Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

In the last two decades (1990 – 2010) Photovoltaic Systems have grown into a global business of approximately 82 billion dollars. This strong growth has been driven by public policy, the fall in costs of photovoltaic technology, the increase in the performance of photovoltaic systems and the increase in tariffs from utility companies. In addition to the financial savings, photovoltaic systems provide clean “green” energy, without noise or pollution. The installation is flexible and scalable. Because photovoltaic systems do not contain moving parts, they are extremely reliable and require minimal maintenance during their useful life. (It is common for a modern photovoltaic cell module to have a 25-year warranty.)

The following diagram describes a general Photovoltaic (PV) System:

1. Sun (Approximately 1,368 W/m² of solar radiation reaches Planet Earth every day2.)
2. PV Module Array (Monocrystalline Silicon, Polycrystalline Silicon, etc.)
3. (Optional) Charge Controller (Protects batteries from overcharging and over-discharging)
4. (Optional) Batteries (Lead Acid: Open, Lead Acid: Closed, Lithium Ion, etc.)
5. Inverters (String Inverters, Microinverters)
6. PV Disconnect (Isolates the PV System from the Utility)
7. Electric Meter (Bidirectional Meter)
8. Residence

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