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Solar installation

Plan ahead for your commercial solar PV system installation

Once you’ve completed all the necessary paperwork and approvals for the installation of your commercial solar PV system, your solar supplier will liaise with you to book in a date for installation. This is when your solar PV system, including your solar panels and inverter, will be installed at your premises. 

Every solar supplier is different, but here’s a general guide to what you might expect on the day.

Your power will need to be switched off 

Safety is the most important factor in all solar PV system installations. This means that on your installation day, your power will need to be isolated (completely switched off), usually for around one or two hours depending on the size of the solar PV system being installed. 

Your business needs to be 100% de-energised before the installation can take place.  In most cases, you might not find a short power outage too much of an issue in your business. 

How to keep disruption to a minimum

  • Plan ahead and work with your solar supplier to find an installation date and time which will have the least impact on your business's operations. 
  • Before the power goes off, you might want to perform any of your IT system back-ups and make sure your phones, laptops and other devices are charged.
  • Let your staff members know in advance, so they can take any necessary action to minimise disruption to their work before the power goes off.

Your solar panel installation team will set up 

Your solar panel installers should arrive at your business premises at the agreed time and may set up a lay-down area for their equipment and tools. Many solar installers work in teams, which allows them to share duties across the roof and ground level.

Solar tip: Make sure only CEC accredited installers install your solar PV system. This means they are fully trained and certified to make sure your commercial solar meets industry standards, including all relevant Australian Standards.

Safety at heights is essential

Your installation team working on the roof of your business should be harnessed to the roof with anchor points, which would help to protect them if they happened to fall. 

Your installation team may also measure your roof to check that your solar PV system installation can go ahead and that no variations to the system or your roof are required.

Your inverter will be mounted 

Your solar inverter will be mounted at ground level at an agreed and suitable location on your business premises. This location will be chosen based on a range of factors, including the amount of sunlight, water and dust in that area. Your solar installation team will also mount isolators (which are temporary switches) and connect cables to the switchboard of your business premises.

Cables and solar panels are installed 

While the power to your business is off, the cables which will connect your panels to your inverter will be run through your roof space. 

Your solar panel installation team will work together to mount the panels. In the solar industry, this process is nicknamed ‘the plonk’, as they ‘plonk’ your panels in place. Your cables are then connected on the roof, at the inverter and into the switchboard.

Your solar PV system is commissioned 

When everything is in place and ready, the power will be turned back on for your business and your solar PV system will be ‘commissioned’. This should involve checks to make sure your solar PV system is installed and operating correctly, without any defects and in perfect working order. 

Final paperwork and handover

Make sure you receive all manuals and warranties for your commercial solar panels, inverter and battery if you have one installed. Your installation team should also give you an overview of how your solar PV system works, how you can monitor your solar electricity production and will be able to answer any questions you might have before they leave.

At this point, your commercial solar PV system should be ready to use. When your solar PV system has been installed, you can start enjoying the benefits of solar energy for your business.