Solar electric systems are becoming more popular among domestic users, especially in the countryside. The reason is that they cost very little time, finances and effort to maintain. What’s more, they have very long lifespans, with some systems being able to steadily produce reliable power for over 30 years.
Though some miniature solar setups are relatively simple to install, the majority of people prefer to seek the services of professional installers. Whether you plan to install your setup personally, or you prefer to hire an installer, it would still be highly beneficial to understand the components of a solar system to aid you in maintenance.
Photo-voltaic modules are normally used to convert ultraviolet light from the sun into electric energy. Solar cells are usually constructed out of silicon crystal slices, a polymer backing, glass, and an aluminum frame. Solar panels come in various sizes, types, shapes, and colors. In most instances, the size of a solar module refers to the rated power output in watts, or its capacity to generate electricity.
12 or 24-volt inverters are suitable for off-grid setups with battery banks, whereas those that come in 18, 42 or 60 volts are mainly utilized in grid-tied systems in conjunction with grid-connected inverters. A solar panel can either be used individually or connected as part of an array. The following are some of the components of a solar setup:
Solar panel mounting systems
These comprise the hardware necessary to affix the solar arrays to either a pole, a roof, or the ground. Mounting systems are commonly made out of aluminum and are chosen based on the model and the number of modules present in the array. The physical configuration of the system is also taken into account. Trackers can be used on pole mounts to move the array as the position of the sun changes.
This is an electrical enclosure that enables numerous solar panels to be connected in parallel. Though it is often overlooked, a combiner box is an essential part of the solar electric system. It also houses circuit breakers or series string fuses to prevent power surges. Most combiner boxes are outdoor-rated and are meant to be placed next to the array.
In case your solar electric setup uses batteries, a solar charge controller is crucial. It regulates the current from the PV modules into the battery bank. This prevents the overcharging of your batteries. What’s more, they prevent the leaking of back currents from the batteries to the photovoltaic arrays during cloudy days or at night. This usually drains the batteries.
Solar batteries store electrical energy in chemical form. The most common types are the six, and 12-volt batteries. There are three types of batteries, these are the Flooded Lead-Acid batteries, Sealed Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries, and Sealed Gel Cell Batteries. The Lead-Acid batteries are the cheapest but require regular maintenance. Deep cycle alkaline batteries are more efficient and require less maintenance. However, they cost more. While shopping for heyco solar components, the personnel can offer good advice as per your power needs.
Inverters convert the DC power from the batteries and convert it into AC, which is required to operate most electrical loads. You can either choose from standalone inverters of grid-capable inverters. Standalone inverters usually require batteries to store power, while grid-capable inverters can work with or without batteries.
AC and DC Disconnects
These are manually operated switches that are able to switch off power to and from the inverter. Some inverters come with integrated switches, while other systems utilize an integrated panel to support the disconnects and inverters.
The above mentioned are the major components of a Photo-voltaic system. For high quality and durable setup, you can find good solutions at Heyco. Other heyco solar components you can also find include connectors, cables, conduit, and brackets.