Solar PV Basics

We’re continually learning at Greenovations.  By doing so, we identify the best products and the most skilled trade professionals through our research.    Though we like to consider ourselves experts, the building world is evolving every day and requires the best of us to study as if we were amateurs.  Building should be a profession of life long learning!

So, here’s something we recently learned.  Did you know when one panel on a PV solar system goes into the shade thus losing, say 25% of its energy production, most systems will lose 25% of production on all of the installed panels, whether they are in the shade or not?  Unless of course, it’s a Shuco photo-voltaic panel.

This happens because PV panels are all linked and create DC (direct current) electricity that is converted to the levels necessary for AC (alternating current) wiring and appliances in our homes.  This is how panels have worked for decades, where the process of converting DC electricity to AC electricity occurs somewhere in the house, at the end of that linked system by means of an inverter.  In fact, nearly all systems have been designed this way over the years.  But Shuco Solar, one of the German leaders in the industry, has maintained its leadership role by producing PV panels that have an on-board inverter on every panel, creating AC electricity.  So, should one panel experience a reduction in energy, those other panels not experiencing a reduction in energy will continue to operate at maximum production.

This is the sort of example that demonstrates leadership in design and forces those of us in the business to stay on our toes.  For years, forward thinking green builders have been wiring homes for ac and dc in order to take advantage of the power of the sun.  This, of course, costs more when your electrician bills you. Companies like Shuco have solved the problem by eliminating the need for dc wiring in your home.

You learn something every day.

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