Below is a quick overview of the basic components that are used to build a grid connected solar PV system.
Solar PV panels
Solar PV panels are employed to capture the sun's energy and supply DC power to the system. Panels are connected together into PV strings to form a solar PV array.
A typical commercial solar panel
measures between 1600mm - 1800mm in length x 800mm - 1200mm wide, with a power rating of between 200W-250W per panel. However, solar panels can come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and power outputs to suit specific applications and designs. Panels can be mounted either horizontally or vertically to best fit the mounting space.
Panels can be provided either with frames for securing onto supports (such as onto a roof and on ground mounted frames); or supplied without frames for integration into roofs and other structures such as solar walls and building facades.
Solar PV Inverters
Solar power inverters convert the DC electricity provided by the solar panels into AC electricity for use in the building and for export via the mains power network.
Inverters are specified to maximise the PV output from the array whilst minimising power losses. Inverters are sized and chosen taking account the power capability of each solar panel, the operating temperatures and the number of panels in each string (voltages).
Different solar PV systems with different electrical and physical characteristics often justify different approaches to the type and choice of inverters that are used. A modular design may employ many small inverters (known as micro-inverters) whilst one or two central inverters could also be chosen based on which setup achieves the optimum output
Most inverters will come with a basic form of system monitoring and a built-in DC safety disconnect. Inverters can also be supplied suitable for single (mostly residential), two or three-phase power systems.
On-Roof mounting is likely to be one of the more cost effective options when retrofitting a solar PV system. Most standard solar panels are supplied with aluminium frames which are designed to be securely attached to prefabricated rails. These rails are then used to secure the whole solar assembly to the roof.
In-Roof (Roof Integrated) mounting offers a flush finish where aesthetics are important. There is a large choice of systems that can be used to integrate with most types of roof including roof tiles, shingles and slates. In-roof mounting can be cost effective when needing to re-roof and for new builds as slates, tiles etc won't be needed in the spaces covered by the PV panels.
Ground Mounting solar PV panels is a cost effective solution when outside space is available. Commercially available in many types, materials and styles a ground mount can be found to suit almost every type of location.
Canopies Carports & Awnings offer additional mounting space when working with a property with limited roof space. Solar PV carports, canopies and awnings can also be used to extend a buildings footprint and increase the outside living space as well as provide a platform for mounting panels.
Flat Roof solar panel mounting systems offer a low cost, quick to install and flexible option for mounting solar panels onto flat residential and commercial roof spaces. Available in a wide range of styles from plastic tubs through to ruggedised racking systems.
AC & DC Isolators enable separation from and within the PV system for safety when carrying out installations, upgrades and maintenance work. For safety, isolators should be installed anywhere where it may be beneficial to disconnect a part of the power system for a period of time. As a minimum an AC isolator should be provided between the main distribution board (or consumer unit) and the inverter(s) enabling easy disconnection of the whole PV system from the power supply.
Solar PV cables & connectors are used to connect the various components together. Cables and connectors are sized and selected based on 1) the current (Amps) they will carry, 2) the operating temperatures where they will operate. Consideration should be given to the types of connectors used (often MC4) and their IP ratings.
Generation Meters are available for both single and three-phase power networks and are used to measure the amount of electricity that a solar PV system generates.
System Monitoring can be carried out simply by most commercially available inverters, many of which can be supplied with network cards and modems and also integrated into PC and web applications. Output displays of all sizes for both private and public locations where the inverter isn't accessible can also be supplied and relatively simply connected. Advanced monitoring systems can include remote diagnostics (including individual solar panels and strings) and integration with network wide data logging packages.
Factors such as the installations location, the local power requirement, the characteristics of the mounting area and aesthetic preferences will all play a role in determining which will be the most suitable components to select and install.
At the same time, as the recent research of Longsun shows, the benefits of improved productivity and firm performance can make implementing basic management practices worth it.
LONGSUN SOLARELECTRIC CO.,LTD is committed to supplying the consumer and our customers with the finest, high-quality products and to leading the industry in solar panel solar panel cost.
LONGSUN SOLARELECTRIC CO.,LTD employs a numbers of citizens, helping them and their families achieve a higher standard of living.