Photovoltaic (Solar Electric) Systems

Making Electricity When the Sun Shines

UPDATED 9/27/12

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Photovoltaic (Solar Electric) Systems, including:

  • Design and build strategies
  • Necessary codes
  • Application how-tos
  • Using materials

Rebates and tax credits make these systems more affordable

Most installations in the U.S. are grid-tied, meaning the house can draw power from either the utility grid or its PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. array. When the PV cells aren't producing enough power, the grid makes up the difference. When the array makes more than the house consumes, the electricity flows into the grid.
Off-grid systems, which require a battery bank to store power, are more expensive and more complicated.
PV modules are rated by ...

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Tue, 12/01/2009 - 12:36

Confusedus Say:
by Rick

You're welcome, but always be on the look out for making a new mistake while you're fixing an old one.

Tue, 12/01/2009 - 11:06

Thanks for noticing
by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor

Thanks, Rick, for your sharp eye. We have corrected the drawing.

Tue, 12/01/2009 - 08:43

Design Note
by Rick

Most of the little roof pitch diagrams in your roof angle graphic are labeled backwards.

Wed, 08/26/2009 - 03:19

Click the "Q&A"tab
by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor

If you click the "Q&A" tab at the top of the page, you'll be taken to a page where your question should be posted. That's the best place to ask questions such as yours.

Tue, 08/25/2009 - 20:49

Rough-in for solar
by Jonathan Topolosky

What needs to be done to do a rough-in for future solar panels on the roof for a new construction home? How should this be done?

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