their own staff. If the installer you originally installed with is out of business or does not do add-on systems, this is probably one of the bigger reasons why you may want to consider installing a secondary and independently functioning system of the already existing solar panel system.

Adding New Solar Panels To Existing Systems – Before/After

Additional panels and new roof section installed on home.

What Else Is There To Adding New Solar Panels To Existing Systems?

Do you remember when you installed your original system, how you had to go through the site survey, design & planning, permitting, and of course the installation? Well when you add solar panels to an existing system, you have to go through all those same steps again. Also, federal incentives apply the second time around, so if you’re reading this in 2020, the tax credit of 26% is also applicable. State and local incentives that may have been around the first time may also be available, but those are typically funded in limited amounts so don’t count on lower level incentives, especially if you installed your solar panels more than five years ago.

How Do I Start The Process of Adding New Solar Panels To Existing Systems?

Now for a little bit of bad news – most installers are not quick to tend to customers interested in add-on systems. I know this sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true. The reason comes down to dollars and cents.

A small add-on solar panel system is going to cost more than a larger “first-time” solar panel system, based on economies of scale. That tends to demotivate homeowners from considering solar add-ons, which drives down the close rate of installer’s sending out salespeople to a prospect’s home. Additionally, some salespeople are not as motivated to talk with a homeowner that wants to add eight solar panels as much as they are interested in talking with a homeowner that wants to install 30 panels.

Adding solar panels to an existing system is as easy as starting with DroneQuote. We will be more than happy to take your call or inquiry and if you should want quotes, we make it extremely easy and hassle-free to get you quotes with our online process. We won’t give you the runaround or not return your calls, and more importantly, we’ll help you get the best quotes for adding solar panels to your existing system from the best installers. Get started for FREE and get multiple quotes online with DroneQuote.

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