How Commercial Solar Power Systems Work

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How Commercial Solar Power Systems Work

There isn't a lot of difference in how a commercial grid-connected solar power system operates compared to one used for a home.  Click here to find out how a typical solar power system works.

Commercial solar power systems harness energy from sunlight and convert it into electricity. Here's a simplified explanation of the process:

  1. Solar Panels: Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, typically mounted on rooftops or can be ground mounted, are made up of many solar cells. These cells contain semiconductor materials (usually silicon) that can absorb sunlight.
  2. Sunlight Absorption: When sunlight hits the solar panels, the solar cells absorb photons (particles of light). This energy excites electrons within the cells, causing them to move and generate a direct current (DC) of electricity.
  3. Inverter Conversion: The DC electricity generated by the solar panels is sent to an inverter. The inverter's primary function is to convert the DC electricity into alternating current (AC), which is the standard form of electricity used in commercial buildings. 3-phase inverters are available for equipment that require 3-phases.
  4. Energy Distribution: The converted AC electricity is then distributed to the building's electrical system. It can be used to power various devices, machines, lighting, and other electrical needs of the commercial establishment.
  5. Exporting Solar: In some cases, excess electricity generated by the solar panels that isn't immediately used by the building can be sent back to the grid. Where the excess electricity is credited to the building's account, potentially leading to cost savings.
  6. Importing Grid Power: During times when the solar panels are not producing enough electricity (such as at night or on cloudy days), the building can draw electricity from the grid as needed. This ensures a continuous and reliable power supply.
  7. Monitoring and Maintenance: Commercial solar power systems are equipped with monitoring systems that allow operators to track the system's performance, energy production, and potential issues. Regular maintenance ensures that the system operates efficiently and effectively.

It's important to note that the specifics of commercial solar power systems can vary based on factors such as the size of the installation, location, available sunlight, and the building's energy requirements. Additionally, energy storage solutions (such as solar batteries) can be integrated into the system to store excess energy for later use, further enhancing the system's reliability and independence from the grid.