The utilization of solar energy has gained much deserved attention as of lately not just in the United States, but globally as well. Given the rapid growth of solar energy systems across Europe, America and China, it can be perceived that solar energy is not only cleaner, more-affordable and renewable, but perhaps the energy source of the future. This development is largely contributed to the fact that these solar power systems are simply more affordable in the long-run, and also more efficient as a whole.

The way in which these solar power systems operate is quite simple. For an example, a system that introduces the mounting of solar panels, also referred to as PV or photovoltaic, on top of a home’s roof absorbs and converts the photons of congenital sunlight, which are full of energy, into a form of usable energy. When a quality solar powered system is integrated into a home, it may provide decades of a free and clean source of energy. When a homeowner elects to install these solar energy panels, they are able to reduce or even eliminate the dependency on their community’s power grid for the use of electricity for things such as lighting, heating, cooling and the overall operation of a home. Not only will the investment a homeowner makes to have these panels installed essentially pay itself back in a short duration, but also provides a clean and renewable source of energy. It will also require very little maintenance, as the majority of these systems often come with a 25-year warranty.

It is essential that a homeowner obtains these parts from a reputable solar energy equipment supplier and has them installed professionally. There are generally four major components of a solar energy system. Those four components include the actual solar panel or panels, a charge controller, a battery and a DC/AC converter. Initially, the solar panel is perhaps the key component in this system, as they are the main part that absorbs the sun’s lights. There are generally two types of these solar panels that are suitable for residential home use, polycrystalline and monocrystalline. These two types of panels perform very similarly, although monocrystalline panels tend to be more efficient and costlier. There are many brands of these panels which often vary by cost, efficiency, warranty and type of technology used. Depending on the placement and number of panels installed, a homeowner should consider the amount of useable roof-area space, peak sunlight and climate in the area and the panel’s efficiency rating.

The inverters are perhaps the next most vital component of a solar energy system. Essentially, they are the mechanism that converts the DC, direct current, into AC, alternating current. They come in three different types including centralized or string inverters, micro-inverters and power-optimizers. Centralized or string inverters are generally much less expensive but tend to be less efficient as well. Micro-inverters are very convenient if some solar panels are not being exposed to sunlight, as they are attached to each panel, essentially creating smooth operation. Lastly, power-optimizers are also less expensive than micro-inverters, as they are installed in each solar panel. They guide the DC to a central inverter where it will then be converted into AC.