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  • Writer's pictureBrian Harbin

Solar Panels, Components, and Installation: What You Need to Know

Clean energy is rapidly growing in popularity and prominence and solar capacity has increased exponentially over the course of the last decade. It is now seen as ideal to use solar power not just in residential homes but also commercially, and the costs associated with the installation of solar panels has dropped considerably.

Solar panels

Solar panels are available in a wide array of shapes and sizes, and when making a decision as to how and where to mount them, the dimensions of the panel will need to be taken into consideration. This is of particular importance with rooftop applications.

The solar panel is there to convert sunlight into DC electricity in order to charge the battery with the use of a solar regulator that makes certain that the battery is properly charged to avoid damage. DC appliances are able to be powered straight from the battery but AC appliances will need an inverter so that DC electricity can be converted into 240 Volt DC power.


Inverters convert the energy of the sun that has been captured by solar panels into a format that is able to power household appliances. They work by taking in the DC output that comes from the solar panel and having it transformed into AC current, which is the current that household appliances run on.


A racking system is another essential component of a solar panel installation. There are two options available – roof mount solar racking systems and ground mount solar racking systems.

A roof mount is an excellent option in the event that the roof of a property is exposed to the sun and in very good condition. High quality components will need to be chosen to make sure the installation is weatherproof and will last a long time.

Clamps, tile hooks or flashings will be required for the racks to be attached to a rooftop and there are a number of options available for different racks and roof types. Low slope or flat rooftops can use racking hardware that is similar but come with tilt legs to ensure they are at the best angle. Ballastad racking systems are weighted down with blocks rather than being drilled into the roof.

A ground mount solar racking system enables users to choose the best tilt angle in a direction that faces south. Standard ground mounts are constructed at a fixed-tilt angle on structures made of concrete and steel pipes.

Pole mounts mean the tilt angle can be adjusted to make the most of the power output in every season, with steeper tilt angles capturing more power in the winter months.

There are also pole-mounted racks known as trackers that are primarily used in large PV installations due to the cost. Trackers follow the sun to get the most from daily production and are very complex.


While it is possible to perform DIY in order to install a solar panel system, the best option is to get the professionals to do so. Make sure you find an accredited installer with a good reputation who will be able to do the job at an affordable price.

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