Ameko Power Solar
About Solar System Components
There are a lot of terms specific to the home solar industry. Some are confusing and others may just be new to your vocabulary. You¡¯ll find the definitions for several commonly used technical terms, below
Also called solar modules, solar panels are made up of silicon "cells" that absorb photons (sunlight) to create a photovoltaic (PV) effect that allows for the conversion of sunlight to electricity. (Silicon just happens to be the Earth¡¯s most abundant element other than oxygen and is used to make computer chips, glass, cement and solar panels.) Solar panels are linked together to form "strings" and strings are combined to form "arrays". This array is connected to your home via an inverter, delivering electricity to power your home or back to the grid, if your system produces more electricity than you use.
The solar inverter is the electrical box that turns direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity. A grid-tied solar inverter allows this AC electricity to be sent back to the grid when you produce more energy than you use
Balance of System
The Balance of System includes racking for the solar panels, roof integration equipment, wiring, and conduit. Just add panels and an inverter and you've got a home solar system.
The grid is a network of power lines that carries and transmits electricity from large centralized power plants to individual homes. The term ¡°going off the grid¡± refers to a household that generates all of its own power and no longer has to rely on the grid. Solar systems are "grid-tied" (or connected to the grid) so that you can still power your house when the sun doesn't shine and can take advantage of all the tax incentives, as well as state and municipal rebates that are available for grid-tied systems.
When you install a grid-tied solar system, your utility monitors how much electricity your solar panels produce and how much electricity you use through a process known as net metering. If your home solar system generates more electricity than you use, you export it to the grid and receive credit from your utility. When you use more electricity than you generate, like at night, you draw it back off the grid as required. Your utility determines the difference between the electricity you generate and what you use from the grid, and bills you for that difference. Because the amount of power you'll generate is greater during the summer than in the winter, this balance is reconciled at the end of each year.
If, at the end of the year, you have produced more than you used some utilities will compensate your for this extra power but others will not. Contact your utility for up-to-date information about their Net Metering or Solar program.
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