Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available, and the U.S. has some of the richest solar resources in the world. Modern technology can harness this energy for a variety of uses, including generating electricity, providing light or a comfortable interior environment, and heating water for domestic, commercial, or industrial use.
HOW SOLAR WORKS
Solar power systems are fairly simple systems without any moving parts. They are modular, quick to install, and require little to no maintenance. Below is a list of the primary components that make up a solar power system:
1) Solar Modules (or Panels): Placed on your roof or configured as a ground mount, the modules collect sunlight to make DC (Direct Current) Electricity.
• The panels must have access to sunlight, so one of the first steps of your consultation for a home or business will be to determine if there are trees or structures that would cast shade on a solar system.
• Most modules come with a 25-year manufacturer warranty, so you don't have to worry about the technology--it is guaranteed to perform for at least 25 years!
2) DC Power Optimizers – Each module is fitted with this device that regulates current and helps to maximize that individual modules power output so you’re always making the most power possible. They also allow us to monitor the health and performance of the entire system in real time.
3) AC Power Inverter- The last big piece of the puzzle turns the DC current in to an AC current so you can use the power you’ve created to keep your house nice and cool on those hot August days.
4) Utility Meter: If you are generating more power than you use, the excess electricity flows through the meter back to the utility as a credit on your account--spinning your meter backwards. At times, like at night, when you might be using more than your system is producing, you will still pull electricity from the utility through your meter.
• Ideally you will have a south-facing roof, however it is possible to install a PV system on a south-west or south-east facing roof, or even splitting the panels
• On an East / West roof, and still receive a good return on your investment.
• The optimum pitch of a roof in the south of the US is roughly at a 30-35° angle, however this can vary greatly without too much effect on the efficiency of a system.
• A flat roof area, or ground mounted system is also very applicable. However it is necessary to ensure there is nothing over-shadowing this area.
• An un-shaded open area could loan itself to a ground-mounted system.
• Preferably there will be no shading on the proposed location, from either buildings or trees that may grow and cause future obstructions.