Solar PV system 101

Adrienne SorensenAugust 22, 201810610

Solar PV system 101 

What are the basic parts of a pv system? A PV system consists of parts that should be selected according to your system type, site location and applications. The basic components are PV modules, solar charge controller, inverter for utility grid connected system and when alternating current (AC) rather than direct current (DC) is required, battery bank, auxiliary energy sources and loads (appliances). Also, an assortment of balance of system (BOS) hardware, including wiring, mounting systems, protection and disconnect devices and other power processing equipment. 

How much electricity is generated from the solar system? 

The amount of solar power created depends on the size of the PV system. The greater area of PV panels, the more electricity is generated. 

How much maintenance is required? Stand-alone solar systems need maintenance on other system parts like batteries. If you have a flooded lead acid battery, you should review  distilled water levels monthly. If you have a sealed lead acid battery, it won’t need maintenance. Grid tie systems has very minimal maintenance. The wiring and other components should be checked regularly by a qualified technician.

What kind of battery is needed?

-The renewables battery type using in PV system is deep cycle battery. Deep cycle battery is designed for a deep discharge and rapid recharge or cycle day after day for years. The next decision is whether the battery is flooded or sealed. 
- Flooded lead acid battery  is used in renewable energy systems, and requires periodic maintenance by adding distilled water to the cells. Flooded batteries are the least expensive type of deep-cycle battery and last the longest. 
Sealed lead acid battery includes Gell cell and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery that are sealed. The advantages are that they can be placed in any orientation, easy to transport and perform better in very cold temperatures or in very deep-discharge applications. 


What is the difference between solar thermal and solar electric? These are two most economical, technically advanced and easy to use. Solar thermal has efficiency of 70%-80% where as solar electric has efficiency of 14-18%. Solar thermal is the best way to own a system and appreciate the benefits of a solar energy system because it is cheaper.

What is solar thermal or solar water heating system? Solar thermal or solar water heating system is one of most cost-effective renewable energy systems. Solar thermal systems are gather or absorb clean energy for heating water used in various applications. Solar thermal systems use different type of collector to gather and store the solar energy. The systems can decrease  the amount of electricity, gas or fuel required to heat water.

If you want to find out what solar panels are right for you, go to and try our price checker tool. You can see how much you can save over the next 20 years by going solar, and we can help find local solar installers who can help. For more information relating to going solar, don't forget to visit our solar blog section for more handy guides and articles.

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