Solar PV

How do Solar PV panels work? 

Light from the sun, or more specifically, photons from the sun (aka solar energy) hit the photovoltaic (PV) array which causes an electric current to be generated.  This process is the result of atoms becoming excited, allowing the flow or shifting of electrons to take place within a PV cell. Thousands of these cells are linked together to produce more current in the solar module or solar panel.  The current generated is direct current or DC.

 

  1. Solar Power Inversion: DC power means that the flow of charge is unidirectional and that the voltage will not change over time.  Alternating current (AC) on the other hand, will reverse direction periodically and change voltage over time.  AC power is the usable form of electricity for residential (240V) and commercial applications (120/208V, 480V, 600V..), because of this, we install an inverter to change the current from DC to AC. But what is an Inverter?  An inverter is simply a device that transforms direct current into alternating current, so you can use solar energy in your home or business.  There are two main types of inverters, string inverters and micro-inverters, each with their own advantages.
  2. Following solar power inversion, the solar panels are connected to a panel board in the home. From here the solar energy is distributed throughout the local loads. The home or business will use the solar energy first, and if required will draw from the grid for any excess energy required.
    Strict safety measures under the SEAI must be met to be eligible for a grant. It is important to ensure your solar panel installer is SEAI registered. We are approved contractors for SEAI Grants. Anti-islanding is a safety feature built into the inverters to instantaneously stop feeding the grid during a power outage so electrical workers can operate safely on an uncharged power grid.
  3. Once this is completed, the system will begin to generate usable solar power for the grid.  A bi-directional meter is now installed to measure your energy imported vs exported.  Unused/excess solar energy is sent to the national grid.

Divert Before You Export Electricity

We recommend installing an IBoost+ or My Eddi so your excess power is sent to your cylinder immersion heater.  This helps give you a tank of hot water for showering and bathing.

Solar IBoost Plus power diverter

Off-grid solar power options are available thanks to battery storage systems becoming more efficient. We supply and install high-quality battery systems for domestic and commercial solar installations.

String Inverters

  • Power is inverted from DC to AC at the ground level, typically requiring only one inverter per residential solar installation.
  • Most applicable when the solar panels have unobstructed sunlight and are positioned at the same pitch/tilt.
  • The efficiency of the system is dependent on the least effective cell (unless the solar array is installed with a DC optimizer, see below).
  • String inverter systems usually have lower material costs than micro-inverter systems since only one is required.
  • DC Power Optimizers act like a micro-inverter for string inverter systems. One optimizer is installed under every one or two solar panels, which allow them to operate individually, maximizing their solar energy output if partial shading or tilt/azimuth differences occur.

Solar Edge HD Wave Inverters

Micro-Inverters

  • Power is inverted from DC to AC at the modular level.  Multiple inverters are required and are mounted under the solar panels on the roof.
  • Solar panels operate independently so the system remains efficient if minor shading or pitch/tilt differences occur.
  • Allows for the expandability of your PV system over time
  • Generally, have fewer labour costs associated with solar power system installation.

How do solar pvs work

 

Still, have more questions about Solar PV installations?

Contact us now to get specific answers for your needs or read more solar FAQs.

Midland Solar is are approved contractors for SEAI Grants.