Technological innovations have made things easier in the solar installation industry. The process of installing solar has been made easier with the availability of the right tools.
In addition, more people are now using solar panels in their homes as a source of energy because of the advantages it offers to users, such as being eco-friendly and cost-effective.
You need the right tools for any job to ensure the installation process is successful. The good thing is that the installation tools can be used for ages without going out of fashion.
The devices are also available in most online shops, where you can acquire one that fits your budget and needs. Here are the best tools you require for the solar installation process.
Top 10 Solar Panel Installation Tools
I have used a lot of tools in my professional career, but for me, these are the top 10 solar panel installation tools you can get.
1. Infrared camera
When you combine electricity and the sun, you need to measure temperature. With infrared cameras, you can ideally inspect breaker panels, electrical panels, and PV modules.
Infrared cameras are also great when monitoring cooling fluid levels, like dielectric oil in transformers.
When looking for infrared cameras, consider the following features
- Intuitive user interface.
- A camera that can quickly diagnose problems
- The camera should have high sensitivity levels to note temperature differences.
A camera with great resolution details delivers enhanced O&M techs to ensure that even the slightest temperature anomalies are noted.
Get a camera that can easily be clipped to your body when climbing ladders or going to tricky areas.
Infrared cameras have become cheap, and there is a wide variety from which you can choose one that works best for you.
Get cameras capable of finding the tiniest fault in your solar panel. It helps ensure that your solar panel remains in excellent condition for years.
When selecting an infrared camera, ensure that it has a long battery life to last for long when working. Also, ensure that it is dust and waterproof.
To use the infrared camera effectively, ensure that the sun is shining, the sky is clear, and there is less or no wind to acquire high contrast from the cells.
2. Digital multimeter
A digital multimeter is the most used tool in troubleshooting and confirming repairs. It also helps you discover the amount of solar being emitted by each cell. A digital multimeter is great for the maintenance and repair of solar panels. Hundreds of digital multimeters are available in the market and finding the right one can be challenging. When looking for a multimeter, consider the following.
- The digital multimeter should be water and dustproof.
- It should have premium test leads.
- The multimeter should withstand drops up to 13 feet.
Ensure that the digital multimeter has a wide operating temperature range from -4o degrees to 55 degrees.
Look for a digital multimeter that combines the testing abilities of a voltmeter, ohmmeter, and ammeter.
Ensure the multimeter has a resolution and accuracy between 6,000: 20,000, or 50,000 count resolution to acquire accurate results. Before using the tool, go through the user’s manual to ensure that you observe the necessary safety measures.
3. Battery-operated drill
Battery-operated frills are simple, but most solar panel installers prefer the corded drill.
The advantage of using the battery-operated drill is that it is lightweight, portable, efficient, and robust enough to handle all drilling activities on the roof.
Using a battery-operated drill is an excellent way to ensure that you do not fall off the top and make your work easier.
When installing solar panels, you require making some holes from which you install the rails to hook with the solar panel.
When purchasing a drill, ensure it is battery-operated because it is easy to use. It should be lightweight to reduce exhaustion when operating on the roof.
Select a battery-operated drill with several sped settings. This allows you to choose the best speed to acquire the holes.
The batteries should have an easy charging method and should last for a long to ensure that a lack of enough battery power does not stop your installation process.
In addition, you can select a tool with an LED light ring to provide visibility without highlighting shadows for easy operations. Visit online shops like Amazon to compare the best battery-operated drill tools.
4. Hack saw
A hack-saw is a multi-functional tool used in various activities. When installing solar panels, always remember that they require rails from which they rest.
You will need a hacksaw to cut the rails to install them on the roof. A hacksaw is affordable, easy to use, and can be used for future projects.
There are adjustable hack saws, while others are fixed. When selecting a hacksaw for solar panel installation, ensure that it has the right blade to ensure that cutting the rails is easy.
When selecting a hacksaw, consider the following:
A tremendous and robust hacksaw should cost between $6-$40. It depends on the material and the company from which you get the hack saw.
Can it cut metal?
When purchasing a hack saw, remember the purpose it will serve. For instance, if you want one to help in solar installation, ensure that it can cut through metals efficiently without struggle or wasting time.
Several blade materials exist depending on the purpose of the hack saw. However, select a blade that is strong enough to fit any purpose.
Consider the expenses of purchasing the hacksaw, such as blade replacement costs.
5. Flat pry bar
A flat pry bar is one of the most underestimated but essential solar panel installation tools. In most cases, you find roves with shingles, and thus you will require a flat pry bar to facilitate sliding the flashing under the roof.
Install the mounts on top of the roof or beneath the shingles. A flat pry bar should be two inches wide and fifteen inches long to help you separate the elements nailed next to each other. When selecting a flat pry bar, consider the following.
When looking for a great flat pry bar, look at the quality as it determines the period it will serve you.
Some companies make cheap flat pry bars and sacrifice the grade to attract customers. Low-quality tools will not deliver what you want, and you will spend more money.
A wide variety of flat pry bars exist in the market. When selecting one, consider the purpose it will serve you. Always check the features to help you choose the best tool.
Before using a flat pry bar, ensure that you know how to operate it well to reduce the chance of causing accidents or harming yourself.
6. Fall protection
Working on the roof or high heights comes with several risks that can lead to falling off and risking your life.
Before going up to the top, you need full-body protection gear. It will help prevent or minimize injuries in case an accident happens.
Fall protection comprises several items like gloves and ropes helmets for safety.
It does not matter if you are experienced; protection gear should be used anytime you are on the roof.
No one knows what can happen. Some online shops sell the fall-protection equipment at ponce while others sell them separately.
Here is what you need
- Safety glasses for eye protection from bright sunlight rays and debris that can hurt your eyes when installing the solar panel.
- Gloves to ensure that your hands have grip strength and protection from cuts and scrap.
- Safety helmet to protect your head. You should wear the helmet when working 6ft above the ground.
- Protective footwear to protect your legs from harm. Wear the right shoes when climbing the ladder and walking over the roof. Ensure that they are slip-resistant to prevent you from sliding on the top.
7. Solar panel hanger
A solar panel is a new invention that emerged recently following the developments. The tool gives your board a seamless solution to hold and position the panel on the rails.
Solar panel hangers are crucial tools for people who want to install solar panels. With the device, you can easily install solar panels.
It also ensures that the panel hangs safely. With a solar panel hanger, you eliminate the need to move a 50-pound cell and risk dropping it off the roof.
Why do you need a solar panel hanger?
- A solar panel hanger helps in fast installation, saving time.
- The hanger reduces labor costs.
- Solar panel hangers keep the installer safe and reduce the risk of harm.
- The hanger holds the panel in position before installation.
When selecting a solar panel hanger, consider,
- A solid hanger for holding a solar panel in place before hanging.
- Budget. Compare the prices online and select one that fits your needs and budget.
- A solar panel hanger that can offer protection to you when carrying out the installation process.
8. Tape measure
A tape measure has a variety of uses when installing solar panels, sizing the system, and determining the length of the roof.
With a tape measure, you know the number of solar panels you need to install on your top. You also choose where to install the boards with a tape measure.
When making the measurements, use a marker to help determine the places you measured. After installing the mounts, you can use the tape measure to level the rails.
How to choose a tape measure
Accuracy. The main aim of having a tape measure is to acquire precision. Check how the scale is labeled on the blade. Some companies have tapes that offer high accuracy, which makes it easy to see the measurements accurately.
User-friendly- When getting a tape measure, ensure it is easy to use. Some tape measures are easy–to–read, while others are complicated.
Select a tape measure that is easy to use with your hands. Avoid choosing a tape measure too big for your hands or too small to acquire the best results.
Locking mechanism- To acquire high accuracy, ensure that the blade is in position. Ensure that the tape stays in place until you are done with the accuracy.
Screwdrivers are among the essential drivers that are required in solar panel installation. The solar is necessary to be held in place on the roof by screws.
Before buying screwdrivers, it is excellent to consider the project size to determine the number of screwdrivers you need.
The first thing you require to do is mount the screw locking on the roof safely. During the wiring period, you can use screwdrivers.
When purchasing screwdrivers for solar panel installation, consider the following.
Before purchasing screwdrivers, check the screw head on the solar panels and rails. This will prevent you from buying the wrong screwdrivers.
Using the wrong tools will complicate the task. It can also damage the panel if the screw tips are too big.
Screwdriver handle grips
Consider the screwdriver handle before buying a screwdriver. Ensure that it is easy to use and it is comfortable when used.
There are long and short screwdrivers. A long screwdriver can reach the hard-to-reach spots, while short screwdrivers are great at tightening. When installing solar panels, it is best to have two types.
10. Wire stripper/cutter
After installing your solar panels on the roof, you require a professional electrician to wire or do it yourself.
When wiring, ensure that you have the correct wire stripper and cutter to ensure that the wiring task is.
Getting a suitable wire stripper ensures that you complete the installation process quickly.
When getting a wire stripper, ensure that it is the correct length. Before buying, measure the amount that will be enough for the procedure to avoid buying long or short wire strippers for your task.
Further, consider the best quality. A good quality will last for years. Invest in reputable companies to get the best wires. You can also check for a warranty, which will be an advantage.
Get a wire cutter that will work efficiently. If possible, purchase the wire stripper and wire cutter from the same company for compatibility.
Solar energy is the most reliable energy source that most people use in their homes and industries. It is clean and cost-effective.
You can do the installation process at home or hire a professional. Solar panel installation tools ensure that the job is done and completed on time. They also facilitate a seamless experience when working on the installation process.
When purchasing solar panel installation tools, you should consider the prices, durability, and purpose. Before getting a tool, ensure that it will match your needs.
Most importantly, have fall-protection gear when climbing on the roof. It will prevent or minimize injuries in case of an accident.