Also known as Photovoltaic (PV) panels. PV panels are high impact glass enclosures of silicon panels that absorb photons from sunlight and convert them to electricity (voltage) that can be directly used or stored. For larger capacity systems, the panel selection is more critical to meet production and costs goals.
This is the hardware needed to ensure the generated electricity matches what is needed for the facility’s usage and looks no different from the power that is supplied through the grid. It is important for the resident or business using solar energy to make it easier to transmit additional electricity back into the grid. Modern inverters for grid-connected systems (without local energy storage) also prevent power from flowing within the solar energy system whenever the local grid goes down. While not ideal, this is regulated in order to protect workers repairing the supply network.
As a system grows in capacity, there are more options for inverter types where larger inverter components can manage the output from a greater number of panels. Such “string inverters” require attention to make sure they are adequate for all the possible real world operating conditions, such as a panel failure or partial shadowing due to clouds, etc.