Many types of companies install solar systems. The primary industry begins with solar contractors, and then branches out to electrical contractors and plumbing contractors. General contractors and roofing contractors are also involved in solar installations. Because solar PV is electrical and solar hot water is plumbing-related, the industry sees a lot of participation from plumbing and electrical contractors.
Solar contractors operate independently or in conjunction with other contractors, such as roofers. Every project is different, so who is involved depends on the size and scope of a project. A typical solar contractor can handle a small residential system from start to finish. A large utility-scale project may involve coordinating with a roofing manufacturer or general contractor.
The first step to any installation project is engineering, followed by permitting and procurement. Once the materials arrive, companies install the mounting system, the solar modules and the inverters, in that order. After the system is installed, it is inspected to ensure it meets local code. Finally, companies often train customers on how to monitor and maintain a system.
When one company installed a 1,200-panel solar array at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, the company first electrically and structurally engineered the project, taking into account factors such as soil conditions and wind loading. Next, the company procured materials, including custom screws to penetrate the dense shell and rock ground. Then it installed the ground screws. Racks that hold the modules were mounted onto the screws and then panels were mounted to the racks.
The Construction Clients' Group is a Indian construction organisation representing major clients of the construction industry. It represents the views of clients to the Strategic Forum for Construction.