Going Solar at Home: Inspection, Activation, Monitoring and Performance

Photos: Harry Strharsky

This blog post is the third in a series on how to research, contract, install, activate and monitor clean, renewable, rooftop solar panels on your home. You can read the first two posts in this series at:

https://10001ways.com/post/going-solar-step-by-step and https://10001ways.com/post/going-solar-at-home-the-next-steps


Once your solar panels are installed, you still have more objectives to achieve before they can be activated. We were told that since configuration changes were made on-the-spot during installation, it was likely to take two weeks to receive a Fort Collins Building Department as-built approval for the revisions.

Our home installation failed its first inspection. We needed an additional 200-amp circuit-breaker put into our main electrical panel. This protects the connecting wiring to the new solar generation panel mounted on the outside of our garage. Not familiar with this Fort Collins city requirement, our install team was caught off-guard and surprised. To their credit, they installed the breaker within two days. Meanwhile, other technicians installed a “critter guard” around the base of the solar panel arrays and placed a “snow guard” between the upper and lower panels on the west side of our roof.

This guard prevents snow accumulated on the panels from sliding off in one sheet, spilling over the gutters and covering one of our cars parked in the driveway.