When it comes to combating carbon dioxide emissions and climate change, one of the biggest improvements possible is installing solar panels. Solar panels help to reduce energy costs, reduce emissions, and above all improve the efficiency of one’s home. However, a solar panel installation is much more than a semiconductor sandwich. It is a system with a complex design to meet the power draw of an average home.
Obviously, the basic components of a solar panel system are the panels themselves
When making the decision, consider the size and durability of the model. For the size, the power output can vary depending on the technology (single crystal, thin film, or polycrystalline) but in general, a two square foot panel will output 50 watts, while an eight square foot panel will output 190. Durability-wise, most solar panels have an aluminum frame, allowing them to weather the efforts of nature.
The second component of a solar panel system is the inverter
An inverter converts DC to AC and is required because the power coming from the panel array is direct current (DC) while a home circuit only accepts alternating current (AC). Automatic shutoff capacity, battery charging capabilities, and surge capacity are what defines Inverters. An inverter actually runs off a personal battery bank to operate and must be able to automatically turn off when the load drops so as not to drain the power source. In a similar vein, the inverter must be able to pass a portion of the panel power towards recharging the battery bank. Lastly, all appliances have a startup surge, especially noticeable in large devices such as dryers. The inverter must be able to handle this surge, multiple surges if possible.
Finally, every solar panel system utilizes a large array of batteries
These batteries store and regulate power flow to the home. However, a charge controller must be in place to prevent damage from occurring. “Voltage regulating” begins when the battery is full and the power is cut-off. Look for controllers featuring the maximum power point tracking or MPPT. This technology is in place to optimize panel energy production by changing charge rates at specific voltages. Also, the controller should feature battery temperature compensation or BTC. This system modifies the charge rate in relation to temperature, as the batteries are sensitive above and below 75F.