1. What is solar energy?
Solar photovoltaic energy, also known as "PV" or "solar electric", directly converts the energy radiated by the sun as electromagnetic waves into energy by means of solar panels. Individual solar cells, each made from semiconductor materials, connect together to form solar electric modules and produce electricity. These solar modules, in turn, combine and connect to form solar electric arrays.
Yes. Battery systems work independently to renewable solar power systems, so they can be added to any existing system. This method is called AC coupling, and it involves adding a battery and a battery inverter to your home's existing solar power system. If you're not currently exporting a lot of power and have evening consumption you would like to cover with a battery, you should consider increasing the size of your solar PV system first (or as part of the battery upgrade).
Photovoltaic panels can use direct or indirect sunlight to generate power, though they are most effective in direct sunlight. Solar panels will still work even when the light is reflected or partially blocked by clouds. Rain actually helps to keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away any dust or dirt. If you live in an area with a strong net metering policy, excess energy generated by your panels during sunny hours will offset energy that you use at night and other times when your system isn't operating at full capacity.
Solar PV arrays are typically made up of panels of silicon solar cells covered by a thin layer of protective glass, which is attached to an inert solid underlying substance. Solar panels are comprised of many, smaller units called photovoltaic cells. Many cells linked together make up a solar panel. Silicon is what is known as a semi-conductor, meaning that it shares some of the properties of metals and some of those of an electrical insulator, making it a key ingredient in solar cells. The standard components of ground-mounted solar installations include photovoltaic (PV) panels, footings and support structures that are driven into the ground, wiring, solar inverters and foundations, access roads, perimeter fencing, and sometimes maintenance and storage buildings.
Place the solar inverter on a reasonably flat surface, either horizontally or vertically. It's best to run battery cables to a dry, cool inverter mounting location. Keep the solar inverter dry. Do not expose it to rain or moisture. Avoid placing the inverter on or near heating vents, radiators or other sources of heat. Do not place the solar inverter in direct sunlight. Ideal air temperature is between 50F and 80F.
Solar panels are self-cleaning if they have been installed at a pitch that allows for runoff. However, we do recommend a solar panel clean if you have experienced; dusty conditions, have issues with mould or lichen, have issues with birds or wildlife, have issues with tree sap. If you would like your solar panels cleaned, this is a service we can provide in certain states. Alternatively, the solar panels can be washed with clean water, do not use bore water. Please do not use any detergents, cleaning chemicals or abrasive products.