Buying a Photovoltaic Solar Electric System A Consumer Guide

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Buying a Photovoltaic Solar Electric System: A Consumer Guide discusses the basic technical, economic and regulatory information you should know before buying a photovoltaic (PV) solar electric generation system. This Guide is not a comprehensive technical or economic guide on photovoltaic systems. For that information, see the “Getting Help” section or consult an experienced photovoltaic system designer, retailer or supplier.

Unlike a solar hot water system that uses the sun’s energy to heat water, solar electric or photovoltaic technology uses the sun’s energy to make electricity. Learning from the word itself, the prefix “photo” means “produced by light,” and the suffix “voltaic” refers to “electricity produced by a chemical reaction.” PV technology produces electricity directly from the electrons freed by the interaction of sunlight with certain semiconductor materials, such as silicon, in the PV module. The electrons are collected to form a direct current (DC) of electricity. The basic building block of PV technology is the solar “cell.” Many cells may be wired together to produce a PV “module,” and many modules are linked together to form a PV “array.” PV modules sold commercially range in power output from about 10 watts to 300 watts, and produce a direct current like that from a car’s battery. Download free Buying a Photovoltaic Solar Electric System: A Consumer Guide here

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