Generally speaking, most solar panels are designed to last 25+ years, and you may expect them to continue producing electricity for more years if they are well maintained. However, devices of such a long lifespan may need to be removed, replaced, and reinstalled due to various reasons during their useful life. The removal could be a big project, and you need to understand everything that will happen to ensure better protection of your equipment. Here in this post, we will walk you through the main reasons you need to remove your solar panels, the removal process, the expected labor cost, and all other things you need to know.
When Do You Need to Remove Your Solar Panels?
There are several situations where you may need to remove your solar panels, including solar panel upgrading, roof repairing, relocation, or replacing old solar panels.
End of System Lifespan
As mentioned above, solar panels typically have a lifespan of 25 years or more. Once the panels reach the end of their useful life, you need to plan for end-life life management including the removal, disposal, and possible recycling.
Upgrading to Newer Technology
Upgrading to newer technology is a common reason for removing solar panels. As technology advances, newer solar panels become more efficient, durable, and cost-effective than older models. Thus, many homeowners may want to upgrade to newer technology to help them get more energy, reduce maintenance costs, and improve overall performance.
Roof Repairs or Replacement
While in some cases, it may be possible to do repair work on the roof around the panels, in most situations, repairing the underlying roof requires temporary removal of solar panels. Though it seems like a hassle, it can make your roof repair work easier and prevent solar panels from being damaged. It is important to note that, you may need to deal with both roofers and installers at the same time, as normal roofers aren’t certified to work with PV technology and installers are not proficient in roof repair. Therefore, it is best to hire both professional roofers and solar panel installers with permitted know-how and let them take charge of their own fields respectively.
Relocation or Property Changes
For people who need to move to a new residential or commercial property, they need to transfer their existing solar panels to a new location. During the process, it is important to transfer the solar panels carefully and redesign the installation plan to the new location.
What to Consider When Remove the Solar Panels?
When considering removing solar panels, there are several factors that you should consider.
- Reason for Removal: Tell the worker your reason for removing the solar panels in the first place to ensure they understand your need and will arrange the removal according to your plan.
- Safety: Safety is always a top priority when removing solar panels. Proper safety measures should be taken, such as ensuring that the panels are properly grounded, disconnecting the electrical system, and using professional tools and equipment to avoid accidents.
- Permits and Regulations: The removal of solar panels may require local permission as the process is related to electrical work. Check in advance with your local building department to verify if permits are needed and if there are any regulations you need to follow.
- Storage: Store the panels removed in an area with minimal exposure to ensure they are protected from any damage during storage and transportation.
- Disposal: If you have old solar panels to get rid of, the proper disposal of them is essential. Solar panels can contain hazardous materials such as lead and cadmium. Contact your local recycling center to determine how to dispose of the solar panels safely and responsibly.
- Installation Company: It's important to work with a qualified solar installation company to ensure that the removal and reinstallation of your solar panels are done safely, correctly, and in compliance with local regulations.
How to Remove the Solar Panels?
The removal process is complex as solar panels are made up of complicated electric components. Therefore, it's important to work with a qualified company to ensure that the removal is done safely and correctly. Here is a step-by-step description of the solar panel removal process:
- Site Visit: Before starting the removal, a solar professional will pay a visit to your place to evaluate the condition of your panels and roof. After having a good understanding of the situation and your needs, you and the expert can discuss an estimated schedule and cost for the removal work.
- Removal: Before start dismantling the solar panels, the worker will make sure that the solar system is turned off to avoid any electrical hazards. The worker will then disconnect the panels from the inverter and the electrical system, and remove the mounting hardware that holds the solar panels with appropriate tools. Once the mounting hardware is removed, workers will carefully remove the solar panels from the roof.
- Cleaning: After removing the panels, workers will remove debris or adhesive left on the roof. It will help prepare the roof for the installation of new solar panels.
- Assessment: When the solar panels are removed from the roof, the professionals may have an assessment in order to see if the panels, the roof, or other mounting hardware need any repair.
- Storage: The solar panels removed should be kept in a safe, dry location, and be covered with a protective layer to avoid scratches or other damage that might do harm to its normal function and lifespan.
Removing solar panels is a complex process that requires the help of qualified professionals. It is important to consider various factors such as safety, permits and regulations, storage, disposal, and the installation company before starting the removal process. By taking these steps into account, it will ensure that your solar panel removal project goes smoothly and safely. If you have any questions about the solar panel removal process, contact a qualified solar installation company to get more information. They will be able to provide you with the best advice and services for removing your solar panels.