Solar Power System Components

Solar Panel

Uses light energy (photons) from the sun to generate electricity. Known as a photovoltaic panel, these are a packaged interconnected assembly of solar cells or photovoltaic cells. Solar Panels are used to generate and supply electricity in residential and commercial applications.

A set of panels are used in succession and are known as a PV String. A group of PV Strings are then used together creating a PV Array. A PV Array is the entire collection of solar panels.

String Combiner

Located near the PV strings, combiners combine the inputs from the different strings into one output circuit.

DC Disconnect Switch

Required before the inverter, the switch isolates the load from the PV source. This may often be part of the inverter, but may also me separate.

Inverter

Converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). When converted, the AC can be any voltage or frequency. However, it will require the appropriate transformers, switches, and control circuits.

AC Panel

Used to recombine the AC output into a single feed, so it can be observed by the utility meter.

Utility Source Disconnect

Required by the Electrical Safety Authority to be next to the utility meter. It is used to isolate a PV system from sending power to the grid during routine or emergency maintenance.

Meter Socket

Required to accurately measure the Solar PV power that is produced by your system. Usually comes in 200A or 100A sockets, refer to your local municipality for specific requirements.