Your Solar System’s Modules and Other Hardware
While you don’t need to be an electrician or solar expert, it helps to understand the basics of your system. With some knowledge about your equipment, you can better determine if your solar panels are working correctly or if you’re experiencing an issue.
A solar module is a collection of individual solar cells layered together into a cohesive panel. In fact, the terms solar module and solar panel are frequently interchanged. A photovoltaic (PV) panel is the most visible portion of your solar system, and it’s the most likely piece to face inclement weather such as rain and snow. Each solar panel is made of a sturdy layer of these solar cells surrounded by glass or plastic and a protective frame to help support several in a cohesive solar system.
Your panels are expertly installed on your rooftop by trained professionals, with a support structure designed to help stabilize the system without compromising the strength of your roof and shingles.
From your panels, wiring is routed to your inverter. The inverter takes the direct current (DC) your solar panels produce and turns it into an alternating current (AC), which all of the electrical devices in your home can use. This AC travels through your home’s electric meter, allowing your utility company to track your generation and power usage.
From the solar panels, to the inverter, through the meter, there are a few distinct pieces of hardware connected by wiring to facilitate your solar panel power generation. If any of this hardware performs insufficiently, you’ll see the change in a decrease in your energy production—which may increase your power bill.
At Blue Raven Solar, we don’t recommend gauging the strength of your solar panel system based on your bill. If your solar panels are not working, we prefer you know and have the help you need. There are other tools at your disposal and signs to look for when you need to know if your solar panels are working.