It’s no mystery that solar energy has become the preferred alternative to fossil fuels. As a result, more and more households are willing to give solar panels a shot. However, the installation process can seem confusing and complex, especially for people with little to no technical knowledge. That’s why today, we’re going to take a look at the 86 Point Installation Process to help homeowners understand solar quality.
What is the 86 Point Installation Process?
The 86 Point Installation Process refers to a series of inspections that ensure the quality and reliability of solar installations. In other words, if a solar installation doesn’t pass 86 specific checks, it won’t get the green light to move on to final inspection and interconnection.
Those checks include everything from design deviants to roof mounting, electrical, grounding and bonding. In fact, even the site cleanliness is thoroughly inspected by a team of professionals before approval. And if one or more checks fail, the entire installation is deemed defective and won’t get approved.
86 Point Installation Process Inspection Areas
As previously mentioned, we can use the 86 Point Installation Process to help homeowners understand solar quality. To do so, we need to take a look at some of the inspection areas that the process focuses on.
Grounding and Bonding
Grounding refers to creating a path so that the current can reach the ground in order to prevent short circuits. And since most houses already have a ground wiring connection, it’s easy to use that one for your solar installation too. As a result, high-quality solar installations bond the solar array to your home’s grounding system through an equipment grounding conductor.
Solar Module Wiring
Your solar module’s wiring needs to be perfectly set up, so it doesn’t disturb the home’s electrical system. The process is complex and involves wiring each panel to an inverter which transforms solar energy into electrical current. Inspecting the wiring is a must, especially with so many potential failure points.
The junction box stores all the electrical wires that come from the solar panels, providing protection from the elements. It’s extremely important to make sure that the junction box is installed properly and that the wires are securely hooked up to the diodes. Otherwise, severe weather and sun exposure can damage the wiring or the entire electrical system.
Over current Protection Device
The over current protection device protects your home from short circuits and other over current effects. If the over current protection breakers are not the correct model and size, the solar installation may cause various problems.
Mounts and Penetrations
Since the solar panel system is installed on the roof, its mounting needs to be properly secured. Not only that, but the roof must be able to hold every component of the system without breaking over time. That’s why professional roofing contractors always inspect the roof before any solar installation.
The solar array needs to be level throughout and its cells must be in working order even before the end of the installation. Also, there shouldn’t be any loose wires and the solar panels must have enough space between each other.
Design and Installation Discrepancies
Differences between the initial design and solar installation are inevitable, especially when dealing with multiple solar panels. However, it’s important to make sure that all discrepancies are kept to a minimum and don’t influence the solar system’s efficiency.
Job Site Cleanness
Any professional contractor should have the courtesy to clean the worksite after the solar installation. In fact, the solar panels should be the only proof that there was an installation at some point.
Overall, using the 86 Point Installation Process to help homeowners understand solar quality is very important for the future of solar. Without it, people may settle for subpar installations that could become defective in the near future. And while most contractors use the 86 Point Installation Process, it’s always better to also check out each part of the installation by yourself.