ION Solar Blog

How Our Design Process Works

Design is an important step of the solar process that often goes unseen by most consumers. The goal of this blog post is to shed more light on how our design process works. With our experienced in-house design team, we work hard to ensure that your house looks as good as it functions. There are several factors that contribute to the overall design of a system. Each home has different shading, roof size, and energy needs.

Beginning Stages

First, our team will gather the last twelve months of your electricity bills. This gives us a sense of how much energy your household uses on a daily basis. Energy usage is important because it is the determining factor for how big your system size will be. The goal is to build a system that will offset 100% of your annual usage. Other factors that affect the number of panels that can be placed are roof size, orientation, and shading.

Next, a site survey will be conducted by one of our solar experts to ensure your home is a good fit for solar. During the site assessment, the surveyor will be looking at the roof size, pitch, and direction. They will assess your roof’s sun exposure and any roof obstructions that impact where the solar panels can be placed. The surveyor will need to verify the electrical wiring, to ensure that the design will be code compliant and safe for the homeowner.

There must be enough roof area to mount the PV (photovoltaic) modules. If there is not enough roof to mount the necessary panels for your energy needs it would be smart to consider a ground-mount. Solar panels are adversely affected by shading and roof orientation. Ideally, a southward facing roof will produce the highest levels of production although east and west facing roofs will still deliver high levels of production.  The main priority of our designers is to create a plan with the least amount of shading so that panels have the highest production possible while still producing the best-looking design.


Once the preliminary work is done to establish that your home is a good fit for solar – the design process can begin. Since our PV panels are tied to the utility grid our engineers have to construct each system to match the jurisdiction or utility guidelines in its given area. Each jurisdiction will vary on the codes and rules a solar system must meet in order to receive approval for installation. Fundamental equipment used for grid-connected PV systems include: 

  • PV solar modules
  • Inverter
  • Mounting rack
  • Combiner box
  • Meter
  • Disconnects
  • Envoy

After the design is completed, it is sent to the customer to review and approve. This stage of the process is to ensure that you feel comfortable with the design. We are here to educate you and answer any questions that may come up. We want you to have every detail you need to confidently move forward with your solar design.


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