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Photovoltaic Systems

Shedding Light: Harnessing the Power of Solar Energy

Photovoltaic (PV) systems use energy from the sun to generate electricity and are comprised of solar panels, inverters, and sometimes batteries. PV system design can vary depending on several factors such as building size and power requirements. The system can be designed to cover a percentage of total building energy consumption to a completely energy self-sufficient system.

When solar panels come in contact with natural sunlight, they generate Direct Current (DC) electricity. A component of the system known as the Solar Inverter converts DC current into Alternating Current (AC) which is usable energy in buildings.

The Solar Inverter sends the AC current to the building. Excess energy that is not consumed by the building can be stored in batteries or sent to the Power Grid to be used and distributed elsewhere. When excess energy is fed back to the power grid, the electric meter spins in reverse, giving a power credit to the building. This is a billing mechanism known as Net Metering which allows the extra energy to be used anytime, instead of when it was generated.

Every PV system design is unique depending on the building's size and power needs. Calculations must be performed to understand the PV system's energy output performance. PV systems can supply anywhere from a percentage of total energy consumption to a complete energy self-sufficient system, also known as Net Zero Buildings.

It is important to have a PV System designed to produce the largest amount of power possible. Building owners can not only save and store energy, but also save money on their monthly power bill.

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