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Solar PV system

Solar PV system

Photovoltaic system, often referred to in the field of solar power, or PV systems, are electric power systems that use solar energy to generate useful energy. It is comprised of a variety of parts. They include solar panel panels which absorb light and transform it into electricity and a solar converter that can turn the power output from direct current to the alternating current, and mounting cables and other electrical components. A solar tracking system may be utilized to improve the overall performance of the system. It could also include the battery itself.

The PV system converts light directly to electricity. It is not to be confused or misunderstood with other solar technologies like concentrated solar power solar thermal, which is used to heat and cool. The visible part of a solar array are that of the panels. It doesn’t include the other hardware. This is often called balance of system (BOS).

There are many types that PV technology can be found, ranging from small rooftop-mounted systems to larger, more powerful power stations with hundreds of megawatts up to huge, utility-scale power stations. Today, most PV systems have been connected to grids, however there are a few off-grid or stand-alone systems account for a small percent of market.

The operation is silent for PV systems is without moving parts, and there are no emission of carbon dioxide. They have grown from niche market applications into an established technology that generates electricity. Rooftop systems can recoup the cost of manufacturing and installation within 0.7 to 2 years and generate around 95% of the net renewable energy over their 30-year lifespan.

The cost of photovoltaic systems has dropped rapidly since their introduction because of the rapid growth in this type of technology. They differ based on market and the type of system. Prices for 5-kilowatt residential systems was $3.29 to each in the United States in 2014. Today, solar PV modules make up less than half the overall system cost. The rest is left to BOS-components and soft costs, as well as the acquisition of customers. This includes inspection, interconnection and labor costs.

A Solar PV System: The Essentials

Solar PV systems may comprise an array of panels and the necessary hardware to allow the energy flow through them. Inverters are also offered.

They may employ string inverters, or microinverters, based on the system, but the foundational structure of all PV systems is the exact same.

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What does solar energy do in a PV system?

The solar panel converts photons (light particles)into electric energy. This is known as the photovoltaic process.

Photovoltaic (PV) is when a photon strikes the device that converts energy to local electrons. The energy of the photon is transferred to the material. The excited electrons create the electric charge.

The solar cells within the panels generate directly current electric power (DC) which is often converted by an inverter to AC electricity (AC). The electricity is then sent back to an electric grid that operates by using AC electricity.

This is the detailed explanation. The three primary steps involved in the operation of solar panels include:

  • The solar cells inside solar panel absorb sun’s rays which causes electricity to flow.
  • An inverter converts DC power into AC electricity.
  • The electricity used is for actual energy requirements at the customer’s residence. Any surplus electricity that the consumer does not utilize is sold to a grid.

What happens to the energy a PV system produces?

Grid-connected solar installations are common for most solar customers in America. Their homes are connected to the electric grid. This lets them consume more energy than the solar panels produce, for instance in the event of a night or rainy day.

It also means that if their PV system produces more energy than they actually need this energy could be returned to the grid, to be used by others.

Net Metering

Net metering is a method that pays customers for excess energy so they are able to offset future energy costs by removing them from the grid. It is common throughout the U.S.

The net metering system has been a major element in the efficiency of solar energy’s costs. We are starting to see changes within the Nevada Solar Power Installers that implements net-metering across the nation. Many of these changes reduce the value that solar customers receive from their solar systems.

Feed-in Tariffs

Feed-in tariffs are a way to reimburse solar customers for the electricity they supply to the grid from specific locations.

What are the parts of a photovoltaic system?

Other than the solar panels, there are a number of important components to the photovoltaic systems. They are commonly described as”balance of system”, or BOS. Wiring, inverters (racking) and combiners electrical meters, as well as circuit breakers are a few examples of these components that typically make up more than half of the system cost and the majority of the maintenance.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are composed of several solar cells that have semiconductor properties, and are protected from the elements by the use of a material. These properties enable the cells to absorb light, or specifically, photons from sunlight and transform them into electrical energy using an process called the photovoltaic effects. In the corners of the semiconductor, there is a layer of conductive materials. This conducts the electricity that is generated. The side that is lit of the panel has a pro coating to reduce reflection losses. It is the most popular type for solar panels. It is thought to have an efficiency of 33% to convert sunlight into electricity. Other semiconductor materials and solar cells technology are also available, which have greater efficiency, but at the cost of production.


An inverter, an electrical device that receives electric current that is in the form of direct current (DC) and converts it into the alternating current (AC) which is known as an inverter. This means that the DC current generated by a solar array is fed to an inverter, and it transforms the current into AC. This conversion is necessary for the power supply of electronic devices as well as interface with the electricity grid. Inverters are essential to nearly all solar energy systems. They are often the most costly part, following the solar panels.

Inverters that have conversion efficiency greater than 90% are equipped with important safety features such as the ground fault circuit interrupter, and Anti-islanding. They stop the PV system if there is a loss to grid electricity.


Racking is the process of fixing the solar array to the ground or to a roof. The devices, usually made of steel or aluminum, mechanically fix solar panels onto the rooftop or ground with high precision. Racking systems have to be able to withstand severe weather conditions like tornado-force winds and high snow accumulations. To prevent electrocution, rack systems must be electrically linked and grounded in the solar array.

Rooftop racking systems come in two forms: flat roof systems or pitched roof systems. Weighted ballast is commonly used on flat roofs in order to hold the range up to the ceiling using gravity. Roofs with pitched roofs must be mechanical means attached to the rack system. Ballast anchors or robotic anchors could be used to secure PV systems that are mounted on the ground. Trackers that use sensors or motors to track the Sun across space are examples of ground-mounted rack systems. This can increase energy production while reducing maintenance costs.

Other Components

Breakers, disconnects, and combiners meters, as well as wiring are the remaining elements of a typical PV system. Solar combiners are devices that integrates several electric cables in one. Most solar combiners come with protection fuses and are compatible for all medium and utility-scale solar arrays. Disconnects are electrical gates or switches that allow manual disconnection of an electric wire. These devices are usually used alongside an inverter. They are usually located in”DC Disconnect” “DC disconnect” as well as the “AC disconnect” and provide electrical isolation when an inverter is needed to be repaired or installed. Breakers, also known as circuit breakers, guard electrical systems from over current or surges. The breakers can be activated automatically when current is greater than an amount that is predetermined. But, they can also be operated manually and serve as an additional source of disconnect.

The Electric Meter measures the energy that is passing through it. It is used in the Nevada Solar Power Installers to charge customers and to measure the usage of their systems. To quantify the power generated by solar PV systems a bi-directional battery powered meter is needed. The wiring, or electrical cables that transmit the energy between the parts must be appropriately sized to be able to handle the current. Security measures should be taken to guard against exposure to sunlight. Wires that carry DC current could require further protection with metal sheathing.

How does solar PV system efficiency affect?

It is essential to remember that solar energy does not generate electricity with 100 100% efficiency. The efficiency of a PV panel can be affected by environmental factors, such as the temperature, soiling and shading, and also the electrical component’s losses. The following are some examples of loss:

Temperature: The effectiveness of solar panels is influenced by to their temperature. Performance can be affected by high temperatures.

Soiling A layer of substance that covers PV panels can stop sun’s rays from getting to the solar cells, and decrease the power generated. The amount of energy lost due to soiling is contingent upon the frequency at which the panel is cleaned as well as the kind of soiling (such snow or dust).

Shading refers to the obstruction of sunlight by buildings, trees as well as other obstacles. Variable effects of shading can be significant to the solar system’s power output. This article, as well as the section of our PV system losses series offer valuable information on shading.

Connectivity and wiring The electrical connections may cause resistance, which leads to energy losses of as much as a few percent.

Modules that are of the same type could differ in electrical characteristics due to variations in manufacturing. This can lead to performance issues.

Inverter Efficiency: An inverter converts AC current into DC with a speed of 96-97 percent. When it is the case that DC inverter’s input is large, inverters have greater efficiency. When the power input is lower than the power rated and the conversion efficiency decreases.

Age: As we get older, solar panels generate less energy. The decline in efficiency is usually around 0.5 percent per year.

System Derate Factor

The effectiveness of a solar panel (or module) is the amount of sunlight that a module converts into electricity under standard conditions (STC; ambient temperature of 25degC, Irradiance of 1000W/m2).

Solar PV System Companies

The most accurate data is provided by our solar panel cost calculator and savings calculator. This will enable you to determine the potential savings from solar on your property before you make a choice.

Nevada Solar Power Installers offers independent reviews and expert opinions on more than 3000 solar-powered businesses in addition to the top brands and models. This website offers more details on the services and products of our solar businesses.


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Are you fed up with paying too much for electricity in Las Vegas? Nevada Solar Power Installers is a solar company that can design and install the top solar power systems for your home. Get a free quote and have the solar panels installed.

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