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Solar Power Components Cheat Sheet

To create a home solar system many different solar power components are needed. Learn about them here.

home solar power systems

Wondering what the basic components are of a home solar system that provides 100% energy generation for your home?

Well, to make life a tiny bit easier, read the list and the explanations below.

Solar Power Components Explained

The sizing and type of solar power systems you select depends on a number of other factors in addition to the primary function of the system including:

Neccessary components

  1. PV Solar panels or solar roofing tiles which contain:
    - A transparent top surface, usually glass
    - An encapsulant - usually thin sheets of ethyl vinyl acetate that hold together the top surface, solar cells, and rear surface
    - A rear layer - a thin polymer sheet, typically Tedlar, that prevents the entryof water and gases into the panel
    - A frame around the outer edge of the panel typically made of aluminum.
  2. An Array (organizational design of panels or solar tiles)
    - In small solar electric systems, the most common array design uses flat plate photovoltaic (PV) panels. Panels can either be fixed in place or allowed to track the movement of the sun. If roofing tiles are used they are fixed in place like ordinary roofing tile.
  3. Mounting racks and harware to fasten the panels in place to the roof
  4. Wiring for electrical connections between panels or tiles
  5. Juction boxes
  6. Controllers to control voltage to the storage battery
  7. Inverter (power conditioning equipment if it is a grid connected system)
    - This equipment ensures the energy is compatible with the energy generated by the utility
  8. Battery for electricity storage (required for non grid tied systems)

Optional solar components

  1. Disconnect box
  2. Generator (highly recommended if you will install a stand alone system independent of the local utility energy grid

Necessary solar components for solar water heating systems

If you intend to have solar water heating you will require additional equipment:

  1. A solar collector where water is heated from the energy of the sun
  2. A collection box where the heated water is stored
  3. A heat exchanger ( a system which enables heat to be sxchanged between two different mediums i.e. the sun and water)
  4. A pump (active system) or a natural convection system (passive) to move water between the collection point and the solar collector where it is heated.

As you can see there are many components to a fully funtional home solar power system as well as various types of solar systems. The costs are still quite prohibitive even with rebates and incentives but the prices continue to come down making small home solar systems more affordable and desireable.

Make sure you do your homework and work with a certified solar designer and installer because safety should be your number one priority in choosing and installing a home solar power system.

More related articles:


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