Welcome to Solar Classrooms, an online reference series for those interested in learning more about the main components in solar PV systems. Curated by Solar Power World's editorial team, each installment is a digital content hub with comprehensive background information, current trends and video content about solar and energy storage installation.
Solar inverters are the hardest-working component of a solar array, as they are solely responsible for more operational functions than any other product. Their basic function is to convert the direct current (DC) power that solar panels create to alternating current (AC) power that is usable in homes and businesses, but they do so much more.
Solar panels are the most recognizable part of a solar array. They absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity that is then fed through wires and inverters to be used by homes and businesses. In general, all solar panels consist of glass or polymer layers surrounding solar cells. But technologies are pushing solar panels to new designs and advancements every day.
Solar panels can't do their jobs of making energy if they aren't successfully secured to a roof, whether it is sloped or flat. Roof-mounts can use rails, be rail-less and even depend on ballast, but they all must clamp to solar panels in some way.
Solar panels can't do their jobs of making energy until they're positioned at the right angles and secured properly into the ground. Ground-mount systems can be fixed or track the sun's movement for even more power generation.
More solar systems are coming paired with batteries, making energy storage systems increasingly popular for many homeowners across the country. Lithium-based batteries are the most popular technology in use today, but other innovative chemistries are entering the large-scale market.