Home Solar Power System Basics
It’s clear that solar PV systems are not particularly complex. First there’s a panel, which captures and converts sunlight into electricity with help from batteries or other energy storage devices if necessary. The DC signal is then fed in through an inverter converting it to grid compatible AC power for your home use. All this fits nicely within conduit pipes.
The whole process can be done in one step by just connecting wires at various switch boxes placed strategically about an installation site, but safety dictates other steps must also take place first. Fuses will protect you during any emergencies while meters keep track of how much juice was generated over time so we know when our next bill should come out (after monthly updates).
Simplicity is key. In general, most customers install the simplest possible system on their roofs because this allows for a high return on investment and saves time/money in future installations or repairs. You can get real fancy with solar power – but costs rise fast!
If you’re going all out there’s an option of hiding your mounting frames underneath by using skirts which also help improve appearance. However, these increase production costs due to increased operating temperature from being partially covered up (the skirted panels don’t receive breezes that would otherwise keep them cool). If you stick with field-tested equipment that is proven, that’s as simple as you require, you’ll achieve the best return on investment.
PV System Basics
The panels: PV panels – which cost anywhere from $2.40 per watt to over 5 watts and more depending on the size of your system – are one of the biggest expenses for a home energy conversion installation.
You will also need some sturdy mounting equipment that can hold up against bad weather conditions. It’s important that you keep them secure during inclement weather conditions.
DC To AC Converters: The inverter takes the low-voltage, high current signals from a solar panel and converts it into 120VAC (or 240 VAC). This is necessary because grid power requires only single-phase AC.
Inverters cost around $0.7 per watt for typical applications which can range up to about $2,600 depending on how large your system gets. While they are not one hundred percent perfect themselves, there’s no doubt that quality matters most when investing in any type of renewable energy source.
Tracking mounts: Mounted on the roof of your home, tracking mounts mechanically move PV panels over the course of the day so that they always face direct sun.
Dual axis trackers change both azimuth and elevation, while a single axis tracker only matches up with an angle in one direction, giving them greater precision when converting sunlight into electricity for use inside homes or businesses.
Disconnect Switches: Disconnect switches are critical because if there’s any abnormal behavior occurring within the electrical system, turn off the solar first before anything else happens. Safety should come first no matter what type of equipment you’re using.
Wiring And Fuse Box Connections: When you’re installing a solar system, wiring and fuse box connections may be only minor hardware expenses, but these also comprise much of your labor costs.
Utility Power Meters: Utility power meters can go backwards, but usually utility companies change them to digital meters at installation because most people who install panels do so for time-of use rates. These require more processing than mechanical devices are able to offer on their own.