A residential solar generating system is a significant investment in the future of your home, family, and
utility usage. The central equipment in a solar energy installation includes solar panels, inverters,
racking, and monitoring systems. There are many choices available for each of these components, so it’s
important to know what options you have in customizing your system to fit your needs and budget,
while ensuring the best quality and value.

Solar panels – the most visible part of a solar energy system

Solar panels contain photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight into DC (direct current) electricity. As
the production component of your solar electric system , panel choice is important for the efficiency of
your system, in addition to its general appearance. There are many solar panel manufacturers with
varieties of sizes, colors, and generating abilities. Most residential installations use a monocrystalline or
polycrystalline silicon-based solar panel. These panels are durable and can produce energy for upwards
of 25 years.

Inverters – convert DC electricity into AC electricity

Inverters are the component that convert the DC electricity produced by the solar panels into AC
(alternating current) electricity that can be used in your home. Inverter choice will determine how the
elements of your solar energy system will be installed and how you as the customer are able to monitor
your system. There are two types of inverters: string and microinverters. String inverters are a cost-
effective option, usually only one inverter is needed, and it connects multiple solar panels together in a
series to monitor their collective production. Microinverters, on the other hand, are installed behind
each solar panel, which allows for better performance and monitoring of each individual panel. This
choice allows for some flexibility between budgeting and monitoring your solar electric system’s
elements.

Racking – structure that positions the solar panels

Racking is an important part of customizing your solar generating system to fit your needs and space
availability. This structure secures the solar panels in place for weather survival and aesthetic
appearance. Racking is also necessary for proper positioning of panels, with their location and angle
being carefully selected to capture the maximum amount of sunlight. Racks can be mounted on roofs or
on the ground, these also have the option of being fixed or tracking. Fixed racking is immobile
scaffolding that holds the solar panels in the optimal position for solar generating. Tracking racking has
at least one moving axis that can adjust the panels to maximize sun exposure. Fixed Racking is the least
expensive option, while tracking racking is more expensive and requires more space but uses fewer
panels.

Monitoring systems – track energy production

Monitoring systems connect to the components of your solar power generating system to track energy
production and check equipment functionality. Inverter choice will determine monitoring system, with
each manufacturer having their own site for customer access. Once the solar installation is finalized, you
will be able to log in to the monitoring site any time to check on your power generation. These systems
communicate with the inverters to show how much energy your solar electric system is generating and
how much energy you’re using. This information can help you optimize your energy usage and identify
any issues with your solar system.

ARP Solar – what can we do for you?

At ARP Solar, we use high-quality equipment in all our residential solar installations. Our experienced
team can help you customize the elements of your solar energy system for your home and budget. We
also offer monitoring systems and ongoing maintenance to ensure your system is always performing at
its best.

CONTACT US today for a FREE solar consultation to learn more about the equipment used in out
residential solar installations.