Commercial Solar Basics

Commercial solar is relevant to virtually any company. A commercial solar system consists of the following:

Solar Modules
Solar panels are typically mounted either on the ground or on the roof of a customer’s facility. The panels either convert sunlight into DC power (photovoltaic panels) or are used to heat water/fluid (photo thermal panels).

The power from the modules is sent to a device called an inverter which converts the direct current (DC) power to alternating current (AC) which is the same type of current provided by the local utility grid.

Electrical Panel/ Facility Connections
Electrical power travels from the inverter to a central breaker box where it is distributed to the facility or to an on-site electrical battery storage system.

Utility Grid Connection/ Net Metering
Excess electrical power produced by the solar modules can also be transferred into the local utility grid through an electric meter. This causes the meter to run backwards and generate credit with the utility company. Under net metering arrangements, the utility will credit customers accounts for excess electricity that is fed into the utility grid. The size of the credit varies by utility, time of day, day of the week and month of the year. Typically, solar power solutions are at their most efficient during peak energy usage periods of the day.