How to Remove Solar Panels
Having solar panels fitted to your roof does not mean that they are there for good. Whether you’re moving to a new house and want to take your solar panels with you or want to simply have your current home re-roofed, solar panel removal is entirely possible and is not as difficult as it sounds.
There is plenty of information online about the installation of solar panels, but not so much about their removal. We are here to help clean up some confusion surrounding the removal of solar panels and explain the process in simple terms. If you are considering having your solar panels removed for any reason, here are a few things you need to consider first.
Do your solar panels actually need removing?
If you are thinking of having your solar panels removed to allow for repairs, you may be able to keep them up there and still have them repaired. If the glass in one or more of your panels has suffered damage, you can call out the company or organization which installed them in the first place to assess the damage.
More often than not, glass on solar panels can easily be repaired without having to remove the panel from the roof. Having a professional come out and assess the situation before you shell out a whole lot of money to remove the panel(s) can easily save you a lot of money and hassle in the long-term.
How are solar panels removed?
It depends to what extent you need them to be removed. For instance, if you are having one or two panels repaired or are having them brought down for a deep cleaning, it is likely that their removal will only involve a simple unbolting of the panels from the mounting device.
If, however, you are wanting to have your roof re-done or are moving to a new home, you will need everything removed from the roof, including all panels, infrastructure, electrical wiring and the solar circuit. You may be tempted to only have the panels removed if you are moving to a new house, but it is likely that the new owner will not want them there and this could drag your house price down. Additionally, it is likely that there will be openings in the roof where the mounting devices were, and these will need to be patched up to prevent leakage.
In terms of their actual removal, it is a fairly simple process and is a simple case of undoing a few nuts and bolts.
Should I consult a professional?
As you will be aware, solar panels are rather expensive and very fragile. If you have decided that removing your solar paneling is the right thing to do, we recommend hiring a professional to carry out the work for you.
Any company or organization which installs solar panels can easily (and safely) remove them for you. Although solar panels do not weigh very much, you can easily damage them with improper handling. Additionally, we are sure you do not need to be lectured on the risks associated with carrying out work at a height when you are now familiar with its nature. Generally speaking, the company from which you bought the solar panels should be able to remove them for you -- they will have all the knowledge, expertise and tools to do the job properly.
If you do decide to go it alone (we really recommend that you don’t), make sure you turn the system off and disconnect it from the mains before you do any work. Remember, you are dealing with electricity!
The Disposal of Solar Panels
If you are removing your solar panels because you are having a new rig installed or you simply do not want them anymore, you need to dispose of them properly. If you are hiring a professional to remove your solar panels, they will likely do this job for you. If not, you cannot simply throw them in the trash; solar panels are specialist materials and the disposal of them is heavily regulated.
Disposing of household solar panels is generally easy and they can be sent or taken to dedicated collection facilities who will dispose of them for you free of charge. If you have a large quantity of solar panels (i.e. 20 or more), there may be a levy to pay when you take them to a collection facility.
The removal of solar panels is a fairly simple process, so long as you follow some key safety considerations and dispose of them properly. As with anything solar energy-related, we would highly recommend consulting a professional to do the job for you. A professional company can both safely remove the solar panels without causing damage, remove any other pieces of infrastructure and take them away to be properly disposed of.