Are you new to the whole world of solar PV systems? See yourself considering converting to solar but finding research tedious and full of unanswered questions? Look no further! here at AllStar Energy we will break down that cycle and help you get to where you need to go. In this article, we will break down the components of a PV Solar System, this break down will ease your understanding of what makes up a generic PV system and what parts do what in order to work cohesively together. We will also include solar tips to help you choose a great solar system suited to your unique living situation.
Solar power is generated via sun rays landing on either Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline Solar Panels. The panels conduct molecules that create something known as a DC current, this DC current them feeds into an inverter another vital part of the systems makeup. Inverters then convert the DC electricity into AC power this type of power is what is used to fuel the insides of our homes. Solar panels can generate energy and store it when the sun is up during the day, therefore solar energy does not specifically require bright sunlight to generate electricity, it merely requires light to be in the sky. Other factors do not affect a PV solar system from generating solar power, energy will still generate on cloudy days and rainy days.
The first component is an important one, these are the solar panels. Solar Panels come in two forms:
Polycrystalline or Monocrystalline.
What most people don’t know is that it is light energy or irradiance that creates the energy for the solar PV systems, not heat from the sunrays.
Polycrystalline or Polly solar panels are usually identified by their very specific dark blue colour, they are a newer technology and can vary in the process in which they were manufactured. Although, some people consider poly panels to be less effective or inferior to mono panels it is merely due to the cheaper method in which they were produced, coupled with other factors such as, a slightly lower efficiency rate but this has not stopped this type of solar panel in dominating the residential solar panel market.
The way these panels are produced required silicone inside the panels to generate energy, this method is much more cost effective than others. The waste of silicon in these panels is significantly less compared to monocrystalline.
Moreover, Polly panels have a lower tolerance to heat in comparison to monocrystalline panels, as some may know excessive heat can disrupt the efficiency of a PV system, Polly panels have lower tolerance hence their price in comparison to Mono is quite extensively lower.
Monocrystalline or Mono panels are best identified by their single flat colour in appearance which is usually black and some diamond shapes. Mono panels are much older than the newer poly panels and they are the most developed in terms of solar innovation. It is suggested that Mono solar panels have the highest efficiency rates since they are created using high-grade silicon.
Monocrystalline solar panels are said to have long lifespans, manufacturers providing 25-year warranties.
Moreover, mono solar panels are more efficient than Polly panels in warmer weather. As mentioned earlier on with extreme heat Polly panels loose efficiency due to extreme heat conditions, but mono panels are able to maintain efficiency within warm climates.
Try not to stress over which panel type to go with. Both Polycrystalline and Monocrystalline work well in Australian conditions and heat climates.
The second component which is crucial to the makeup of a PV solar system is the Inverter.
The second vital part of a solar PV system is the inverter, this can either be a string inverter which requires 1 per system or a micro inverter which requires one per solar panel.
The string inverter is usually placed on a wall and is connected to all of the solar panels, the micro-inverters are another option which is where the panels are individually connected to a micro-inverter.
At Allstar Energy Solutions we support the following brands:
- SolarEdge – Is a European brand with world class technologies. This premium brand provides you with everything you need in an inverter, but you can learn more about that on our products page if you are interested.
- Sungrow – Is a leading brand out of China that focuses on reliability, technology and performance. This brand provides you with peace of mind and affordability that you would need over the lifetime of your product.
String Inverters should not be placed in an area where it receives direct sunlight, select a shady area like a garage or even request your accredited solar installer to build a box for your inverter where it will not receive direct sunlight, as this could affect the efficiency of the PV system.
The third component that makes up a generic PV solar system is the racking/mounting.
The racking is what securely attaches your PV Solar system to your roof, the mounting angles in which he PV system is installed depends on the wind within your region. Mounting kits are available as budget and premium end kits. It is important to consider premium end brands as these mounting kits will be holding down your PV system for the next 25-years.
To conclude todays break down of a generic PV Solar system, it is important to consider the three main components of the system. When considering going solar, you should consider the following 25 years in which you home will be running with solar. Purchasing premium brand panels and inverters can lead you a heavier investment but may be better for the long run. Consider your consumption needs and how many panels will support your unique living situation. There are many brands which are considered premium here in Australia, hopefully you are well informed to tackle on solar power within your home.
- Sendy, A. 2019, Pros and Cons of Monocrystalline vs Procrystalline solar panels, ‘What are the pros and cons of Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline and Thin Film Solar panels?’, retrieved 4th April 2019, https://www.solarreviews.com/blog/pros-and-cons-of-monocrystalline-vs-polycrystalline-solar-panels.
- Peacock, F. 2019, Charted Electrical Engineer, ex- CSIRO & Founder of Solar Quotes, ‘This guide is for you if you are considering investing in a commercial solar power system for your business in Australia’, Solar Quotes, retrieved 4th April 2019, https://www.solarquotes.com.au/commercial-solar-guide.html.
- Energy Sage, ‘How do solar panels work’, energy Sage 2019, retrieved 4th April, https://news.energysage.com/solar-panels-work/.