What's solar Why solar

Solar power ( or Photovoltaics, PV, more specifically) is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity. 

Depending on whether the system is connected to the grid, the solar power system can be divided into off-grid and on-grid system. Off-grid means the power generated from the solar system is not connected to the utility grid and is entirely stored or consumed onsite. On-grid, on the other hand, is tied to the grid through a net-metering device. The power from the solar system can be consumed onsite and excessive power can be fed into utility grid. 

Both off-grid and on-grid system are composed of all or most of the following major components: 

1. Solar Modules: Solar modules use light energy (photons) from the sun to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. The majority of modules use wafer-based crystalline silicon cells or thin-film cells based on cadmium telluride or silicon. Each module is rated by its DC output power under standard test conditions (STC), and typically ranges from 100 to 320 watts.

2. Combiner Box: The combiner connects multiple wires carrying the electrical current generated by individual solar panels together into a single, larger capacity wire, which then flows to the inverter. 

3. Inverter: A solar inverter, or PV inverter, converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network. It is a critical component in a photovoltaic system, allowing the use of ordinary commercial appliances.

4. AC Switch: The AC safety, or disconnect, switch is a manual switch that can be used to disconnect a buildings electrical system from the solar electricity system.

5. Monitoring System: The solar system can be linked to a remotely located performance monitoring reporting system. The systems measures and monitors all electricity generated by the system, performs system diagnostics and sends alerts regarding system or equipment issues. 

6. Charge Controller: A charge controller limits the rate at which electric current is added to or drawn from electric batteries. It prevents overcharging, overvoltage or deep discharging which can reduce battery performance or lifespan.

7. Battery: in a typical off-grid solar application, a group of batteries are necessary to store the electricity for the night or rainy days. Wherever battery is used, there will be Charge Controllers. 

8. Mounting System: the structure to support and fix solar modules at desired location. Although it only accounts for a small part of the cost, mounting system is the most important part to ensure that the system is safe and sound throughout its entire lifespan.