Solar Array: Working, Components, Features, Uses, Price, Applications, and Benefits
A solar array is an essential component of a solar panel system. It comes in various sizes and energy requirements. It combines the solar panels and keeps them together.
A solar array also helps the panels to generate electricity from the sun’s rays and supply it to different households.
The number of solar panels required in a PV array depends on the direction of the roof, the installation location, and the electricity consumption rate. Based on these three criteria, the solar panels required by each house might be different.
Solar cell arrays are vital components in a solar panel system. Failing to install them might lead to a function failure.
Working Of a Solar Array
The solar array is mainly responsible for passing the electric current to the solar inverter.
When the sun rays fall on the surface of the solar panels, the silicon cells take the energy. Through their conductive properties, these silicon cells transform the sun rays into electricity.
When this conversion happens, the electrons within the cells charge up and start moving restlessly. This motion forms the electric current which passes from the wires to the solar cell arrays.
Through the cables, the arrays deliver direct current to the solar inverter. The solar inverter then converts the direct current to alternating current.
Solar Array – What’s the Composition?
Solar arrays are made of photovoltaic cells combined in a string. Each string has a maximum of 20 panels aligned in a row.
When electrically connected with a wire, the solar panels form a large PV installation known as a solar array. The larger the surface area, the more panels are needed.
If more panels are adjoined, the arrays required will be higher. More arrays will result in better electricity.
A photovoltaic panel mainly has a voltage of 12V or 24V. Depending on the electric power required, the panels required to produce electric current can be more or less.
Features Of Solar Array
The characteristics of solar arrays are as follows:
- A solar array prohibits light reflection. Thus, it can hold the electricity from the sun’s rays for a long time.
- It has a distinct layout and comes in different sizes for small and large area installations.
- A solar cell array is lightweight but has a sturdy composition. It can hold the panels together efficiently.
- It can function under harsh climatic conditions without causing failures.
- It has a simple design and is easy to install.
- Solar cell arrays have a shelf life of 25 years.
- These arrays are useful for both residential and commercial applications.
Where Can You Put Solar Arrays?
Although solar arrays fit everywhere, the area with direct sunlight exposure is the perfect location for them. Hence, the home rooftop is an ideal setting for installation.
The energy generation would be maximum if the solar array faces towards the South. That’s because the South is the direction that receives maximum sunlight in India.
Another excellent alternative for mounting solar panels is mounting them on the ground. Land installations are easier in rural locations because of the area’s size.
The third suitable location for the solar arrays is a solar canopy. It supports the solar array in a suspended position. Since they take up a lot of space, solar canopies are an ideal solution to this problem.
How Much Does Solar Array Cost?
The cost of a solar array installation (and the system) ranges between $15,000 (Rs. 11,71,718) to $25,000 (Rs. 19,57,775).
Many factors affect the price of a solar array. The colour, power density, energy consumption, size, and interconnection cost are common factors that influence the total price of solar cell arrays.
If more panels are installed, big solar cell arrays will be required to keep them together. The larger the array’s size, the higher the price.
Thus, the total number of solar cell panels also contributes to the entire cost. Homeowners can build solar cell arrays at a lower cost by fitting them in a confined space.
Applications Of Solar Array
There are many applications of solar arrays for residential and industrial purposes. The basic ones are as follows:
- Since solar arrays help generate electricity, users can utilise them to charge electric devices like mobiles, laptops, heaters, air conditioners, coolers, television, washing machines, and other household appliances.
- The solar cell array can be used in domestic and light industrial applications.
- The large-sized solar arrays can be used in powering updraft towers, solar satellites, large-scale renewable energy systems, and industrial processes and units.
- You can use solar arrays to conserve energy.
- It is essential for greenhouse heating.
Sizing Of Solar Array
Understanding the right size of a solar array is essential to determining the total energy output. Therefore, homeowners must first find out the number of electricity units they consume every month.
The right solar cell array size will depend on the units of electricity that are needed to meet the power required to run the household smoothly.
It is essential to note that the size can differ from one part of the country to the other. Knowing the rate in a specific city is vital before selecting the size of the solar array.
Benefits Of Using Solar Array
The advantages of using a solar array are as follows:
- It holds the solar panels firmly together.
- The PV array allows easy transmission of electric current to the solar inverter.
- It ensures maximum energy output.
- It helps produce energy without gas emissions.
- It has a good shelf life.
- It guarantees easy installation on the rooftop, ground, or solar canopies.
- It allows panels to work efficiently and supply current in all home equipment. As a result, the electricity bill reduces.
- It keeps the grid structure intact.
- It is ideal for use in both urban and rural locations.
- It is simple to install in parallel or series configuration.
A solar array is a crucial component of a solar panel. The panels cannot function together without a solar array. Both of them combined help to produce the desired electricity for various household or industrial applications.
Therefore, setting up a solar cell array is an essential investment to ensure the proper conversion of the sun’s energy into electric current. Besides, it can cut down on the electricity bill and provide free electricity for a long time.
Q1. How can I calculate the solar array size?
To calculate the solar array size, you need to divide the solar system size by the watt capacity of each panel. It will help you decide the number of panels you need. Based on that, you can purchase the correct solar array size.
Q2. What are the different types of PV array arrangements?
The different types of PV array arrangements are as follows:
- Series connection
- Parallel connection
- Series-parallel connection
- Total cross-tied connection
- Bridge connection
- Honeycomb connection
Q3. Can I combine solar panels in an array?
Yes, you can mix solar panels in an array. However, it is advisable not to do so as it can affect the current or voltage.