–As solar power becomes a more attractive economic and environmental choice there are more and more questions about how solar energy works and how to install it. Electricraft, Inc., a leading solar company in San Luis Obispo County has recently released a new report to answer questions about how energy from the sun provides electricity for homes and businesses.
The report, “The Great Connection — Converting DC to AC for Solar Installations,” covers the process that converts DC energy from solar panels into the AC energy needed to run electric lights, appliances, computers, power tools, and all the electrical conveniences of today’s world.
As one of the leading solar experts on California’s Central Coast Electricraft has published a variety of reports about advances in solar energy. This latest report is the newest installment to the company’s library of public information about the advantages and advancements in solar technology.
The Great Connection — Converting DC to AC for Solar Installations
Whether a solar installation is connected to the grid, an off-grid stand-alone system, or a hybrid of both on and off-grid, the sun’s energy that is collected by the solar panels needs to be converted into energy that a building’s electrical system can use. Home and business electrical systems run on AC (alternating current). The energy that is collected by solar panels is DC (direct current). To make this conversion an inverter needs to be installed between the wiring from the solar panels and the main electrical panel.
How an inverter works
Solar panels are connected either directly to the power inverter then to the electrical panel (building grid), or to a battery pack then to the electrical panel. The inverter converts the DC power into AC. Connecting through a battery pack is a little more complex than directly from the inverter to the building grid.
The inverter has a series of transformers and switches for converting DC to AC current to provide power to the electrical outlets.
On-grid, off-grid, and hybrid solar systems
An “on-grid” solar system connects to the local power utility (power company) and sends excess energy that is not used by the home or commercial installation into the grid. That energy can be credited for later use. If the home, or commercial building, requires more electricity than what the solar panels produce, then the utility grid supplies the balance of the electricity. For example, a home using 20 amps of power with a solar system that generates 12 amps would draw 8 amps from the grid.
A system that is not connected to the power grid or a hybrid solar system requires batteries for storing solar power that can be used any time. Off-grid solar systems are not connected to the power grid and require batteries for power to be available all the time. Hybrid solar systems are connected to the power grid and the batteries are insurance that power will always be available, especially if the grid is interrupted for any reason.
Sizing and installing a solar system
Sizing the solar array, the inverter, and batteries that are required for an off-grid or hybrid system is more complex than sizing a solar system that connects to the grid. A detailed analysis of power requirement needs to be completed that includes all of the components, the number and placing of solar panels, any electrical adaptations, and more.
The Electricraft solar installation team has the experience and knowledge to analyze and install an entire solar system from selecting the appropriate panels to connecting the entire system, including inverter, batteries, any specialized equipment that might be needed, and all of the electrical wiring needs. Serving the Central Coast since 1984, Electricraft is a local company that meets the entire residential and commercial solar and electrical needs of the community.
200 Suburban Rd., Suite A
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
This press release is by San Luis Obispo publicity and advertising company Access Publishing, 806 9th Street, #2D, Paso Robles, CA 93446, (805) 226-9890.