The specific shape and layout of the parts of a solar power generator system vary widely from application to application depending on the specific power needs and size of the building utilizing solar power; however, regardless of the size of the project there are certain elements of solar power design that remain the same no matter the size or specifics of the project.
A Typial Solar Energy Generation system consists of four basic components:
- The Solar Panels / Photovoltic (PV) Cell Arrays
- A Charge Controller, (12V)
- A Power Inverter, and the
- Storage Batteries (Deep Cycle Battery Banks)
|Photovoltaic Cell Arrays
All solar energy systems begin with a collector of solar energy, the photovoltaic (PV) cell. As sunlight bombards the PV cell it looses electrons, which are carried by wire to provide electricity.Solar panels containing PV cells can be several feet across and permanently fixed to a roof or tower or as small as a single cell.
|Deep Cycle Battery Banks
Solar energy is stored in battery banks for use in homes and by portable electric devices. PV cells produce DC power, or direct current. To store and use this electricity, a bank of batteries must be linked together in a series circuit. The more power that is needed for a home or application, the more batteries must be wired in the battery bank. Because of the constant drain and recharging, deep cycle batteries must be used.
|12 Volt Charge Controller
The final necessary component is a 12v charge controller. Wired between the solar panels and the battery bank, the charge controller keeps the batteries from overcharging, which could cause leaking or explosion. High-quality charge controllers will also keep the electricity stored in the battery bank from draining back into the solar panels during the night. Somecharge controllers feature a digital readout which displays the current charge of the battery bank. Set a charge controller to turn on the current when the battery bank charge dips below 11.7 volts and to shut off when the charge exceeds 14.3 volts
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