Solar 101: How PV systems work
Knowledge is power, but few of us understand the technology behind solar power. John Yeh, director at Risource Energy, a top local solar energy firm, encourages learning how PV (photovoltaic) systems work, because (1), it can help your solar decision-making process and (2), it’s actually interesting. “The solar PV question for homeowners can be complex,
and part of adding value to our customers is clarifying the technology, the benefits and the process,” explained Yeh. “When you understand more about PV, you know what’s at stake, and what questions to ask of prospective solar contractors.” According to Yeh, the following system basics are good to know:
PV panels (or modules) are the heart of the system, and consist of solar cells that convert sunlight into DC (direct current) electricity. When sunlight hits a cell — which is a thin semiconductor wafer — electrons are released, forming an electrical current that is captured by positive and negative conductors attached to each cell. Notably, Risource Energy is Hawaii’s only provider of next generation CIS PV panels, which are rated superior to the old industry standard crystalline silicon panels by many measures.
The central inverter is the brain of a PV system, because it converts the DC current to AC electricity (alternating current) that is used in our homes. Typically, the inverter is the most expensive part of a system, and is attached to the side of the house.
Panel support and rooftop mounting
The PV panels are supported by a racking/framing system that is mounted on your roof using 4 inch screws that are sealed to prevent water penetration.
System design for your home
Your solar company should design a PV system to fit your rooftop and your household’s electricity needs. Designs address panel placement, wiring and rack (frame) placement. Superior designs can yield more electricity generation and a properly scaled system for your needs, all of which will save you more money.
Inspections and cleaning are vital to prolonging the life of your PV investment. Risource Energy offers an unbeatable, free 10 year maintenance, inspection and cleaning program performed by its professional technicians.
“Customers are priority No.1 at Risource Energy,” added Yeh. “Call the company today and learn for yourself.”
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