Solar Electric (PV) Systems Basics

Photovoltaic (PV) panels convert sunlight directly into electricity.

The system consists of:
  • Solar PV Panels -- Generate DC electricity
  • Inverter -- Converts the DC to standard AC electricity that is compatible with the electrical grid and capable of powering electrical devices.
  • Utility Meter -- Tracks the solar electricity that your system produces and feeds to the utility grid, thereby keeping track of your credit from the utility.
A grid-tied solar electric system can generate power on-site to supply a home or business that is connected to the utility grid and offset the usage from the utility company.  Grid-tied systems are the most common types of solar systems.

An off-grid solar system with a battery back-up can supply power to a remote home or area that would otherwise not have access to electricity.

Solar Hot Water Systems Basics

A solar hot water system can be rather simple. You use  the sun's energy to heat a solar collector full of solar fluid (or water, depending on which type of system you install), which then transfers that heat (or hot water) into your home's hot water storage tank
   1. When there is sufficient heat to be drawn from the     collectors, a controller automatically activates pumps.

   2. Cooler water is pumped to the collector and Heated water is then circulated from the collector to the solar storage tank (Open Loop System).
3. Solar Pump and monitoring appliance determines water temperatures, ambient temperatures  and directs the system accordingly.  Monitors temperatures and  collects system data and performance details.

Water in the storage tank.
The solar water is pumped back to the collector to once again be reheated. This circulation loop will continue as long as there is heat to be drawn from the collector. During times when there is little or no sun, a backup heating system will be activated to provide adequate hot water.

An Open Loop system is efficient for warm areas that don't freeze, and that have soft water. In this system, water circulates from the outside collectors directly into your hot water tank. The simplicity of this system makes it very inexpensive and quite affordable. Warm Climate packaged systems are an excellent choice for regions where freezing or water quality is not a major concern. In this open loop design, water is circulated directly from the solar collectors to the storage tank. Our warm climate packages are built efficiently and economically, offering you an affordable alternative when it comes to solar water heating.

Simple installation, Very few parts!
* All components included (less piping & storage tank)
* Can often be mounted to existing water tank
* Economical choice
* Mild freeze-protection included
* Efficient direct water circulation

Closed Loop- Cool Climate
If your region is prone to freezing, then a Closed Loop system is required. In this system, special anti-freeze solar fluid is used to transfer heat instead of water. This process protects your system from burst pipes during the winter or cold nights. Closed Loop systems are also recommended in areas where the water is hard because mineral deposits can eventually clog the pipes. The  Cool Climate Packaged Systems are designed to operate in all regions, especially where hard water or freezing is an issue. In this closed loop design, a special heat transfer fluid circulates through the collectors instead of water, allowing greater durability and trouble-free operation.

* "Plug & Play" installation
* All components included (less piping & storage tank)
* Can often be mounted to existing hot water tank
* Superior heat-transfer characteristics
* Suitable for all homes and regions