Category - Solar
Guide author photo

Will Scholfield, Engineer

5 Sep : Updated 8 Apr ● 7 min read

Solar panel installation: what’s the process?

Thinking of getting solar panels installed at your home? Good idea - the benefits of living more sustainably, both on the planet and in your wallet, are plentiful. 

Solar is one of the most accessible types of renewable energy and, with the UK Government offering grants to help you fund solar panel installation, it could prove to be a frugal investment. 

But how are solar panels installed? Here, we explore the whole process, from choosing the right solar panels for your home to maintaining them once they have been installed. 

How to choose the right solar panels for your home

Before we get into the installation process, it’s important to understand the different types of solar panels and which could be best suited for you and your home. To help you choose the right solar panels, there are four key factors that you must consider:

1. The cost of solar panels

The first factor you’ll want to understand is the cost of the solar panels, both in terms of the upfront cost and when you can expect to get a return on your investment. 

Although the cost will be one of your top considerations, you shouldn’t be totally put off by potentially high prices. Cheaper options may not be the most efficient or not have the longest lifespan.  

2. The quality of solar panels

The average solar panel system will last around 25 years, but this all depends on the manufacturer, the quality of the materials used, and how well they are maintained. When you’re researching which solar PV system to buy, make sure you read customer reviews to see if they’re satisfied with the product and services. 

At BOXT, all of our solar panels come with a 15-year warranty, and we can install them in as little as two weeks.  

3. The efficiency of the solar panels 

According to Ofgem, the typical UK home uses around between 5 and 12kWh of energy per day. Before selecting a system for your home, you should be confident that the solar panels can generate enough electricity to handle your household’s energy consumption. 

To maximise the use of the solar energy generated and avoid losing excess energy back to the national grid, many people turn to solar batteries, which retain energy. 

4. The location and size of your home

Before investing in solar, you should review whether it’s viable by reviewing the direction your home faces and the number of solar panels you can reasonably fit on your roof. These factors will greatly impact the amount of solar power you can generate. 

The energy output of a solar panel is measured in watts and the number of watts a panel can generate is, ultimately, linked to the size of the solar panel. The more watts, the bigger the panel. 

How many solar panels do you need?

The number of solar PV panels you’ll need depends on your current energy consumption, the size of your roof and the amount of sun your roof is exposed to per day. 

According to Ofgem, the average 2-3 bedroom home will use 2,900KwH per year (8kWh per day). If you have a south-facing roof, that’s not obstructed by trees, 10 solar panels could generate up to 4,000kWh of energy per year - around 1kWh per panel per day. 

The output of a solar PV panel depends on several factors, so before committing to a number of solar panels, we recommend speaking to professional solar panel installers about your energy demands and what’s viable based on your home and roof. 

Want to find out more about how many solar panels you'll need?

Check out our guide

Check out our guide

We break down variable factors such as different sizes, how much energy each panel generates, how to calculate what you need and whether it is possible to take yourself completely off-grid using solar panels.

Read more

Can you install solar panels yourself?

While it’s not illegal to install your own solar panels, we do not recommend it. Solar panel installation is a complex job that involves handling electricity, which can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

When you choose BOXT for solar panel installation, you can enjoy great peace of mind that the process is to be carried out by an experienced team that you can truly rely on to complete the job safely and efficiently. 

Solar installation you can trust

Solar installation you can trust

Enjoy great peace of mind when you choose solar installation with BOXT

Find out more

How are solar panels installed?

It’s not always necessary to have solar panels installed on your roof; however, it is advantageous because it doesn’t take up garden space or most roofs are angled in a way that helps ensure maximum sunlight. 

These 8 steps outline our team’s solar panel installation process: 

1. Construct the scaffolding 

If we’re installing solar panels on the roof of your home, the first step is to set up scaffolding to ensure a good level of safety while the work is in action. 

2. Build solar panel mounts

The second step is to build the solar panel mounting system - the mounts are the frame and base that solar panels will be fitted into, so these must be securely fastened to the roof using roof anchors. The whole mounting structure must be tilted too, to ensure maximum exposure to the sun - between 18 and 36 degrees is best. 

3. Install the solar panels

Once the mounts are built, it’s time for us to install the solar panels onto the structure. At this stage, our team double- and triple-check everything is tightly fastened and bolted down. 

4. Wire up the solar panels 

The next steps in the solar panel installation process are to connect everything, starting by wiring the solar panels. We recommend turning off your home’s electricity supply at this stage, to avoid any accidents. 

5. Install the solar inverter

Now the solar panels are wired up, it’s time for us to install the inverter. The inverter converts the energy produced by the solar panels into usable electricity. Solar inverters are usually installed close to the solar panels, e.g. in the roof space. We can advise on the best placement for this before we start the installation.

6. Connect the solar inverter and battery

If you have bought a solar battery storage system to retain excess electricity and stop the energy you don’t use from being sent to the national energy grid, we will install this next. 

When the battery is being installed, we advise to keep this close to the inverter, to minimise voltage loss and maximise the solar electricity that has been generated. 

Check out our complete guide to solar battery storage for more information on how these devices work.

7. Wire the inverter into the fuse box (consumer unit)

Now the battery, inverter and solar panels are all installed and connected, it’s time for us to connect the inverter to the fuse box so you can make the most of the solar energy, reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your electricity bills. 

8. Test the solar panels

Finally, it’s time to switch everything on and test your new PV system and make sure your solar panels work. When we’re happy everything is working as it should be, that’s the solar panel installation process complete! 

Maintaining solar panels

Maintaining solar panel systems is pretty straightforward, although you should inspect them every few months to ensure they’re clean. If solar panels get dirty, e.g. from bird droppings or leaves, they will not work as efficiently. 

Before you start cleaning your solar panels yourself, you should consult the manufacturer’s warranty, the terms and conditions of this may stipulate that only a professional can clean the PV panels. 

Start your solar energy journey with BOXT today 

Now you know everything about the solar installation process, it’s time to start your own solar power journey.  

For additional tips on maintaining your solar panels and information on how much solar panels cost, and how much you could save on your energy bills, take a look at our dedicated solar guides.

Ready to take the plunge and purchase solar panels? Get started on your solar journey below. 

Switching to solar?

Switching to solar?

Find the best solar panels for your home with BOXT

Learn more


Share this post