How Do Solar Panels Connect to the House?
Before you install your solar panels, you’ll want to understand how they connect to the house. Inverters are needed to convert the DC electricity produced by solar panels into 240 V AC electricity. You can connect your panels in series or parallel and you can also connect a battery backup. Inverters should be mounted within easy reach and each member of your family should be able to turn them off if they see any abnormal activity.
Inverters convert DC electricity produced by solar panels into 240 V AC electricity
An inverter is a device that turns DC electricity produced by solar panels into alternating current (AC). The difference between AC and DC is the type of waveform produced. AC has a sine wave form, while DC has a square wave form. The square wave is visible on TVs, and can also be heard as a low humming noise when connected to sensitive electronics.
The DC electricity produced by solar panels is stored in batteries, and the energy is converted to AC by a device called an inverter. An inverter converts the DC energy into AC by producing a square wave. The output wave is high voltage, and contains reduced current. This square wave keeps the same amount of power output as the input. AC square waves can damage delicate electronic devices.
They are wired in series or parallel
There are two types of solar panel wiring: series and parallel. While series is the most common, a parallel connection can provide even greater electrical power output. However, there are drawbacks to both types of wiring. For instance, a series connection can have a significantly higher voltage limit, while a parallel connection has a much lower voltage limit. However, in a house that has an extremely high power requirement, a parallel connection may be a more suitable option.
Wiring solar panels in series means that the positive and negative terminals are connected. The resulting current is the sum of the two panels’ amperages, while the total voltage is equal to the output voltage of a single panel. An example of this type of solar panel wiring is shown below. Three eighteen-volt, six-amp solar panels wired in series will provide an output current of 18 amps.
They are connected to a home’s electrical panel
Electricity from solar panels flows in a single direction, or Direct Current. By contrast, the current that modern electrical standards require is Alternating Current (AC). AC constantly reverses its direction dozens of times per second, and is easier to monitor and manipulate. A home’s electrical panel is connected to its main bus bar, which distributes electricity to various circuit breakers. Electricity from solar panels flows to the breaker panel.
A home’s electrical panel is the central hub for electricity distribution and is used to protect the home from damage. This unit is found inside a metal box that is usually mounted directly to the wall in a low-traffic area. The electrical panel contains all of the home’s breaker switches, or circuits. Each circuit has its own protective fuse, and the panels are connected through these switches to outlets throughout the house.
They have a battery backup
When it comes to integrating a battery backup system with a solar panel system, there are a few considerations that should be kept in mind. A battery can be used for the entire home or for critical loads such as a refrigerator or a well pump. Besides reducing your dependence on the grid, a battery backup system can also provide power to certain circuit panels that are connected to critical loads.
If the panels produce more energy than the battery can store, the excess power is sent back to the utility company for credit. This can be useful if the power grid goes down for a few hours. Similarly, if there’s a power outage, the battery will continue to charge the panels. As long as there’s enough power generated from the solar panels, the battery backup will be able to provide enough power to run essential appliances in the house for a few hours.