How to Hook Up Solar Panels to an Electrical Supply
Connecting a solar panel to an existing electrical supply can seem a daunting task. To run completely off of solar power requires the use of battery backs that are daisy-chained together so that they work together. If, however, you wish to continue to use mainline electrical while taking a lot of financial burden off of your back then you can do so. This is achieved by wiring the solar panels to the existing electrical supply of the home. Solar panels create DC power but the home uses AC power so it has to be converted via an electrical inverter and then that is wired to the home. The following article will show you how to connect the solar panels to the home's existing electrical supply. This can be an overwhelming endeavor, and it may be best to get the help of a certified electrician. You will also need a permit and the electric company to inspect the work.
Step 1 - Safety
Prior to working with the electrical box in the home you should make sure that it is turned off at the main breaker. Make use of the current tester and voltage meter to make sure that there is no active current coming from any of the wires. You will also want to make use of the grounding wrist strap when you are working inside the electrical box even though the power is turned off.
Step 2 - Connecting to the Inverter Box
Working with DC current is slightly different than AC current as far as the wiring is concerned. The wires from the solar panels will be presented with DC power in mind as will the end of the inverter where the wires have to be connected. In DC wiring the black wire is positive, the white wire negative (or neutral in an AC wiring setting) and the green wire is the grounding wire. Use the wire stripper to remove some of the insulation from the green, black and white wires.
The inverter is usually marked for ease of use, but the red wire will be the positive wire and the white wire is the neutral. First, attach the green wire to the metal frame of the inverter. Connect the wires to the inverter by twisting them together then using the wire caps.
Step 3 - Connecting to the Home Electrical Supply Box
Run the wires from the converter to the electrical supply box. Strip the ends of the wires and attach the green wire to the box. You will be patching in or splicing the wires together to tie-in to the electrical system. Find where the main wires run into the home in the box and pull them forward so you can access them. Disconnect the black and white wires from the box and strip the ends. Twist the wires from the inverter to these wires and then cap them.