When you go solar, your installer will need to know the amperage of your panel (breaker) box and how it’s fed to determine whether or not you need to upgrade your panel box to accommodate your recommended solar panel system size.
The amperage of your box is generally listed on the main breaker switch. This can range between 50 and 400 amps, but most houses will have either a 100 or a 200 amp panel box. Along with being available on the main breaker switch, you can find out the size of your box on the diagram on the inside cover of your breaker box. The numbers on your electric meter do not have an impact on the size of your panel box.
In most cases, if this main breaker switch is at the top your panel box is top-fed. If it’s at the bottom, it’s bottom-fed, and if its in the middle, it’s center fed. There are exceptions to this, but this is good rule of thumb.
If your panel box is center-fed, you may have been told you need an upgrade to go solar. Though this is sometimes true, there are often ways to install solar with a center-fed panel box without the upgrade cost. Pick My Solar can help you determine if your box needs an upgrade or not.
If your breaker box is bottom fed and you need to upgrade your panel box, this can increase the costs if trenching and rerouting the utility feed has to happen.
Once you know how many amps your box is and how it is fed, your installer will have the information necessary to determine whether or not you need an upgrade. Once this is determined, it will make your process of going solar a lot smoother.