3 Essential Components of a High Quality Solar Power System
A solar power system includes three major parts: the solar panels, the inverter, and the mounting hardware. If any part of this is not well made and appropriate for your needs, the entire system can be compromised. It is not hard to put together a quality system, but it does require a little bit of all-important know-how. A high quality solar system may be a little more expensive at the time of purchase, but can actually save you money in repairs and replacement parts over time.
1. The Solar Panels
This is the part of the system that actually captures solar energy. The flat, characteristically black panels collect photons of light energy from the sun and turn them into direct current or DC energy. Quality panels are necessary for your system to function, and should be purchased from a reliable company.
A good way to determine if a company is reliable is simply to get on the internet and look it up. Many solar panels are manufactured in China and other international locations, but the parent company should at least have an office in your country. Otherwise, they may not really be interested in your market, could be supplying inferior parts and imagine the headaches associated with posting solar panels back overseas for a warranty claim – who knows when you’ll hear back. All panels have a power tolerance (either positive or negative), which determines how much energy they produce. A power tolerance is given in percentage, and increases or decreases the energy produced by the panel accordingly. For example, a panel rated at 190W +/-5% will produce 181-199.5W. Even small differences add up, so higher-rated panels are worth the additional cost. Always look for solar panels with positive power tolerances.
2. The Inverter
Solar panels produce DC electricity, but this is not what our home appliances run on. In order to use the energy produced by your solar panels, you will need an inverter. This device transforms the energy from DC to 240V AC, which is used to power most home appliances. It also keeps track of how much energy your system produces.
Inverters are sometimes a sort of 'throw-in' part when systems are being purchased. You do not want to skimp on the inverter. Cheap inverters break often and easily, and then your entire system is useless. A few hundred extra spent on a high-quality inverter will save you a lot of headache down the road.
3. The Mounting System
The mounting system connects your solar panels to your roof, and obviously is quite important in making sure they stay put. There are different models available for different types of roofs, so make sure that yours is appropriate for the roof you have. Typically, the main distinction is between tin and tile.
Different countries have varying regulations requiring mounting systems to meet certain standards, but there haven't been many too problems in this regard. Still, make sure that your mounting system of choice indicates that it meets or exceeds the applicable standards for solar panel mounting equipment. This will keep your system safe and in place so that it can work for you.
This article was written by the team at Solar Market, providing independent and free solar power systems buying advice in an easy to read website.