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How to Setup Solar Power: Understanding the Components of a Solar Energy System

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 97

When learning how to setup for power it is important to understand the different components that comprise the solar power system.Without a base understanding, before you start your build, it's likely that you'll feel confused when you first look at your plans and have trouble getting started.By having a basic understanding before you begin, you will be able to start and complete your solar power system install quickly.Below we'll discuss several of the more common components in a solar power system.

Solar Cell

A solar cell is the component of a solar panel that takes in sunlight and produces electricity.

Solar Panel

The solar panel is an array of solar cells that aggregates the energy they produce and passes it on to the next component.

Power Inverter

To understand a power inverter you need to first understand the two different types of power: AC and DC.DC power is the kind of power that comes from a battery.DC stands for direct current which means the power comes in a steady stream. AC, or alternating current, on the other hand arrives in peaks and valleys much like a series of ocean waves.The power that comes out of your wall outlets in your house is AC.A power inverter takes the direct current of DC power and converts it to AC power to be compatible with your home.

Charge Controller

The charge controller sits between the power inverter and the batterry bank.Batteries can be damaged if they are overcharged, so the charge controller is used to prevent overcharging of the batteries.In learning how to setup solar power you will learn that the charge controller is a very important piece of equipment in your system.Because of the expense of batteries, and the time that it takes to plan a battery bank system, the charge controller can be worth its weight in gold.

Battery Bank

The battery bank is a series of batteries that can provide power to your house at night or during extended periods of cloudiness.Although not strictly necessary, to gain the full benefits of a solar power system a battery bank can be used.

Alternate Power Sources

Because solar power only works during the day, it is important to be able to get your power from another source when the system is not productive.Knowing how to setup solar power to run in parallel with another source of power will round out your energy supply.The alternate power sources could be a battery bank as mentioned above a generator, wind turbines, a connection to the power grid, or a combination of all these.

I've tried to describe the components of a solar power system in a way that makes sense.From the solar cell grouped together into a solar panel the power flows to the power inverter if it is to be used in the house immediately.If it is to be stored it will go through the charge controller which protects the batteries from overcharge.

By understanding the many components in the solar energy system you will know how to setup solar power in a way that is most efficient for your use case. Once you understand the system it will be easy to progress to build solar panels at home. To learn everything you need to know about building a solar energy system in your home click how to setup solar power now.

Source: EzineArticles
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