Photovoltaic System Saves You Money

A photovoltaic system (PV System) utilizes solar energy from the sun for home/business use. 

PV system designs are very versatile, allowing a great deal of creativity and individuality.  

They allow freedom from utility bills, and put you in charge of your energy needs. 

There are also many other financial incentives to going solar:

  •          Feed – in tariffs allow you to get discounted or even free solar panels
  •          You can sell your surplus electricity back to the power company (only in grid tie systems)
  •          After the upfront cost of the solar panels and installation, the PV system pays for itself

Ground Mounted Photovoltaic System

Related Article:

Free Solar Panels Via the Feed-in Tarrif

PV Panels

PV panels are the devices that collect the solar energy.  

They can be mounted on your roof, or placed on the ground using ground mounts. 

Consider these PV panel facts:

  •          PV panels use photons from the sun to create power
  •          A PV panel is a collection of photovoltaic cells that are wired together
  •          They typically generate between 100 to 320 watts of electricity
  •          Solar panels use wafer-based crystalline silicon cells or thin-film cells based on cadmium telluride or silicon

Photovoltaic arrays

A PV array is a linked collection of PV panels. 

The purpose is of course to generate more power, since one solar panel is probably not going to be enough to power the typical house hold or business. 

Most use an inverter to convert the power into usable electricity for your home or business. 

Few more facts about PV arrays:

  •          The panels are connected in a series to obtain desired voltage, and then the individual wires are then connected in parallel to allow the system to produce more current.
  •          The panels are measured under STC (standard test conditions) or PTC (PVUSA test conditions) in watts.
  •          Panels normally measure between 100 to 400 watts

Photovoltaic System Mounting

Mounting on roofs Facts

  •          Photovoltaic Arrays are most commonly mounted on your roof
  •          Mounted with a few inches gap and parallel to the surface of the roof
  •          If your roof is horizontal, the PV array can be mounted with each solar panel aligned at an angle
  •          If your roof cannot handle the added weight, it will have to be strengthened, or you can convert to composition shingles
  •          Composition shingles compensate for the extra weight of the PV array

Mounting as a shade structure

If you want to get a little creative, using photovoltaic system panels in the place of patio covers is a great idea.

Here are a few things to consider if you choose to take this fun and creative path to solar power:

  •          Easy maintenance access
  •          PV wiring may be concealed to maintain the aesthetics of the shading structure
  •          Vines should be avoided because they will interfere with the wiring
  •        The panels are mounted at an angle that is steeper than normal patio covers

Building-integrated photovoltaics

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are PV materials that are used to replace standard materials for parts like the roof, skylights, or facades. 

BIPV is the one of the fastest growing areas within the solar power industry.  

They are being used in many new buildings across the planet as a main source of electricity. 

Here are some serious advantages to using this method:

  •          Initial cost of construction materials is reduced
  •          Cost of labor is reduced

Building Applied Photovoltaics

Building-applied photovoltaics (BAPV) is the process of retrofitting an existing building with PV materials that replace the roof, skylights, or facades. 

Most buildings that use solar energy in this way are using BAPV.

Solar tracker

  •          A solar tracker is a device that orients PV panels toward the sun
  •          In flat-panel photovoltaic (PV) applications, trackers are used to minimize the angle of incidence between the incoming sunlight and a photovoltaic panel
  •          Tracking systems are found in all concentrator applications because such systems do not produce energy unless pointed at the sun.

Solar Inverter

A solar inverter converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network.

It is a critical component in a photovoltaic system

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