If you’ve been looking into the idea of using solar energy for your home, you’ve likely come across some terminology that is unfamiliar. One of the phrases that you may be hearing is
solar photovoltaic systems. Also know as PV systems, this refers to the configuration of the panels that are part of the system. Here are some basics that will help you understand how this system works, using four of the more common question that people have about this approach.
What is Meant by Photovoltaic Cells?
Photovoltaic cells are part of the solar panel design. They serve a specific purpose, in that the cells make it possible to convert thermal energy into electricity. Solar panels that are not equipped with these cells do generate electricity for storage, but that power is generated from solar radiation, or sunlight. The inclusion of the cells helps to make the collection and storage of energy to convert into electricity much more efficient.
How Long Will These Systems Last?
For terms of warranty protections, systems of this type are generally considered capable of functioning for a quarter-century. In actual practice, there are systems in place that have been functioning for up to four decades. There is some variance based on the system design, the manufacturer specifications, and other factors.
The manufacturer of the system that you’re considering can provide some idea of the projected life span. Take that into consideration, but do look around and see what you can learn from those who’ve had the systems in place for some time.
Is There More Than One Type of Solar Photovoltaic System?
There are actually three designs for solar photovoltaic systems that you are likely to encounter. All three can be used in a commercial setting as well as a residential one Your individual circumstances will determine which one is best for your situation.
The grid connected system allows you to run the home using solar energy as the primary source. Excess energy is exported to the grid, allowing you to receive bill credits. Off-grid systems are independent of the grid, and may be used as the only source, or as a backup source in the case of a power failure. They also come with battery backup.
Hybrid systems allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds. It’s possible to combine the use of the system with some power supplied from the grid. Like the off-grid solution, a hybrid usually comes with battery storage, making it ideal for use when the main grid is down.
How Long Does It Take to Install This Sort of Energy Solution?
The installation of any residential system will depend on the type that you prefer, the number of panels involved, and preparatory work that must be done to the home’s wiring, and even the location where the panels and the battery storage will reside.
Even so, it’s not unusual for these systems to be installed and fully functional in anywhere between one and five business days. For a more precise projection, talk with the contractor who will handle the installation.
Take your time and compare all of the options before settling on any system. Doing will ensure that the performance will be in line with your expectations, and that you will be happy with the choice for years to come.