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What Is a Solar Power System?

Alexander is a professional engineer who specializes in the construction of affordable houses and structures using recycled materials.

Over the past two decades, solar power has come at the forefront when it comes to alternative energy sources. And it’s easy to see why, since more and more people want to protect our environment and eliminate the pollution and severe damage performed by energy generation.

With solar power, we just harness energy generated by the sun, and it can be more than enough to fulfill our day-to-day requirements. That’s why more and more people install a solar power system for home, and this helps provide incredible benefits and results.

This article will take a deeper look at solar power systems and how they function.

This article will take a deeper look at solar power systems and how they function.

What Is a Solar Power System?

A solar power system for home is designed to help absorb solar power and then convert it into usable energy. In order to do that, the system has roof-mounted panels that absorb the natural light photons, then transform it into energy you can use every day.

You can’t harness solar energy unless you have a dedicated solar power system. Thankfully, installing one is not that complicated, and you can easily replace panels as needed, in case they malfunction in the long run.

Once you install a solar power system, you will find it very easy to either remove the dependence on the local power grid or, if you can’t remove it completely, you can reduce it exponentially at the very least. On top of that, you get to harness renewable energy. And the best part is that the solar power system for home requires minimal maintenance. While there is a financial investment in the beginning, you get to recoup it in the long run.

bio-digester-vs-septic-tank

What Are the Components of a Solar Power System?

Understanding the components of solar power system is important if you want to understand how the entire process works. Generally, a solar power system is not overly complicated, but it does have its fair share of components that are mandatory in order to harness solar power and transform it into energy for you and your family.

The components include:

  • Solar panels
  • Solar inverter
  • Solar performance monitoring
  • Net meter
  • Solar racking

These are the components for a solar power system if it’s connected to the grid. In case you want to use the system off the grid, then additional equipment will be required. Depending on the solar power system for home you want to create, it will need a charge controller and also some storage battery storage. So yes, there will be differences between a grid-based solar power system and one that’s completely off the grid. However, they both work the same way.

bio-digester-vs-septic-tank

What Types of Solar Power Systems Are There?

You will find different types of solar systems, and each has its fair share of benefits. Grid-tied systems are the ones that rely on solar panels, but when these are unable to provide enough energy, you are still connected to the grid to acquire that extra energy that’s needed at this time. Hybrid systems are also named solar plus storage systems. These are paired with a solar battery and the focus is to store energy via battery storage for later use, yet the system itself is still connected to the grid.

Then you have off-grid systems. Sometimes you don’t want to be connected to the energy grid or there might not be means to do that anyway. Which is why having a system that’s completely off the grid can make a huge difference. Yes, it can be a problem if you need more energy than what this system generates from solar power, but the benefits can be incredible.

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Inside view of a typical solar power inverter

Inside view of a typical solar power inverter

Solar Power Application

-Power source for irrigation

-Refrigeration

-Provide lighting to homes.

-Solar heating systems

-Powering up of machines especially for infrastructural purposes.

-Photovoltaic power stations pr plants with either rooftop solar PV systems or standalone PV systems

-Solar planes

-Solar-pumped lasers

-Solar vehicles

-Solar panels on spacecraft and space stations

solar panels powering the international space station

solar panels powering the international space station

How Does the Solar Power System Work?

The most common solar power system is the photovoltaic one. Whenever the sun is shining onto solar panels, that energy coming from the sun is directly absorbed by all the PV panel cells. That energy is generating electrical charges which automatically move according to the electrical field in that cell. This leads to energy flowing directly to the solar inverter.

The role of this inverter is to convert DC current from solar panels into AC current that’s needed within your home. There are various types of inverters on the market. Centralized inverters are inexpensive, but not the most efficient either. If there’s shading on the roof, you can end up with energy loss. Microinverters are attached to every solar panel and they solve the shading issue presented above.

Power optimizers on the other hand are installed in each panel and they optimize the output of every module. After optimization, this goes into a string inverter and it gets converted into AC power. It’s a bit more expensive than a string inverter, but more affordable than the microinverter option.

various solar panel inverters that can be found in the market

various solar panel inverters that can be found in the market

Solar Inverter

What Is Solar Racking?

In order to generate as much energy as you need, solar panels need to be installed properly. That means you can’t just attach them to the roof directly, as they can damage the roof, not to mention you will have a limited amount of space.

Which is why more often than not installing solar power systems requires a racking system. This system is attached to the roof and then you can angle it in such a way to ensure you get the utmost exposure to the sun.

solar panels on a boat

solar panels on a boat

How Can You Monitor the Performance of a Home Solar Power System?

You can actively monitor the overall performance without that much of a hassle. There are specialized monitoring systems that help you identify how much energy you generate every hour, day, or week, even more, if you want.

Another advantage here is that you can get notifications if there are any changes to the overall requirements. Ideally, you want a solar monitoring system that’s efficient, durable, and easy to manage. Thankfully, most brands that offer such a product deliver great value.

Do You Really Need Solar Battery Storage?

The reality is that solar battery storage can be necessary depending on what solar power system you want to use. Using storage systems is a great idea because you might need energy during the night, and your solar power system might not be able to help that much. Plus, if you have an off-grid system, to begin with, having a solar power storage system is mandatory, as otherwise, you would only have power when the sun is up.

And if you need solar battery storage, you will also require a charge controller. These charge controllers are installed between the panels and the battery itself. The main focus here is to protect the battery, as sometimes it can be overcharged. With that being said, batteries can end up catching on fire if the voltage is too high or if they are charged more than they need. That’s why it makes a lot of sense to use a charge controller. This unit will keep the battery safe and prevent any possible problems that might arise.

Is the Solar Power System Safe?

Yes, installing a solar power system for your home is very safe, and also a really good idea. This is a great way to step away from the local energy grid and not have to rely on them for energy generation. You get to pay a lot less for energy, even if the upfront investment is a bit higher on all the solar power components.

However, you can recoup your money in a few years, and then you will have energy pretty much for free. Which is great, and one of the main reasons why people tend to migrate towards solar power systems in the first place. And yes, you don’t have to worry about any safety issues, as long as the system is installed properly. That’s why you want to hire a professional when you want to install a solar power system for your home. It’s the right approach, since they have the tools and expertise needed to handle this type of task.

Additionally, when you install a solar power system, you might even benefit from some grants and price reductions or tax deductions, depending on where you live. This is definitely a great benefit and something well worth looking into, just keep that in mind if you decide to go the solar route.

Step Away From the Local Power Grid and Save Money at the Same Time!

As you can see, installing a solar power system for home is a great idea, since it helps you step away from the local power grid. Not only that, but a solar power system can help you save a lot of money in the long run, and you will be impressed with its versatility and efficiency.

Since there are many solar power systems to choose from, you just need to pick what works for you, and the results can be very impressive. Take your time, find the right solar power system and the right people to install it, then enjoy renewable energy, while also protecting our planet.

Sources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Alexander Okelo

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