Rewiring a home or commercial building to install solar is not required. However, in some cases it might be strongly advised. As long as there are no problems with the electrical system there is no need to rewire. The solar installation team from San Luis Obispo’s Electricraft report that the only new electrical component introduced for solar power is an inverter that needs to be installed between the wiring from the solar panels and the main electrical panel.
The energy collected by solar panels is direct current (DC). Home, commercial and public works electrical systems run on alternating current (AC). The inverter has a series of transformers and switches for converting DC to AC current to provide power to a structure’s building electrical system. The power from the solar panels travels through the inverter and into your home or business and everything works just as it did before solar was installed.
When would rewiring be advised?
Before installing the solar system, the technical team, such as Electricraft’s San Luis Obispo solar installation team, analyzes your power usage to make sure the solar system you want is providing enough power. Along with that analysis, the electrical system is inspected to make sure everything is working as it should.
Some of the recommendations that might result from an inspection include:
- Upgrading the electrical panel, or breaker box. This box holds the main circuit panel that distributes electricity from the solar system inverter, or the utility company, to the entire building. Problems such as power interruptions to certain areas of the building, or flickering lights can indicate that an upgrade to the panel is needed. Homes built before 1965 were equipped with 60-amp panels, which served the average household electricity use at the time. Today’s homes are built with 100-amp to 200-amp panels.
- No ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles. A GFCI is a protective device designed to break the circuit when there is an imbalance between incoming and outgoing current. The GFCI outlet prevents electrical wiring and receptacles from overheating, starting a fire and minimizing the risk of shock and burns. GFCI receptacles have been required since 1971.
- Not enough outlets, causing residents to resort to extension cords and power strips to provide electricity for lighting, electronics and other appliances indicate that some new wiring is needed to prevent overloading circuits.
Problems with an electrical system can cause the power bill to be higher than normal as well as be a fire hazard. Since one of the reasons for installing solar is to reduce the bill, it makes sense to make sure the electrical system is delivering the best efficiency and safety.
Work with the experts
Electricraft, Inc. is the single source for electricians and solar technicians. The San Luis Obispo solar installation team and licensed electricians have the experience and knowledge to analyze and install an entire solar system from selecting the appropriate panels to connecting the entire system, including inverter, batteries, any specialized equipment that might be needed, and providing all of the electrical wiring needs.
Working with a single company that has expertise in both solar technology and electrical wiring, maintenance, repairs and inspections makes sure the project is completed on time and within budget. The property owner has direct contact with one single contact who oversees the entire project and is available to answer questions at any point.
Serving the Central Coast since 1984, Electricraft is a local, family-owned company with a highly qualified, certified and licensed team that meets the entire residential and commercial solar and electrical needs of the community.