How Solar Works
A. Solar Electric (PV) System:
Solar Panels or photovoltaic solar modules are mounted on your roof, patio cover, or on a ground rack on your property. The solar panels are made up of semiconductor materials called photocells which convert the sunlight to DC electricity. Sunlight contains photons which is a form of energy. When sunlight strikes the PV panels, the photons cause a chemical reaction and release the electrons that are contained in the photocells. The electrons then begin to flow, creating an electrical current and electricity.
Inverter: The DC power generated by the photovoltaic solar panels is sent to the Inverter. The function of the Inverter is to convert the DC power being produced by the Solar Modules into AC power which is identical to the power supplied to your home or business by the Utility Grid. This way, the power produced by your PV system can be fed back into the grid and “stored” for later use.
MAIN Electrical Panel: Also called the AC Breaker Panel. The power generated by your solar system supplies your electrical energy needs and any excess power travels through the AC Breaker Panel back into the Grid. This action makes your electric meter to go “backwards”.
Net Metering: Throughout the year, your electric meter will go forward and backwards during the times when your electric usage is higher than what your system is producing, or when your system produces more than what your electric demand is at the time. If your system is sized properly, this will result in a “net” balance of zero at the end of the year so you will not owe to your electric company. The power company will credit your account for all of the power you produce throughout the year against your electric bill.
B. Solar Hot Water System (DHW) :
In a closed loop system, food grade Propylene Glycol is circulated through the Solar Collectors by a small 12 Volt DC pump. This pump is powered by its own Photovoltaic solar panel mounted on the roof. This makes the Solar Hot Water system completely independent and self-functioning.
The heated Propylene Glycol is returned to the Solar Storage Tank to a heat exchanger inside this tank. Heat from the Propylene Glycol is transferred to incoming water. The cooled Propylene Glycol returns to the solar collectors where it is again heated by the sun. This process keeps repeating until the solar storage tank reaches the desired temperature.
Solar heated water from the Solar Storage Tank is sent to your existing water heater for your domestic hot water needs.
Your existing gas or electric water heater also functions as a back-up system. It will turn on when your hot water demand exceeds your solar hot water production. Or, it will add the extra heat needed to maintain the desired hot water temperature.
So, depending on the size of your system, you will always have 80 gallons or 120 gallons of solar heated water ready and available for consumption.
The Differential Temperature Controller constantly monitors the temperature of the collector and the temperature of the Solar Storage Tank and compares this temperature difference to the set point . As long as the temperature of the collector exceeds the temperature inside the solar tank, the Propylene Glycol circulation will continue. Once this temperature difference falls below the desired set point, the Propylene Glycol circulation will stop until the temperature of the collector rises to the desired level. This ensures optimum performance and prevents heat loss from the storage tank.
C. Solar Pool Heating:
Water is pumped through the Solar Collectors by your pool pump.
The water enters the bottom header and moves up through the solar collectors where heat from the sun is absorbed and transferred to the water.
The heated water is returned to the pool from the top header.
This process continues until the desired temperature is reached in your swimming pool.
Once the desired pool temperature is reached, water is directly recirculated back into the pool without going through the collectors. This is done by the Differential Temperature Controller.