A solar system consists of numerous components that all play an important role in providing solar power to a building.
Here are the basic ones found in every system:
Solar panels: converts solar power into electricity
Inverter: converts DC power from the solar panels and batteries into AC power for appliances
Solar array mounting racks: attach the panels to your building's roof, poles, or the ground
Power, utility, and kilowatt meters: measures the amount of power used by and sent to the system's grid
AC, breaker, and circuit breaker panels: joins the system's power source to electrical circuits in the building
Out of all these components, the solar panels are the most visible and arguably the most important. But it can be hard to know what panels are best for your needs.
How Solar Works
Solar panels use a complex yet ecologically friendly process to convert the sun's rays into solar energy. The sun’s rays hit the solar panels and they soak up the DC energy. That energy runs to the inverter and converts to AC energy, which is what powers your home.
Because of their eco-friendly design and capabilities, solar panels are increasingly installed in new homes, offices, schools, and other structures to help save both natural resources and costs.
Solar panels are easy to maintain and designed to last for years. They offer a high return on their investment by lowering owners' energy bills and avoiding the costly repairs that are found with traditional energy systems used in buildings.
Mono or Poly?
The solar panels available to the public today come in two primary models: polycrystalline (poly)and monocrystalline (mono). Poly solar panels are typically blue solar panels and are made from raw silicon that is poured into square molds. Once the silicon is cooled, it is then cut into square wafers.
Poly solar panels offer a number of advantages that appeal to people who want to install a solar system in their home or business. First, they are low in cost, allowing most home and business owners to afford them easily.
Second, they perform well even in cloudy conditions or during overnight hours when the sun is not shining. They have an energy efficient rate of 13 to 16 percent on average.
Even at that energy rate, however, poly solar panels are not as powerful as their mono solar panel counterparts. Poly panels also need more space to be installed and are not as aesthetically pleasing as other models.
Alternatively, mono solar panels are more efficient and have a higher output percentage of 15 to 20 percent. These panels do not require large amounts of space for installation. Rather, you can use fewer mono solar panels and get a higher rate of energy.
Second, mono solar panels are typically black, so they offer a clean, uniform look and are designed to last longer than other types of solar panels. They perform well in low light conditions and are crafted to absorb more energy.
It’s important to keep all solar panels clean for maximum production, but when you have mono solar panels, be especially diligent in their upkeep.
Solar Panel Brands
What brands of solar panels can you find at most solar power companies? Some of the most popular solar power brands available today include:
These solar panel brands garner high reviews from both solar companies and consumers who own solar systems.
At Blue Raven Solar, we install 290-watt monocrystalline tier 1 black on black solar panels. Our panels feature German engineering and offer outstanding performance and warranties.
As you think about going solar, carefully consider your solar panel options and preferences, including budget, production, appearance, and warranty. Perhaps more importantly, make sure to choose an established and experienced solar installer to help you navigate the process and provide a high-quality installation so you can enjoy the benefits of going solar right away.