When comparing them side by side, home solar systems and commercial ones are not dissimilar. Both are composed of a set of photovoltaic panels mounted on a rooftop to capture renewable energy found in the sun’s photons. Both provide the same benefits, and both can be eligible for rebates or tax incentives. Most home solar systems and their commercial counterparts are composed of a series of panels, a battery, a power inverter, mounting stand and a charge controller, along with any wiring and accessories that those components need in order to function. Although this solar equipment uses the photovoltaic effect to transform sunlight into what eventually becomes usable Alternating Current (AC) energy, it has no moving parts and therefore requires very little maintenance. Installing these solar panels is a relatively quick process, and the energy generation begins immediately. The benefits of a setup like this are lower utility costs and no pollution. Excess energy can sometimes even be sold back to the utility companies.
When looking into purchasing photovoltaic panels, the options are varied. Amorphous silicon, monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon and thin film are just a few of the many available. The quality, cost, shade tolerance, collection efficiency of each panel is different, and there are a lot to choose from. The panels also come in a range of sizes. Panel choice may be influenced by energy output requirements, the size of the roof, the direction the roof faces, budget, climate or location. Every region in the United States receives enough sunlight to benefit from the installation of an energy system, but the climate and location will determine if the panels need to have a load bearing mount appropriate for any snow a region receives. Salt mist corrosion resistance will be a necessity when installed close to the sea.
Commercial panels are usually larger than the ones used in home solar systems, but that is because they are designed to be placed on roofing that is much larger in area. The panels are comprised of a multitude of small photovoltaic cells that are wired together. The cells are made of two thin layers of semi-conductive materials, such as silicon, cadmium telluride or copper indium gallium selenide that have been chemically treated to enhance their conductivity. The larger an installation is, the more energy it can produce.
The differences between home solar systems and commercial ones can be difficult to ascertain because the energy usage habits and requirements of each building are distinct. Each PV system is a unique setup that is built in a way that tries to cover energy needs while dealing with the aforementioned constraints of budget, or roof size. Picking the right combination of panels, mounting equipment and power inverters to complete a system has nothing to do with what is residential and what is commercial. Home solar systems and commercial setups are custom built for each situation and help drive up energy efficiency for whatever building they are added to with the use of affordable solar energy. This form of alternative and renewable energy has no impact on the environment and lowers reliance on the power grid.