WHAT IS A SOLAR PV SYSTEM?
A solar PV system consists of modules, which are linked together to form an array on the roof of a structure or pole mounted on the ground. The modules are comprised of crystalline silicone cells, either mono or poly crystalline, that are linked together by a semi-conductor material across the face of the cell. The cell is produced with two layers - an n-type layer on top, which contains an atom with an additional electron, and a p-type layer on the bottom, which contains an atom with one less electron.
When photons of light, whether direct, diffused, or indirect, strike the panel it causes a movement of electrons. These electrons then travel through the conductive material and form electricity.
A balance of system is the remainder of the components, which are used to transport, convert, and integrate the electricity into your home or business. The balance of system consists of wire, mounting, disconnects, batteries, charge controllers, inverters, etc.
There are 3 basic types of systems – grid connected, grid connected with battery backup and off grid. Grid connected is the most common and the most efficient for a majority of the applications.
Net metering is the billing process in which a system is connected to the grid. The power produced by the system is used when there is a need on the site’s loads. If the system is producing more than site’s needs the energy is then put back out onto the grid and used by another consumer. The producer is credited on a 1 for 1 basis up to net-zero no revenue is produced. During slow times of production the consumer simply pulls power from the utility at normal rates.