Main Components of Solar Power Systems
The best solar panels for you will depend on your budget and the amount of light that’s available in your location. Knowing the components of a solar power system can help you understand how the types of solar panels work.
There are three main components in a solar power system:
Solar Panels: The main role of a solar panel is to generate electrons when exposed to sunlight, which then helps produce a flow of electricity for your home or office. Solar panels don’t release fumes and don’t have greenhouse gases or carbon emissions.
The amount of electricity solar panels produce from sunlight is referred to as solar efficiency. The average efficiency rating is between 15 percent and 17 percent, but high-end models can reach above 20 percent.
Inverters: Standard home appliances use alternating current (AC) electricity to operate. Inverters take the direct current (DC) electricity produced by solar panels and convert it into AC electricity.
There are two types of inverters: string inverters and microinverters. A string inverter is attached to a wall, and all the solar panels connect to it. A microinverter is attached behind each solar panel. Microinverters offer more energy production, but they cost more than string inverters. Most solar panel kits feature one of these two inverters, as well as essential solar power accessories such as batteries, solar battery chargers, charge controllers and cables.
Mounting Racks: The roof is the most common place to install your solar panels. They can also be mounted on poles or on the ground. Wherever your solar panels are located, mounting racks help you secure them.
Fixed mounting racks remain in the same pre-set position. Fixed mounting racks can be less costly to install. They often require less upkeep.
Tracking mounts move or can be adjusted to follow the sun’s changing path. Consider mounting racks that can be adjusted for height and angle. This helps you get the most out your solar panels as the angle of the sun changes throughout the year.