What are solar panels and what is included in installation?
A solar panel is a device that converts sunlight into electricity. It comprises of 36 or 72 silicon cells, which generate electricity upon exposure to sunlight. During installation, several panels can be connected to achieve more current or more voltage. There are many types of solar panels, but the photovoltaic (PV) type is the most common in household applications.
Since the solar panel is the most visible component of the system, not many people are conversant with the other equally important components. These include inverter, charge controllers, and AC/DC disconnects among others. The solar array disconnect is an electrical switch that plays and important role in the system. It allows the technician to cut out power from the solar panels in the event that repairs are needed. Ensure that this switch is strong enough to counter the power from the panel anytime, including a sunny day.
Another important component is the charge controller, which is synonymous with systems that come with battery back-up. Its role is to ensure a consistent electrical power supply to the battery. It prevents overcharging and over discharging of the battery.
You probably have heard about Direct Current (DC) and Alternating Current (AC). Solar panels produce DC current, which is not compatible with most household equipment. Therefore, it is necessary to convert this current to AC. That is the job of the inverter.
Also included in installation are mounting structures for holding the solar panel and other components in place. Depending on the size of system and conditions in your area, the structures could vary in design. Generally, inclined roofs have flush mount while flat roofs use triangular mount.
Having listed these components, you are probably wondering who should take care of your home solar system. As the homeowner, you are required carry the necessary maintenance to ensure the system remains effective. You are also obligated to ensure that it adheres to your property insurance policy. That is why learning a thing or two about each of these components is advisable. However, that is beside the main point of this guide.
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