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SOLAR PV SYSTEM COMPONENTS​

by Ir. Azean Abu Samad.



This is a brief description of the major components of solar PV system. There are additional small components required for a complete installation that are not described here. 



1. Photovoltaic modules (also known as Solar Panels or PV modules)

They are typically made of silicon crystals, a polymer back and aluminum frame. There are 2 major types of PV module, namely monocrystalline and polycrystalline. There is also thin film but it is less common.


Table below compares mono and polycrystalline.


As you can see, mono’s color is darker than polycrystalline. The darker color makes it less prominent on the roof compared to poly.​

Source: Energy Sage


Inverters takes DC from PV module and turn it into AC which is used to run your electrical appliances.​



INVERTER

Inverters also act as a safety protection. In the event of power outage at the utility side, the inverter will switch off, and therefore stopping current flow from solar panels to electrical appliances. 

There are 3 commonly used inverters, namely central, string and micro inverters.  Central inverters are used for utility scale solar PV system. For homes and businesses, string and micro inverters are typically used. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both types of inverters.



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QUICK TIP

Typical warranty for inverters is between 5 to 10 years. Some installers offer extended warranty. Do check with your solar installer how you are covered.

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Source: SolarQuote​



WARRANTY

Warranty is a very important aspect often overlook by buyers. If you own the solar PV system, it would be smart to pay attention to the fine prints to avoid negative impact on your solar investment. If you opt for Solar Energy Purchase or Solar Leasing, you do not have to worry, as system faults are under the responsibility of solar investor. ​


QUICK TIP

  1. Ask about what’s excluded in your warranty​

  2. Find out what might void your warranty​

  3. Investigate hidden costs that you may incur​

  4. Insure your solar PV system investment to cover the gap not covered​

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