Commercial Solar power systems include multiple components that work together to convert the sun’s energy into electricity. That power is then connected to the building’s standard electrical infrastructure as well as the utility grid.
The primary component of the commercial solar photovoltaic system is the solar panels that harness the power of the sun and convert the energy into electricity. These solar panels are either installed on rooftops or open areas, such as a parking lot s that have a lot of sun exposure. These large groupings of solar panels create what’s call a “solar array.” Large commercial solar facilities will often have multiple arrays. Sometimes these arrays are located on different buildings of a given site.
The next commercial solar component is the combiner, which connects multiple wires that carry the electrical current generated by individual solar panels together into a single, larger capacity wire. From there the electrical current flows into the inverter(s).
Once the electrical current hits the systems inverter it transforms direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity. Alternating current is the electricity used by most standard lights, computers, air conditioners, and motors. An inverter will also provide safety functions such as automatic shutdown of the solar electric system in the event of a power failure. In addition to the inverter, an AC safety (or disconnect) switch is a manual switch that is put in place to disconnect a building’s electrical system from the solar electricity system if necessary.
The entire commercial solar system is linked to a remote performance monitoring reporting system (PMRS) that measures and monitors all the electricity generated by the system. The PMRS also performs system diagnostics and will send alerts to a SUNworks Monitoring Specialist regarding any system or equipment issues. The performance monitoring reporting system will also track weather and generates reports that link weather conditions to kilowatt-hour output.
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