The rising popularity of photovoltaic systems is causing more and more people to ask questions about solar power equipment. Placing panels on top of a house seems pretty straightforward, but there is much more to the system behind those easily recognizable sun cells. A consumer that understands the intricacies of the entire unit will be much more equipped to handle functionality and pricing questions.
In every photovoltaic system, wiring, batteries and panels are the major components of the unit. If a consumer can become familiar with how these interact with each other, especially information on solar panels, it will be easier to buy a product suited to fit the exact energy and installation needs of the home. However, numerous options become available depending on the need, budget, and climate of the purchaser.
How do the integral pieces of solar power equipment interact with each other?
The panels get the process started. They are the collectors that absorb light energy and convert it into electricity for the home. There are no moving parts inside the panels and the only thing emitted is a nominal amount of heat. A panel is a collection of many silicone cells that work in tandem, and each panel can contain dozens of them. As long as space permits, any number of panels can be connected together to synergize energy production.
Batteries are wired to the panels and store excess energy produced by them. Without battery storage, sun panels are only effective during ideal daytime conditions. Though they cost extra to install, batteries can step in to fill in when the sun is down, the weather is ugly, or when the home is using more power than the panels can produce.
Charge controllers are another important piece of solar power equipment. These devices are attached to the batteries and control the voltage flow allowed into the storage unit. Uneven voltage flows can seriously damage the batteries, and a charge controller can mitigate this by preventing overcharging.
Preparing a backup source during installation is a good idea, and is a valuable piece of solar power equipment. Many properties will draw energy from the utility company during emergencies. Some homeowners opt for AC generators that can act as backups when there is a heavy load on the system. As energy requirements for the home will change over time, a generator can keep the PV array operating until more panel arrays can be added to an existing system.
A power inverter is a great tool that has the versatility needed to keep a PV system running smoothly. The first task of an inverter is to convert the DC voltage into the AC voltage that is used by most household appliances. The inverter is akin to a switchboard operator, taking an input and directing the proper output to where it needs to go. The other major function of this piece of solar power equipment is to connect to an AC generator or power grid and help regulate the influx of energy to and from backup energy sources.
Owning a photovoltaic system is a big investment in time and money. Be sure to get the most out of the system by maximizing the potential.