Prewiring for electric vehicle charging and solar power system

If you’re building a new home, you might be considering green and sustainable choices. You might want to purchase an electric car down the road but are not ready to do so just yet. Likewise, you might be thinking about switching to a solar power system in the future. Prewiring the electrical for these things during the construction phases of your new home is a smart and cost-effective idea.

Westland Electric in Calgary shares more:

Electric vehicle chargers require more power

Electric vehicle chargers require more power than a typical home. You will need a larger electrical service and electrical panel to accommodate this load

To set up an electric vehicle (EV) charging station, you’ll need a larger panel and conduit that has capacity. It is possible to do this down the road, but at great expense and inconvenience.

An EV charging station requires a larger electrical service to the home. The electrical service refers to the wiring running from the utility lines to the home, ending at the electrical meter base. The standard residential service is 100A. To add one or two 240V, 50A charging circuits for your EV, you’ll likely need a 200A electrical panel.

To set up an electric vehicle (EV) charging station, you’ll need a larger panel to match the amperage rating of your electrical service (200A) and conduit to the charger location that has capacity for the wiring the charger will require. It is possible to do this after your home has been completed, but at significant expense and inconvenience.

That means a post-construction upgrade from electricians in Calgary will include trenching to upgrade the electrical service to the adequate amperage. From there, you’ll also need to upgrade the panel feed and panel as well. All before a charger can be connected – often a difficult undertaking if the wiring needs to be installed in finished walls.

This process is labour-intensive and costly. If you ensure the wiring and service panel are EV-ready during construction, installing an EV charging station in the future can be done quickly, with no headaches and a much lower cost.

Roughing in for solar power is cost-effective during construction

A solar-ready home is a house that is designed and constructed so that installing a solar power system can be done easily in the future. If you’re planning your new construction home, a few small changes can make this future switch quicker and less expensive.

Part of preparing your home to be solar-ready is the design of the roof, ensuring there is a good placement for panels. Make sure there are no obstructions on the roof, like HVAC vents or skylights, that could cause problems when installing panels. Roof design aside, a significant part of making a home solar-ready is prewiring. Calgary electricians can install the proper conduit or cable and electrical panel size and capacity for your future renewable energy upgrade.

Roughing in the conduit for solar in the construction phase can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars compared to doing it after the fact.  The conduit or cable has to run from the electrical panel, usually located in the basement, to the roof of the house. That means it needs to run through the walls throughout many floors of the home. If you install it after the fact, there is more labour involved when the floors and ceilings are not open. It’s best to have it roughed-in now.

Solar-ready electrical panels require an additional internal current-carrying capacity to accommodate the power your solar array can generate in addition to the normal loads your home generates.  Not every panel manufacturer has a solar-ready model – choosing a panel that is solar-ready is a very inexpensive upgrade compared to replacing an incompatible panel later.  While your electrical contractor in Calgary is checking that, they can also make sure the panel can handle both the future solar system and electric vehicle charging station.

Connecting with an experienced electrician can help!

There are many benefits to these eco-friendly upgrades. Reducing your carbon footprint and switching to renewable energy can have long-term cost savings. It’s better for the planet too. Have questions on the details? Contact Westland Electrical.

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