System Components

Components for a grid-connected system

1 Solar Modules
Solar modules are usually mounted on your roof, but can also be installed on the grounds of your property or on an adjacent structure such as a garage. The panels are comprised of photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into DC power.

2 Inverter
The power generated from the modules is sent to an inverter which converts the DC power into AC power; “standard” household electricity identical to what you receive from the utility grid.

3 Electrical Panel
AC power from the inverter travels to your electrical service panel or breaker box. The system is connected to your service panel through a circuit breaker and is then distributed to any electrical loads in your home.

4 Utility Meter
Whenever your solar system provides more power than you are currently using in your home, the excess power will flow into the grid through your electric meter. This will cause your meter to run backwards earning you a credit with the utility company.
5 Utility Grid
You remain connected to the utility grid so power is always available when you need it, even at night and during the day when your demand exceeds your solar production.

Components for a off-grid system

•Photovoltaic Cell -- Thin squares, discs, or films of semiconductor material that generate voltage and current when exposed to sunlight.

•Module -- Photovoltaic cells wired together and laminated between a clear superstrate (glazing) and encapsulating substrate.


•Array -- One or more modules with mounting hardware and wired together at a specific voltage.


•Charge Controller -- Power conditioning equipment to regulate battery voltage.


•Battery Storage -- A medium that stores direct current (DC) electrical energy.


•Inverter -- An electrical device that changes direct current to alternating current (AC) to operate loads that require alternating current.


•DC Loads -- Appliances, motors and equipment powered by direct current.


•AC Loads -- Appliances, motors and equipment powered by alternating current


 

 

Diagram