How to Add More Solar Panels to an Existing System

Matt Keane
March 30, 2023

Feeling the pinch from rising energy bills, you've likely considered expanding your solar panel array. Like many Irish homeowners who have embarked on this renewable journey but feel they could be doing more, we were in a similar predicament, prompting us to research potential solutions extensively.

In this article, we guide you through how to effectively extend your photovoltaic system by assessing necessary capacity enhancements, understanding permit requirements, and navigating installation complexities. Before delaying a moment, let's dive into the topic.

Factors to Consider Before Adding More Solar Panels

Before adding more solar panels to an existing system, homeowners need to assess the additional capacity needed, available roof space, upgrading inverters, necessary permits, and battery storage considerations.

Assessing Additional Capacity Needed

Evaluating your home's extra energy requirements is the first step towards expanding your solar panel system. Dig deep into your past and present utility bills to spot energy usage trends.

More importantly, consider any future appliances or devices you plan on adding that would increase power consumption. A thorough audit of the load capacity will help determine how many more photovoltaic panels are needed for a seamless upgrade.

Aim for a sizeable buffer in capacity when setting up additional panels - it caters to unexpected spikes in electricity use and potential growth in household power needs over time.

The objective is to maximise the self-consumption of solar-generated electricity while minimising reliance on grid-supplied power, ensuring optimal savings from an expanded solar setup.

Available Roof Space

Do you want to learn how to add more solar panels to an existing system?  then keep reading the article.  When it comes to adding more solar panels to an existing system, one of the key considerations is the available roof space. Assessing how much space you have on your roof will determine how many additional panels can be installed.

With ample room, expanding your solar array becomes easier and more straightforward. However, if space is limited, alternative solutions like ground-mounted systems or dual-axis tracking mounts may need to be explored.

Working with professionals who can evaluate your roof and provide expert advice on maximising the available space for optimal solar panel installation is important.

Upgrading Inverters

Upgrading inverters is important when adding more solar panels to an existing system. Inverters are responsible for converting the solar panels' direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used in your home.

Upgrading the inverter ensures compatibility and optimal performance with the additional panels. Depending on your existing system, you may need to replace or add a new inverter to handle the increased capacity.

It's recommended to consult with professionals who can guide you through this process and ensure your upgraded inverters seamlessly integrate with your expanded solar panel setup.

Necessary Permits

We need to understand how to add more solar panels to an existing system and what an existing system requires to obtain the necessary permits. This is because installing additional solar panels may modify our home's electrical system and impact local building codes.

Obtaining these permits ensures that our solar panel expansion is done safely and complies with regulations. Local government agencies are responsible for issuing these permits and may require inspections throughout the process.

By obtaining the necessary permits, we can move forward confidently with our solar panel expansion project and enjoy all the benefits of increased renewable energy production.

Battery Storage Considerations

Adding more solar panels to an existing system comes with battery storage considerations. You can keep your solar panels' excess energy in batteries for later use, ensuring that you have power even when the sun isn't shining.

When considering battery storage, it is important to assess your energy needs and choose a battery capacity that can meet those needs during periods of low sunlight or high electricity demand.

Additionally, you should consider the size and weight of the batteries, as well as their compatibility with your existing solar system. By adding battery storage to your solar panel setup, you can maximise the benefits of renewable energy and reduce reliance on the grid.

Alternatives To Expanding A Roof-Mounted System

There are alternatives to expanding a roof-mounted solar panel system if there is limited space or other constraints. One option is to install ground-mounted solar panels, which can be placed in an open area on your property.

These panels are mounted on stands or frames and can be angled for optimal sun exposure. Another alternative is to explore community solar projects, where you can invest in off-site solar panels but still benefit from the electricity generated.

Additionally, if you have unused land nearby, consider installing a pole-mounted system that uses tall poles to hold the solar panels above ground level. By exploring these alternatives, homeowners can still increase their renewable energy production without solely relying on roof space limitations.

Adding Solar Panels To An Existing System: A Quick Guide

To add solar panels to an existing system, update the inverters and consider installing a second solar system. Make sure to understand the cost implications and obtain any necessary permits, inspections, and approvals.

Additionally, adding battery storage can enhance the efficiency of your solar power generation.

Updating Inverters

Updating inverters is essential when adding more solar panels to an existing system. Inverters transform the direct current (DC) energy that the panels produce into usable alternating current (AC) electricity.

If your existing system has a traditional string inverter, it may not be compatible with additional panels. Upgrading to a microinverter or power optimisation system allows for the seamless integration of more solar panels.

This upgrade increases your solar energy system's efficiency and overall performance, ensuring you can maximise the power generated by your expanded solar panel array.

Installing A Second Solar System

Adding a second solar system to your existing setup is one option for increasing your solar panel capacity. This involves installing a separate set of panels and connecting them to your current inverter or microinverter.

By doing so, you can effectively double the amount of electricity your solar power system generates. The process typically requires permits, inspections, and approvals from local government agencies to ensure compliance with regulations.

Consult professionals for proper installation and functionality, although it is technically possible for homeowners to add the panels themselves. Adding a second solar system maximises renewable energy production and reduces your reliance on grid power.

Understanding Cost Implications

Adding more solar panels to an existing system can have cost implications that homeowners should be aware of. The overall cost will depend on various factors, such as the number of additional panels needed, the type of system upgrade required, and any necessary permits or inspections.

It's important to consider these costs and budget accordingly. Additionally, homeowners may want to explore financing options or incentives available for expanding their solar panel capacity.

Understanding the cost implications upfront will help make informed decisions and ensure a smooth transition to a larger, more efficient solar energy system.

Permits, Inspections, And Approvals

We understand that adding more solar panels to an existing system is an exciting prospect for many homeowners in Ireland. However, it's important to note that this process may require permits, inspections, and approvals from local government agencies.

These regulations ensure your new solar panels are installed safely and meet all necessary standards. The specific requirements can vary depending on your location and the size of the installation.

If you want to add more solar panels to an existing system, contact BuildTech today. Connect with Top-Notch Home Improvement Professionals like Build Tech for energy-efficient upgrades, planning consultation, architectural design, interior design, home renovation, home extension, deep retrofit, etc.

It's always recommended to consult with professionals who can guide you through the permitting process and ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

Adding Battery Storage

Adding battery storage to your existing solar panel system can provide numerous benefits. With battery storage, you can keep the extra energy your solar panels produce during the day and use it at night or on cloudy days.

This allows you to maximise your self-consumption of solar power and reduce your reliance on the grid. Battery storage also provides a backup power supply in case of a grid outage, ensuring that your home remains powered even when there is no electricity from the utility company.

Additionally, with a battery system, you can take advantage of time-of-use pricing by storing energy when rates are low and using it during peak hours when prices are higher. This helps you avoid expensive peak-time rates and increases your savings with solar energy.

Benefits of Adding More Solar Panels to an Existing System

Adding more solar panels to an existing system brings significant benefits, including increased power generation, protection from peak usage prices, and a long-term investment in reliable and efficient electricity.

Increased Power Generation

Adding more solar panels to your existing system can significantly increase power generation. By increasing the number of panels, you harness more sunlight and convert it into electricity, allowing you to generate more renewable energy for your home.

With increased power generation, you can offset a larger portion of your energy consumption from the grid, leading to greater savings on your electricity bills. Additionally, as you generate more solar power, you contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting a cleaner environment.

So if you have the space and capacity available, adding more solar panels is an effective way to maximise the benefits of your existing system and increase your reliance on sustainable energy sources.

Protection From Peak Usage Prices

Adding more solar panels to an existing system protects homeowners in Ireland from peak usage prices. By increasing the capacity of your solar panel setup, you can generate more electricity during peak demand periods.

This means you rely less on purchasing energy from the grid when prices are at their highest. With additional solar panels, you can produce and use your own renewable energy, reducing your dependence on traditional power sources and saving money on expensive utility bills.

Long-Term Investment In Reliable And Efficient Electricity

Adding more solar panels to an existing system is a long-term investment that ensures homeowners access to reliable and efficient electricity. By increasing the capacity of their solar panel system, homeowners can generate more power from renewable energy sources, reducing their reliance on traditional grid electricity.

This not only helps to lower utility bills but also offers protection against rising peak usage prices. With the option to add battery storage, homeowners can store excess energy generated during the day for use during periods of low sunlight or high demand.

Expanding a solar panel system gives Irish homeowners a sustainable and cost-effective solution for meeting their energy needs while contributing to a greener future.

To Sum Up

In conclusion, adding more solar panels to an existing system is a practical and cost-effective way to increase renewable energy production. By assessing capacity needs, available roof space, and upgrading inverters, homeowners can expand their solar array and enjoy the benefits of increased power generation.

With the necessary permits and inspections in place, adding battery storage can further enhance the efficiency and reliability of the system. Consulting with professionals ensures a proper installation that maximises solar panel output and contributes to long-term savings.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.

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