What is a Solar PV system?
A solar photovoltaic (PV) system is like an electrical power generating system that produces power when exposed to sunlight through interconnected components such as DC-AC power inverter, battery, system and battery controller and also includes hardware such as wiring, surge protection and disconnect devices, and other processing systems. The battery is used for storage of energy produced by the PV array during the day (when there is plenty of sunlight) so that it can be supplied to electrical loads as needed (during the night or periods of cloudy weather). A battery charge controller is used to protect the system from overcharge or over discharge.
Types of Solar PV Systems
The two main type of Solar PV systems are grid-connected PV systems and stand-alone PV systems, based on their ability to operate in connection with the grid or independent of it.
Grid-connected solar PV systems operate in parallel with the grid and their main component is the inverter. The bi-directional interface allows the supply of power from the PV system to on-site electrical loads or to feed into the grid if the grid output is low. At night or during periods when the electrical loads exceed their PV system outputs, the electricity is supplied by the grid or utility.
Stand-alone solar PV systems are generally designed to supply DC and/or AC electrical loads. These tyoe of systems may solely use a PV array or may use a PV-hybrid system that is a combination of wind or utility power. Since there is no storage involved in typical direct systems, these operate during the day when sunlight is available. The main principle behind the operation of these systems involves the matching of maximum power outputs of the PV system to the electrical load demands.