The Solar Panels
The most central and most prominent component of a home solar system is, of course, the solar panels. Solar installation most visibly reveals itself by those beautiful, shining photovoltaic cells shimmering in the sun on your roof.
Solar technology has advanced dramatically in the last 10 years, and it will continue to for the foreseeable future. So it makes sense to invest in the best panels available. Ideally, you would install enough panels to eliminate your electric bill and even make money by selling it back to the power company.
Solar Installation Arrays
Mounting your solar panels means one of three things: incorporating them into the structure of your roof, installing a freestanding mounting rack on your property, or installing them directly on the ground. But no matter what, there will be “racks” of some kind and fastening devices needed to secure your panels in the worst of Floridian wind storms.
If mounted on free standing poles, height is important, and you should look for a rack that is programmed to follow the course of the sun throughout the day for maximum productivity. On the roof, you want to choose the very sunniest location, all around, day to day and throughout the year and place the solar panels at the ideal location.
Solar Power Inverter
Since PV solar panels produce direct current (DC) but the grid and home appliances require alternating current (AC), you need a power inverter to convert solar energy production from DC to usable AC voltage.
Today, standards for inverters are rising rapidly in many parts of the world, and already California and some other states are upgrading requirements. Thus, it’s best to get a high-end inverter that will be up to code for many, many years to come.
Unsurprisingly, your solar system won’t produce any power at night, and yet, you will still want to use electricity. To avoid having to just always buy power from the power company for nighttime use, add a battery pack to your system.
Along with the batteries, you also need a charge controller that will maintain your batteries at the proper voltage. The charge controller prevents the battery from overcharging (very dangerous) or undercharging (wasteful).
Meters & Breaker Panel
To use your solar power, you need a breaker panel that connects the solar power source to your home’s electrical circuitry. Each individual circuit will also need a circuit breaker to prevent too much power being drawn at once – which creates a fire hazard.
Also, if you will connect your solar system to the power grid to buy and sell electricity from the utility company, a power meter is needed to measure the transactions.