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    Photovoltaic System

    Photovoltaic (PV) technology produces electricity from sunlight, using solid-state materials with no moving parts.
    For residential application, PV falls into two main categories. First is grid-tied, where the home generates its own electricity but can also draw power from the utility company at night. The second is off-grid, where the home is located too far from an electrical utility cable and the home must generate its own power, storing energy in batteries for use at night.
    A basic home PV system consists of PV cells connected and packaged together in weather-protected modules, which are fastened side-by-side on a racking system to form an array. The PV modules produce direct current (DC), which in a grid-tied system flows to a grid-interactive inverter. An inverter changes DC voltage to the alternating current (AC) for the household electric circuit powering wall outlets and all AC appliances.
    In an off-grid system, DC power flows from the modules through a charge controller (also called a regulator), which is an electronic device that produces a smooth flow of current at the desired voltage. From the charge controller, the power can go to a set of storage batteries and then on to the inverter, as needed.


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