In this post, we are going to learn about Solar power system basics for beginners by which you can understand the benefits, concepts, and components required to build a solar power system for the home.

All around the globe, people are looking for an alternative source of energy that would benefit our environment for the people of current and future generations.

At present, the best alternative source of energy that is abundant, free and available around the world is Solar power which is nothing but power produced from Sunlight.

The power system which produces electricity using sunlight(solar power) is called Solar Power System.
An individual can easily build a basic solar power system by which he can power the lights, fans and basic appliances of his home.

To build a solar power system, an individual should have basic knowledge about electricity and components that make up a solar power system.
So let’s jump in to learn the basics of Solar power systems and build a small DIY Solar power system for our home.

What is Solar Power Plant?

Solar Power Plant is an electrical system that has different electrical components by which we can convert light energy from the sun into electrical energy.

Solar Power plant is also known as Solar Power System, Solar energy system and Solar Photovoltaic systems, depending on the method used to convert light energy into electrical energy.

We can convert light energy from the sun into electrical energy using 2 methods:

  1. Photovoltaic cells.
    • Photovoltaic’s convert light into an electric current using the Solar Cells by Photovoltaic Effect.
  1. Using Mirror & lenses in Concentrated Solar Power system.
    • In Concentrated Solar Power systems, the heat energy from the sun is converted into electrical energy.
    • Here we use large mirrors or lenses and automatic tracking systems to focus a large amount of sunlight into a small high-intensity beam.

And in this post, we are going to study only about the electrical energy produced using Solar Photovoltaics in detail.

Going further in the post, if I say, Solar PV System or Solar Power Plant or Solar Photovoltaic system or Solar Power System, all are the same.

What are the benefits of Solar Photovoltaic Systems?

The major benefits of using Solar Photovoltaic Systems are:

  • Energy Independence
  • Free Fuel – Exists & Readily available(Renewable Energy Source)
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Maximum reliability
  • Easily Scalable
  • Reduced Vulnerability to Power loss
  • Generate Power wherever needed
  • Non-polluting
  • Technology development

Energy Independence

The most attractive or important benefit of the Solar Photovoltaic system is “Energy Independence” – that is the ability to create our electrical power without depending upon fossil fuels or Utility connections from Govt or private energy sectors.

Free fuel

The fuel that we use here is sunlight, which is free and already delivered all over the planet’s surface.
The problems such as poor road conditions, vehicle problems, and cost of delivering fuel to a remote location(very high cost) are avoided in Solar Power Systems.

Minimal maintenance

Solar PV systems require minimal maintenance because there are very few moving parts compared to diesel-powered systems or even other renewable energy sources such as wind generators or hydro generators which often require regular maintenance of moving parts and sometimes costly repairs.

Solar PV Systems may require maintenance but minimal. Large & Complex PV systems do have more parts and may require maintenance.

When looking at small power requirements such as for Home Power Systems or remote telecommunications systems only occasional battery maintenance and cleaning of Solar panel once in a while is required.

It would be a mistake to say that Solar PV Systems require no maintenance but the absolute amount of time and money required is low.

Maximum Reliability

Because there are typically few or no moving parts and the complexity of systems can be kept low, the reliability of Photovoltaic systems in the real world scenario is more.

The key to the reliability of solar Photovoltaic systems is the quality of the components used and the simplicity of system design.

If the components with high quality and with count and complexity of the system design are kept to a minimum, the chance of any failure occurring is remarkably low.

Easily Scalable

A Solar power plant is modular by design; we can add extra power to an existing array easily if needed. If the voltage of panels can be matched correctly we can add new modules without any difficulty.

Initially, we can purchase and install to meet our current needs, as demand grows we can add more modules later.
This also means that financially it is easy to start with a minimal power system and then add the power as our budget allows.

Reduced Vulnerability

By avoiding long transmission lines for many kilometres from the central generation source we can get rid of problems such as transmission power losses.

Sometimes natural disasters or calamities like Hurricanes, EarthQuake and cyclone can cause Transmission lines to go down. With Photo-voltaic power systems at our site, we could still have power, while the others around us have none.

If we choose to separate the generation of power to each load site, we can ensure even more reliability and less vulnerability to each load site.

For example, if individual homes have their lighting systems and incase if one home over-discharge their batteries and damage their system; the other homes will be unaffected.

Generate wherever needed

We can generate the power at various sites, such as at each house, school rather than having to install a large generator and extend power lines for distribution to an individual destination that might be separated by a great distance.

A photovoltaic system can range from a few watts to Kilowatt or Megawatt.
We can install the required amount of power at each site which we don’t get in other types of generation of power.

Non-Polluting

Solar energy is an alternative for fossil fuels as it is a non-polluting, clean, reliable and renewable source of energy.

It does not pollute the air by releasing harmful gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide or sulfur oxide during the generation of electricity.

By this, the amount of damage to the environment is greatly reduced.

Solar energy is produced from a free fuel called sunlight, so it does not require any other fuel (fossil fuels, Nuclear power) to produce electricity and thus we can avoid the transportation problems of fuel or storage of radioactive waste.

Technology Development

With the continuous advancement in technology in the solar power industry, improvements in efficiency and working will intensify in the future.

Advance innovations in the field of quantum physics and nanotechnology can potentially increase the efficiency of solar panels and double, or even triple, the electrical output of the solar power systems.

What are the disadvantages of the Solar Power System?

The major disadvantages of Solar Power System are:

  • Cost
  • Weather dependent
  • Solar Energy Storage Is Expensive
  • Uses a Lot of Space
  • Associated with Pollution

Cost

The initial cost of purchasing a solar power system is fairly high. Although the governments around the world have introduced schemes for encouraging the adoption of Solar energy power generation.

For example, the subsidy on the total cost of the system based on the user(Residential/Industrial), Net-metering,etc.. but you still have to cover the upfront costs which can be costly depending on the size of the power plant.

This includes paying for solar panels, Inverter, batteries, wiring, other BOS components, and the cost of installation.
In spite of all, solar technologies are continuously developing, so it is safe to assume that prices will go down in the future.

Weather Dependent

Even though solar energy can still be collected during rainy seasons and cloudy days, the energy output efficiency of the solar system drops during these situations.

Solar panels output is fully dependent on a good amount of sunlight to effectively gather and convert solar energy into electrical energy.

The intensity of sunlight during cloudy days is less which affects the output of electrical energy, as electrical output is directly proportional to the intensity of light.

Therefore, a few cloudy, rainy days can have a considerable effect on the output of the energy system. So we should always take into account that solar energy cannot be collected during the night and cloudy days.

Solar Energy Storage Is Expensive

The electrical energy produced from solar energy has to be used right away, or need to be stored in large batteries.

These large batteries, used in off-the-grid or stand-alone solar systems, can be charged during the day so that the energy is used at night or during rainy/cloudy days.
This is a good and easy solution for using solar energy all day long but it is also quite expensive.

To get the best out of a solar power system, it is best to just use solar energy during the day and if possible store excess energy in batteries and take energy from the grid/batteries during the night.

Fortunately, our energy demand is usually higher during the daytime, so we can meet most of our daytime demand with solar energy.

Uses a Lot of Space

The more electrical energy you want to generate, the more solar panels we need to install because more panels mean more area to collect sunlight as much as possible.

Solar panels need a lot of space and some rooftops are not big enough to fit the required number of solar panels that we would like to have.

An alternative is to install some of the panels in your backyard but they need to have access to a good amount of sunlight.

Anyways, if we don’t have enough space for all the panels that we wanted, we can just install fewer panels and they will still be able to satisfy some of our energy needs.

Associated with Pollution

Although pollution due to solar energy systems is very less compared to other sources of energy. Still, solar energy can be associated with pollution to some extent.

Transferring of solar power system equipment and the installation of solar systems has been associated with the emission of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels used.

There are also some toxic materials and hazardous products used during the manufacturing process of solar photovoltaic, which can indirectly affect the environment.

In spite of that, solar energy pollutes far less than other alternative energy sources.

What are the types of Solar PV Systems?

Solar PV systems are mainly classified into 2 types:

  1. On-Grid/ Grid-Connected Solar PV Systems
  2. Off-Grid/ Stand-alone PV Systems

On-Grid/ Grid-Connected Solar PV Systems

In this type of system, the solar power plant is connected to your local utility electrical grid to complement your normal power supply from your utility company.

On Grid-Connected Systems

  • Solar panels mounted on the rooftop or in the backyard.
  • An inverter is used to convert the electricity produced by the PV system from direct current (DC) energy into alternating current (AC) energy.
  • A combiner box that connects the solar panel wiring to the breaker panel on the home.
  • A 2-way power meter that displays how much power the home produces, uses and sends the unused power to the grid.
  • A safety switch (in-built in the inverter), that prevents the system from sending power to the grid during power outages (this is called islanding).
  • Mounting systems

Grid-connected systems with Battery backup

It is very similar to the grid-connected system, but this system has a “battery bank” to collect the power generated from the solar panels. Power stored in the batteries can be used during power outages or night.

The battery bank collects power produced by the solar panels, sends it to the controller box, and then into the house power system.

During power outages when the home is fully disconnected from the grid by island effect, the stored power which is DC power is converted into AC power using an Inverter.

Main components of this type of system consist of:

  • Solar panels mounted on the rooftop or in the backyard.
  • An inverter to convert solar DC energy into AC energy.
  • A battery bank to store excess power for later usage.
  • A charge controller to prevent overcharging the battery and for overall battery protection.
  • A combiner box that connects the solar panel wiring to the breaker panel on the home.
  • A power meter that displays the amount of power produced, consumed and transferred unused power to the utility.
  • A Safety switch(in-built in the inverter), that prevents the system from sending power to the grid during power outages (this is called islanding).

Off-Grid/ Stand-Alone PV Systems

Off-grid systems are not tied to any utility power lines and are most common in remote areas where connecting to the utility grid is not possible or too more expensive than installing an off-grid PV system.

In off-grid systems, the solar power system represents the main source of power for houses or buildings. Batteries store unused excess solar energy for use at night.

Diesel Generators, small windmill systems, and other alternative energy sources are sometimes used as a backup when the solar power stored in the batteries is not enough to meet household energy demand or if solar power generated is not enough during cloudy days.

Main components of this type of system consist of:

  • Solar panels mounted on the rooftop or in the backyard.
  • A charge controller to charge and protect the batteries from overcharging, discharging and during overload conditions.
  • A combiner box that connects the wiring of the solar panel to the circuit breaker panel of the home.
  • An inverter to convert the electricity produced by the system from DC into AC energy.
  • A junction box to connect the backup power supply from a generator.
  • A power meter that displays the total amount of power consumer & produced.
  • We can also have a few devices that run on DC power to avoid the losses occurring during DC to AC conversion. DC LED bulbs, Solar Air conditioners, DC Fans.

Now let’s discuss in brief about each component of the solar power system which is required in both On-Grid as well Off-Grid solar power system.

What are the Important Components of the Basic Residential Solar Power System?

Below is the list of important components of a Basic Residential Solar Power system

  • Solar Module
  • Charge Controller or Power Conditioning Unit (PCU) – in case of Off-grid/Standalone system
  • Solar Inverter- in case of On-grid system
  • Battery
  • DC Cables
  • Protective devices( Isolators, Circuit breakers, Fuses, etc..)
  • Mounting Systems

Before discussing the components of the solar power system, lets us know how solar energy( sunlight) is converted into electrical energy.

To know that, we need to understand the concept of the Photoelectric effect and Photovoltaics.

Let’s understand what is the Photoelectric effect?

The photoelectric effect refers to the emission, or ejection, of electrons from the surface of a material, generally, a metal in response to incident light.

To know more details on the Photoelectric effect, you can refer to the article here and explanation video here.

Once we understand the photoelectric effect, let’s see how it is used in a solar power system.

A solar power system is also called a Solar Photovoltaic power system. So what is Solar Photovoltaic?

Solar Photovoltaic

Solar Photovoltaic(PV) is a solid-state, semiconductor-based technology that converts light energy from sunlight directly into electrical energy by the process called photoelectric effect using solar cells, without moving parts, without noise, and without emissions of harmful radiation.

In simple words, “Photovoltaic” means the generation of electrical voltage from some light source(here sunlight) and is commonly called as “PV”.

In a solar power plant, the solar cells a.k.a Photovoltaic (PV) cells are used to convert light energy into electrical energy.

These Photovoltaic cells work with any kind of light and not just sunlight.

So now with the basic understanding of Photoelectric effect and Solar Photovoltaic, let us dig in to know what is a solar cell?

What is a Solar Cell?

A solar cell is the fundamental building block of a solar power plant. It is a converter. It converts light energy into electrical energy. A Solar cell does not store any energy.

What is a Solar cell

The physical properties of the materials used determine the voltage of the cell and size determines the current.

Think of the solar cell as the smallest unit to work with. But it is fragile and its output voltage is typically low as 0.5V.

To get enough power from a solar cell, it must be protected and connected to other cells.

As said above, a solar cell is a converter. It converts light energy into electrical energy using the photoelectric effect.

The conversion process occurs instantaneously, whenever there is a light falling on the surface of the solar cell there is an output of electrical energy.

The electrical output of the solar cell is proportional to the incident light, the more the intensity of light, the greater the electrical output.

The Sunlight, which is delivered free all around the world acts as the main source of fuel for the conversion process.

A Solar cell does not store any energy. So when the light source (typically sunlight) is removed, there is no electric current output from the solar cell.

Due to the absence of sunlight during the night, the solar cells cannot produce electrical energy, so some form of electrical power storage like battery must be included in the power system.

Principle of the generation of electricity in solar cells

In Solar cells, the light energy is converted into electric energy by a process called the photoelectric effect.

To understand this, you can thick sunlight as being made of trillions of high energy particles called Photons. These photons act much like billiard balls; the only difference is they are made of pure energy.

When they collide with an atom of solar cells, the whole atom is energized and the electron is ejected or ionized from the atom. After the collision, the silicon atom becomes positively charged.

The energy in the form of Photon from Solar radiation can transfer its energy to the electrons. The free-electron now has the extra potential energy from the photon and this is what we call electrical voltage.

By creating an internal electrostatic field near the front surface of the cell during the manufacturing, a free electron is brought out of Solar cells. The flow of free electrons or electrical charges with extra voltage is called “Electric Current”.

An electric current in a Solar cell

The electrons freed by the incidence of sunlight photons, flow out of the solar cell and to the electrical load. They give up their voltage there or stored and allows useful work to be done using the voltage.

The electrons then continue to flow back to the solar cell, where they become available once again to be knocked loose again by photon and flow on to the load.

So with the basic idea about the theory of how sunlight or light energy is converted into electricity, let us discuss briefly each component of the solar power system.

Solar Module

The Solar cells when joined physically and electrically they form a Solar or PV Module.

It is a collection of cells interconnected by usually flat wire and includes encapsulation to protect the cells and interconnecting wires from corrosion and impact.

Solar-Module

The solar module comes in different ranges of power output. These range from 10 watts to 385 watts.

It usually includes a frame to allow easy mounting and a junction box to allow wiring to other modules or the battery and loads.

The number of cells connected in series determines the final voltage of the module. Which will be discussed in another post.

Solar Panel

Similarly, a Solar Panel is the collection of modules physically and electrically grouped on a structure. This would be the building block for larger power systems.

Solar-panel

Usually, the modules are wired together on the panel to give the final system voltage (for example 12, 24, 48 volts and higher) and the panels are wired together through field junction boxes and then on to the system controls and batteries.

Individual panels can be disassembled or maintained while other panels or operational.

Solar Array

An Array is the full collection of all solar modules. Sometimes an array is so large that it is grouped into sub-arrays, for easier installation and power management.

Solar Array

An array can be as small as one module (for simple home lighting system) or as large as 100000 modules or more for very large utility-connected systems.

Also, let us look at the technology used in the manufacturing of Solar Panels

Commercial Solar Photovoltaic technologies

There are several photovoltaic technologies available today on the commercial market.

These generally fall into two broad categories:

  • Flat plate
  • Concentrator

Flat plate technologies

Flat plate technologies dominate the market today. These technologies are commonly subdivided into Crystalline and Thin films; though there can be a great deal of overlap.

Concentrator Technologies

Concentrated solar power (also called concentrating solar power, concentrated solar thermal, and CSP) systems generate solar power by using mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight onto a small area.

Concentrated-Solar-Power-Technology

Electricity is generated when the concentrated light produces heat which can be used to heat the working fluid commonly used is molten salt. The thermal energy can be used to run a steam turbine connected to an electrical power generator to produce electricity.

In this post, we are going to study Flat plate technologies based on Thin-Film and Crystalline solar cells.

Crystalline Solar Panels

Types of Crystalline Solar Cells

The Crystalline can be subdivided into 2 types :

  1. Mono-crystalline or Single crystal solar cells.
  2. Poly-crystalline Solar cells

Monocrystalline (made from a single large crystal) and polycrystalline (made from blocks of silicon that contain many small crystals). Silicon solar panels are the most efficient on the market, but also the most expensive.

They are also the best-performing panels in low-light conditions. Although polycrystalline solar cells are slightly less efficient than the single-crystal type, silicon solar panel efficiencies average about 33% in lab conditions.

Monocrystalline Solar panel

Pros and Cons of Crystalline technologies
Pros:
  • Relatively high conversion efficiencies and a large installed base of manufacturing equipment
Cons:
  • Labour-intensive.
  • Material intensive
  • Limited in physical form (made from fragile, rigid cells cut from larger pieces).

Thin Film Solar Panels

Thin-film technologies get their name from the fact that they are typically deposited directly in a very thin layer (about the thickness of a human air) on large inexpensive substrates (e.g., glass, stainless steel, plastic, ceramic, etc).

Less efficient than Crystalline solar panels, thin-film solar panels are also less expensive to produce. The thin material of these solar panels makes them ideal as building-integrated solar products such as solar shingles and tiles.

This category includes such technologies as amorphous silicon, copper-indium-diselenide, and cadmium telluride.

The most successful thin-film materials are amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium diselenide. Efficiencies range from 10% to 19%

Pros and Cons of Thin-film technologies

Pros:
  • Ideal for automated manufacture, they have low materials usage.
  • It can be deposited on a range of materials and in unique and unusual shapes.
Cons:
  • Lack of manufacturing experience
  • Lower conversion efficiencies (until recently, when CIS-Copper Indium di-Selenide and CdTe-Cadmium Telluride technologies have begun to approach the conversion efficiencies of crystalline technologies.)

Efficiency

Lab efficiencies of 25.0% for mono-Si cells are the highest in the commercial PV market, ahead of polysilicon with 20.4% and all established thin-film technologies namely, CIGS cells (19.8%), CdTe cells (19.6%), and a-Si cells (13.4%).

These high efficiencies can be combined with other technologies, such as multilayer solar cells in applications where space and weight become an issue such as powering satellites.

Solar module efficiencies—which are always lower than those of their corresponding cells—crossed the 20% mark for mono-Si in 2012; an improvement of 5.5% over ten years.

The thickness of a silicon wafer used to produce a solar cell also decreased significantly, requiring less raw material and therefore less energy for its manufacture.

Increased efficiency combined with the economic use of resources and materials was the main driver for the price decline over the last decade.

As we now have a basic understanding of Solar cell, Module, Panel, Array and the types of Solar Module and technology used in the manufacturing of the solar panel, let us also understand the basics of other important components of Solar Power system.

Charge Controller or Power Conditioning Unit (PCU) – Off-Grid/Standalone system

Solar-Charge-Controller

What is the Charge Controller?

The Solar Charge Controller is a kind of energy manager in an off-grid /stand-alone SPV system, which ensures that the battery is cycled(charged & discharged) under conditions which do not reduce its ability to deliver its rated capacity over its expected lifetime.

What is Solar Power Conditioning Unit?

Solar PCU or Power Conditioning unit is nothing but a single unit with a combination of Charge controller and Inverter.

Normally Solar Charger Controller controls the charging and discharging of the battery. And also supply the DC power to the DC loads.

solar-power-conditioning-unit

But if the user has AC loads, then the user needs an inverter to convert the DC voltage into AC voltage.

Instead of using Charge controller and Inverter separately as 2 devices, we can use the Solar PCU as a single unit.

Solar Power Conditioning unit (PCU) is an integrated system consisting of a solar charge controller, inverter and a Grid charger. It provides the facility to charge the battery bank through either a Solar or Grid/DG set.

The PCU continuously monitors the state of the battery voltage, solar power output and the load. Due to constant usage of power, if the battery voltage goes below a set level, the PCU will automatically transfer the load to the Grid/DG power and also charge simultaneously.

Once batteries are charged to the preset level, solar PCU cuts off the Grid/DG power from the system and restores it to feed the loads from the battery bank while also returning to charging the battery from the available solar power.

The PCU always gives preference to solar power and will use Grid/DG power only when the solar power/battery charger is unable to meet the load requirement.

Functions of Solar Charge Controller

Listed below are the 7 most important solar charge controller functions:

  • Prevention of Battery Overcharge.
  • Prevention of Battery Over Discharge.
  • Status Information to System Users/Operators
  • Load Control.
  • Interface and Control backup energy sources.
  • Divert PV Energy to an Auxiliary Load.
  • Serve as Wiring Centre.

Types of Solar Charge  Controller

In the current trend, there are 2 types of charge controllers based on the working principle.

They are :

  • MPPT
  • PWM

To know more details on the functions of the charge controller, visit the detailed post here ( the post will be added soon, sorry for the inconvenience).

Solar Inverter – On-grid system

What is Solar Inverter?

In Solar Power systems, Solar Inverter is a device which is used to convert the DC Voltage(Power) into AC Voltage(Power).

Solar Inverter can be classified into different types:

Types of Solar Inverter:

  • Off-grid Inverter
  • Grid-Tied/On-Grid Inverter
  • Micro-Inverter/ Modular Inverter
  • Hybrid Inverter

Battery

What is the Battery?

In simple terms, a battery is a device used to power electronics and electrical devices.

In scientific terms, a battery is an electrochemical device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy.

Lead-Acid-battery

The battery is made up of one or more electrochemical cells with external connections, positive and negative terminal provided to power electrical devices such as watches, mobile phones, laptops, and even electric vehicles.

Types of battery

  1. Primary batteries (non-rechargeable batteries)
  2. Secondary batteries (rechargeable batteries)

Functions of battery in Solar power system.

3 Main functions of batteries are:

  • Energy Storage Capacity and Autonomy.
  • Voltage and Current stabilization.
  • Supply Surge Currents.

To know more details on the battery, visit the detailed post: What is battery and its most important functions?

DC Cables

What are Solar DC cables?

Solar DC cables are the cables used in the wiring of the solar power systems components to connect panels in an array, transporting DC to Charge Controller, and from Charge Controller to Battery and then to DC loads in case of DC system.

Cables can be of a single solid core or stranded wires. Normally DC cables are larger than AC cables because the DC currents in PV systems are higher than typical AC systems.

When sizing the DC cables in PV systems we should consider 2 major factors. They are:

  • Current carrying capacity of the cable(Ampacity).
  • The voltage drop across the cable during transmission.

To know more details on the battery, visit the detailed post here ( the post will be added soon, sorry for the inconvenience).

Protection devices.

Protection devices such as Isolators, circuit breakers, lightning arrestors are used in the protection of the PV systems in case of Overload, Short circuit and Lightning situations.

Normally used protection devices are Fuses, Circuit breakers, DC isolators, AC Isolators.

Mounting Systems.

Mounting systems are used to hold the solar panels firmly such that it is not displaced in case of strong winds or any natural or man-made calamities.

What are the types of PV Mounting systems?

There are 2 main types of mounting systems used in the PV system. They are:

  • Roof-Mounted
  • Ground Mounted

Normally Roof Mounted systems are used in residential and small commercial PV systems, whereas ground-mounted systems are used for large commercial and utility sized PV systems which can be in MW or GW size solar power plants.

Roof-Mounted Systems:

Roof-Mounted-Solar-Power-Systems

Ground Mounted Systems:

Ground-Mounted-Solar-Power-Systems

Till now we have discussed different components of the Solar Power systems, now lets see the roof/space requirements to install Solar Power system.

Roof/Space requirements for a solar power plant

Space and Orientation

Before purchasing a solar power system, homeowners need to determine roof requirements for installing a rooftop solar power plant.

For maximum performance, a 1-kilowatt solar power plant needs about 125-130 square feet of unshaded south-facing rooftop or open space yard for every kilowatt of electricity produced.

Thin-film solar systems may require about 175 -180 square feet of space per kilowatt.

If your roof does not face south, you can still use a solar electric system, but the performance will be about 5% less with the southeast or southwest-facing system. Eastern, western, and northern facing are not recommended for solar power systems.

Roof tilt angle is also important to capture the path of the sun, but the requirements vary with location.

Your solar consultant/installer recognized by your local authority should be able to calculate the required tilt based on the solar resource for your area because the amount of sunlight by each area differs.

Solar panels are usually mounted on the roof of the house or building, but if we have a shortage of space on the roof, they can be mounted on a pole structure or in our open space in the yard using an appropriate structure.

Now a day’s Solar panels can be integrated into buildings in the form of roof shingles and tiles.

Shading

Shading on panel reduces its energy output performance because it blocks sunlight.

The most common items that shade solar panels are trees, chimneys, nearby buildings, and electrical cables, as well as heating and cooling equipment.

Also check shade from pipes, skylights, and vents.

To determine possible shading problems, consult a solar professional who uses a software program or instruments that can estimate site shading.

Some people will examine a proposed location thoroughly understanding the sun path of the location throughout the day and year to see how the area shading changes.

Shading in an area can change drastically from summer to winter because the sun’s path changes.

If we don’t have a south-facing roof or enough roof space, consider ground or pole-mounted solar system, which can be installed with the same orientation and tilt as a roof-mounted system.

Ground-mounted structures are great for homes/buildings with large yards. Some systems come mounted on a sun tracker system that follows the sun’s movement.

In this post, we have learned about the basics of Solar energy conversion, types of Solar cells and their advantages.

We also learned about different types of solar power systems.

In other solar posts, we will learn in detail about Solar Panel, Battery, Inverter, Charge Controller, Mounting Systems and Protection devices used in Solar power System.

And also, electrical basics and in detail about designing of basic solar power system for the home.

Resources: WikipediaStandalone photovoltaic systems

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