Photovoltaic System Types

Photovoltaic systems can be configured as many ways. For an example, many residential systems use battery storage to power appliances during the night. In contrast, water pumping systems often operate only during the day and require no storage device. A large commercial system would likely have an Invertor to power ac appliances, whereas a system in a small cabin would not need an Invertor. Some systems are linked to the main utility grid such as SMUD and PG&E and others operate independently.

Integrated Photovoltaic Battery Charging Solar Systems

These systems incorporate all their equipments, including the application, in a single package. Small appliances, complete with a rechargeable battery and integrated PV battery chargers, are a common example. (Garden lights, highway signs and lamps)

Day Use Solar Systems

The simplest and least expensive photovoltaic systems are designed for day use only. These systems consist of modules wired directly to DC appliances, with no storage batteries.
When the sun shines on the modules, the appliances consume the electricity they generate. Higher insolation levels results in increased power output and greater capacity. Remote water pumping is an example for this type of systems.

Direct Current Solar System With Storage Batteries

 To operate loads at nights or during cloudy weather, PV systems must include a means of strong electrical energy; batteries are the most common solution. System load can be powered from the batteries during the day or night continuously or intermittently, regardless of the weather conditions. The series of batteries range from small flash light size to dozens of heavy duty industrial batteries. This systems basic components include a PV module, charge controller, storage batteries, and appliances.

Direct Current Solar Systems Powering Alternating Current Loads.

Solar cells produce DC electrical power, but many common appliances require AC power. Direct current systems that power AC loads must be use an Invertor to convert DC electricity to AC current.

Grid Tied Solar Systems

Solar systems that are connected to the main utility system do not need battery storage system because utility grid acts as a power reserve. Instead of storing surplus energy during the day, the home owner sells the excess energy to a local utility through a specially designed invertor.When home owner needs more energy than solar modules produces then he can drove electricity from the grid. If the utility grid goes down, the Invertor automatically shuts off and will not feed the solar generated electricity back in to the grid. This ensures the safety of line person s working on the grid. Because utility – connected systems use the grid for storage these systems will not have power if the utility grid goes down. For this reason some of the systems are equipped with battery storage to provide power in the event of power loss from the utility grid.


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