Solar Energy Equipment (Things That You Need)

To be able to harness the energy from the sun and to use it as an alternative source of electricity, there is a need to have a complete system. This means that you will have to invest in solar energy equipment that will make up the entire system, making it effortless to make the most out of solar energy. In this case, keep on reading and we will provide you with insights on some of the most important components that will be needed.

solar energy equipment

Solar Inverter

This is one of the most valuable parts in a solar PV system. One of its main uses is that it converts direct current into alternating current. More so, it can also charge your solar panel batteries. It makes it possible to optimize the amount of energy that can be created by the entire system. When it comes to solar inverters, there are basically two types that are available:

  • Central Inverter: This is the most common type of inverter that is used in solar panels today. It is backed with decades of use, which makes it an excellent choice when it comes to reliability. With this inverter, there is a string that connects the solar panel to the central inverter. They are wired in a series, which is why the output will depend on how each panel will work. The simplest way to have it pictured is to compare it to a Christmas light. When there is a problem with one bulb, such should be replaced to keep the entire Christmas lights working. Therefore, if one of the wired solar panels is affected or shaded, the functionality of the other panels will be affected.
  • Micro Inverter: This is a relatively new innovation when it comes to solar technologies. In the case of central inverter, DC is converted to AC in a central location. On the other hand, in the case of a micro inverter, each inverter is installed in individual solar panels. They are not wired. This offers the benefit of making each panel individually responsible for providing the electricity that you need at home. The functionality of one panel will not be affected, regardless of the problems with other panels. However, there are also drawbacks. For instance, they are costlier and labor-intensive. In addition, since it is a new technology, its reliability is yet to be proven.

When buying inverters for solar panels, one of the most important considerations would be the warranty, which is going to be indicative of the availability of support from the manufacturer. In case of central inverters, the typical warranty is 10 years, while the actual inverter can last up to more than 15 years. On the other hand, for micro inverters, warranty period is usually 15 years and its functional life can easily go beyond such.

Balance of System

This solar energy equipment refers to a collection of different parts that are lesser known, yet they are also critical to ensure the functioning of the whole system. Generally speaking, this will be inclusive of wires, DC disconnects, bolts, nuts, frames, mounting hardware, and roof flashing, which will help in the prevention of leaks. When it comes to the option for mounting the solar panels, there are generally three options that are available:

  • Fixed Solar Array Mountings: If you are looking for a cheap and simple mounting solution, this is what you should choose. The panels will be installed in a fixed location and they cannot be moved.
  • Manually Adjustable Solar Mountings: In this type of mounting, you will have the option to change its position several times within a year. This will make it possible to harness the best output from the sun on winter and summer months.
  • Fully-Automated Tracking Solar Mount: This is the best from the three mounting solutions. By being the most efficient, it is also the most expensive. Under this mounting solution, the sun is tracked. Meaning, they will automatically adjust to make sure that it is able to harness optimal sunlight.

Solar Panels

This is perhaps the most important solar energy equipment that will be needed to be able to efficiently harness energy from the sun. The panels are composed of photovoltaic cells that will capture the sun’s energy, which will pass through the electrons in order to create electricity. When buying solar panels, there are essential factors that should be taken into account. You need to consider the specific size, which will highly depend on the output that is needed. You also have to think of the specific material and design. Generally speaking, the following are the choices for solar panels:

  • Monocrystalline Solar Cells: This is popular because it is made from pure type of silicon. It is known for its efficiency in terms of converting the energy from the sun. More than just being the most efficient in terms of energy output, it is also known for being space-efficient. Fewer cells will be needed, which is why a small space will be more than enough. It is also preferred by many because of its long functional life.
  • Polycrystalline Solar Cells: If you are looking for an option that is more affordable, you might want to take this into consideration. Silicon is molded and they are shaped into squares. Being cheaper, however, does not come without a disadvantage. When compared to monocrystalline, polycrystalline solar cells have lower yield, and hence, they are less efficient. This is basically because the silicon used is not pure. Its heat tolerance is also lower, which may affect its functionality if it is going to be used in areas with hot temperature.
  • Amorphous Solar Cells: Compared to the two other options above, this is the cheapest. The technology is relatively new. It is made in a process that is entirely different from the first two. One of its benefits is that the silicon layer is too thin, which will make the panels flexible. They are also efficient in low light, which is why it is perfect for cold temperatures. The efficiency rating, however, is low and the price is high.
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