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Solar photovoltaic modules are mounted on a roof or ground mount where they are nicely exposed to the sun. A proper site assessment with shading analysis can help determine the ideal location for the array.
Here the wiring for the strings of modules are combined into one common wire before going to the DC disconnect. Fuses or breakers for the individual strings are found here
The main disconnect for the photovoltaic array. Basically just a big switch.
The charge controller accepts the voltage and current from the solar array and modifies it so as to appropriately charge the batteries. This prevents the batteries from becoming overcharged and becoming damaged.
Flooded lead acid, Gel lead acid, or AGM batteries are typically used as a large storage bank of electricity. Generally 24 or 48VDC for bigger systems, 12VDC for smaller systems.
The main disconnect for the battery bank. Basically just a big switch.
The inverter/charger converts excess DC power stored in the batteries to AC electricity and feeds it into the house. When the power in the grid goes out, the inverter will disconnect from the grid and only feed the backed up loads of the home. This unit also has the ability to convert AC power from the grid to DC to charge the batteries following a power outage.
The main disconnect between the inverter and the grid. Again, basically just a big switch.
Where the power from the grid is split up between all of the different loads for the home. The inverter feeds electricity into the mains panel through a couple of breakers. This electricity goes wherever it is needed, be it in your home or your neighbors.
The wires owner (Enmax, Fortis, etc) will install a bi-directional meter for free. This meter keeps track of what goes into the home and what leaves the home. In this way the home owner is billed for what they take from the grid and credited what they put in with the solar!
NOTE: This is based on a typical system but is not indicative of every system installed of this type. This should in no way be used as a design aid and is for basic understanding purposes only.
When the grid goes down, we've got your backup!
Solar backup systems have been used for nearly thirty years by businesses and homeowners to supply uninterrupted power during black-outs or whenever necessary. Backup systems work by using batteries to store energy harnessed from sunlight via solar panels. When grid sourced power fails, the solar power stored in the batteries kicks into action and provides a smooth transition and uninterrupted flow of energy to your appliances, lights, and electrical systems.
Most solar systems are connected to the utility grid, drawing power from the grid when needed and sending power back when there is excess available. Grid-tied solar systems are designed to shut down in the event of a power outage. This is why backup solar systems are often utilized to guarantee nonstop power to the home. A solar PV panel collects DC power and sends it to a battery bank by way of a charge controller. The charge controller regulates the level of charge of the batteries in order to prevent overcharging or total depletion.
Backup systems also require a special inverter to convert the DC power into AC to run your home’s electrical systems. For grid-tied systems, inverters are programmed to shut off in a power outage. That is what makes a backup system inverter special; it will continue running regardless of the utility grid’s output.
Backup solar systems are designed to store at least enough power to run your critical loads. Critical load is the power necessary to run essential electrical systems in your home such as heating systems, computers, well pumps, refrigerator, and lighting. A solar backup system which can satisfy critical loads will likely have three or more batteries in its bank. These are connected to the AC panel in your home and set up by your solar installer to switch on automatically whenever needed!