What is Solar PV?
It is the change of light into electricity.
Solar Electricity is often called Solar Photovoltaic (PV).
Photo + Voltaic (Light + Electricity)
Solar PV Systems Explained!
A solar photovoltaic (PV) system uses solar PV modules to directly convert light to electricity. The modules generate DC electricity that is changed to AC electricity by an inverter. The inverter then sends the electricity into the building through the load center panel, powering any loads that may be on. There also two electrical meters, one is the Production Meter and the other is the Utility or Net-Meter. The Electrical Utilities track your solar production and electrical usage through both of these meters.
DC and AC Current
DC and AC are different forms of electrical current. Direct current (DC) electricity as a positive and negative output, just like a battery, or a solar module. Alternating current (AC) electricity has alternating outputs, and is just like a wall outlet, or the utility grid. In order to go between the two types of electricity we must use an Inverter (DC -> AC), or Converter (AC -> DC).
Types of Solar PV Systems
From grid-tied apartments, to off grid cabins, the different systems of solar.
Grid-Tied Solar PV (Net-Metered)
This is the most common type of system. Buildings and houses in urban areas that install solar PV are still connected to the electrical grid. This gives consumers renewable energy and the flexibility of the utility power on demand.
For more rural areas, the electrical grid can often be disrupted. Battery storage can replace a generator and provide needed energy. Battery Back-Up is installed with the solar PV array.
Off-Grid Solar PV
Remote cabins, or forest service stations have no electrical utility to supply power. They rely completely on generators or renewable energy for electricity. Off-grid solar PV with a battery bank supplies power and energy storage.
We would like to give a special thanks to Puget Sound Solar, LLC for letting us use their images. They are a great company in the Seattle area.