Photovoltaic Components Explained
Generating renewable energy from thin air starts with correctly positioning a photovoltaic system on your property. But how do these systems produce the power we use daily? The short answer is that photovoltaic systems incorporate a series of photovoltaic cells that gather and collect solar energy that is converted into electricity. The longer answer is that a complex collection of components works together to make it happen. It’s not magic, it’s science, and at Solar Liberty, it’s our pleasure to explain it to our customers.Contact Us
The PV array is designed to convert sunlight into direct current. More commonly known as solar panels, these systems are available in a wide range of designs and sizes that can be customized to optimize energy generation.
The PV module mounting system is the system that anchors the PV array to your roof, mounting pole, ground, etc. Most systems are made from aluminum and are designed to provide exceptional stability in high winds, heavy rains, etc.
The combiner box makes it possible to combine solar panels in parallel. Not every PV system has a combiner box, but this is an essential component for systems with multiple panels.
Solar Charge Controller
The charge controller is designed to protect the solar battery from overcharging when it is fully charged and prevent the current from leaking back into the PV. Smaller PV arrays and those without solar batteries do not require charge controllers.
Battery banks are optional features that allow you to store solar energy for use during periods of diminished production. This includes the evening and during periods of heavy cloud cover, rain, etc. Solar batteries can include lead-acid, lithium-ion, sealed gel cells, or sealed absorbed glass mat batteries.
Because PV arrays generate DC electricity, solar power inverters must convert this to the AC power used by home appliances, etc. Without a properly functioning inverter, the current would fry your appliances’ delicate electronics.
The DC/AC disconnects are switches designed to cut the power off from the solar inverter. This vital safety feature allows for the safe maintenance and repair of the PV system. It prevents electricity from flowing into a damaged power grid, where it can injure or kill utility workers repairing the line.
The utility meter measures the total electricity consumed within your home, apartment, business, etc. It is directly connected to your PV system. It accurately accounts for how much power is generated by the array, how much is consumed, and how much unused energy is fed back into the power grid every month.
Most homes and businesses in New York and throughout the country with solar PV systems remain connected to the power grid. For homeowners and businesses with PV systems, this ensures a steady, uninterrupted stream of power during periods of diminished production. For many, it also provides an opportunity to sell unused energy to utility providers, which can help reduce the long-term costs of owning a solar PV system.
Benefits of Installing a PV System
Solar PV systems are reliable, efficient, and effective at producing the energy you need to power your home. Customizable to meet your needs and the challenges inherent to your geographic location, solar PV systems require minimal maintenance and will provide decades of clean, green energy. These systems effectively hedge against rising energy prices and will go a long way toward trimming your carbon footprint down to size. Solar PV systems are an ideal solution for homeowners and businesses in New York looking for a clean energy alternative that offers long-term reliability and cost-effective operation.
Contact us online, or call the solar professionals at Solar Liberty at 866-807-3639 to learn more about solar panel operation and the methods we use to help our clients achieve optimal system performance.