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Design Your System

Design Your System

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Design Your Solar Energy System
 

Since you now know the PV array size needed to power your energy demands, you can start designing your solar energy system. It is important to pick the right components that work well with other components, such as solar panels and inverters, or batteries and charge controllers – so your system runs at full capacity, and is designed to last for the long-term.

If you would like to pick your own components, check out our products and manufacturers. We can also design a system that suits your needs Contact us

blue-one.png Is Solar Right for You?

blue-two.png Determining Your System Type

blue-three.png Sizing Your System

blue-four.png Design Your System

There are some factors to keep in mind when picking certain products. We will highlight them below:

Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline

The majority of solar panels, and the ones we carry are split between two cell types: Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline. The difference is how the silicon is processed during manufacturing, and does have an impact on aesthetics, performance, life-span, and cost.

Monocrystalline Polycrystalline

Monocrystalline cells as composed of a single crystal of silicon, a purity that can be identified by a dark, even color.

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Monocrystalline solar panels usually carry higher efficiency ratings, and perform well in low-light environmental conditions. They are a good choice for installations looking for high yields with limited space. Since the output can be more affected by shading or soiling, microinverters can perform well when combined with these modules.

Advantages

Usually carry higher efficiency ratings

Performs well in low-light conditions

Aesthetically pleasing (for those wanting black modules on their roof)

Drawbacks

Often higher cost

Sensitive to soiling and shade

More silicon is wasted in the manufacturing process

Polycrystalline cells are composed of multiple silicon crystals, identified by a textured, ‘granite’ look.

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Polycrystalline solar panels utilize more silicon crystals, and the manufacturing process is more efficient and wastes less silicon in the process. Polycrystalline cells are usually more cost-efficient then mono cells, since manufacturing costs are generally lower than mono cells. The silicon used in poly cells are generally of lower purity, and have gone through less refinement.

Advantages

More cost-effective

Less manufacturing wastes

Economical

Drawbacks

Lower efficiency

Doesn’t perform as well in low-light conditions

Degrades more over 25 years

 

What's Better?

Both Mono and Poly solar panels can deliver powerful energy results for your system. Generally, Monocrystalline is considered a more superior option overall. However, with modern manufacturing technology, both types of solar cells can perform exceptionally well.

Focusing on a tier 1 manufacturer and designing a system with a select module in mind that suits your need, environment, and system is the better choice when choosing a solar panel.

String Inverter vs Microinverter

Most solar power systems utilize one of two different inverter technologies. Each having distinct advantages and drawbacks when combined with the solar panels and the system. String Inverters group modules into blocks where energy is pulled in as DC power then converted to AC power. Microinverters attach to a single, or pair of module(s) and convert energy per panel.

String Inverter
Microinverter
String Inverters are well known and are most commonly used with solar energy systems. They combine a group of panels together and transform from DC to AC electricity.

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String Inverters have been around for a long time; therefore, the technology and durability has steadily increased over time. String technology uses powerful technology to take a group of panels and convert their power after collected form the PV modules. String Inverters are commonly used with larger solar energy systems, as they are more cost-effective and can handle the higher watt load. String inverters however, can project impact from one panel loss (due to shading) to an entire string.

Advantages

Powerful Technology

Cost-effective

Reliable

Drawbacks

Higher cost to expand later

Impacted by shading

Replacement cost
Microinverters are a newer technology. A single unit is often placed behind one panel, and converts energy from DC to AC, maximizing potential power output of the system.

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Microinverter technology is newer within the photovoltaic field, and delivers alternative PV array solutions at a higher cost. Microinverter technology mitigates losses due to shading issues, and maximizes each individual panel output. If one module experiences a power loss – none others will be affected.  Microinverters also eliminate potentially hazardous high voltage DC wiring and make your solar energy system easier to expand later.

Advantages

Simple installation and scalability

Great for small and remote PV arrays


Handles shading issues easily

Cost-effective to replace

Drawbacks

More expensive

Newer technology still growing

 

What's Better?

Each type of inverter has a potential function in a solar energy system. Depending on your application, system size and location – demands differ per installation. Generally, String and central inverters are utilized for larger projects (residential, commercial and utility), while microinverters are better suited for smaller residential applications.

What Racking and Mounting Should I Use?

Whether you are building a roof-top or ground mount system, you need to pick a racking and mounting solution that will be quality built, durable, code-compliant and the best option for your job. There are a number of quality racking solutions, and some work for certain applications better than others.

Unirac, SnapNRack, DPW Solar and IronRidge – provide excellent all-in-one solutions for both roof and ground mount systems (Residential, Commercial and Utility Scale operations compatible).

Array Technologies and Zomeworks – Excellent options for solar tracking systems (Ground mount that optimize solar yields)

We also provide a series of mounting manufacturers that are recommended for certain installations, such as S-5! Mounting and Quick Mount PV. These manufacturers are excellent tier 1 brands that are quality and code-compliant.

See all of our products and manufacturers.

How to Go Solar Guide
 

<< Size Your System

Solar Resources >>

   
   
 

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Solaris is a leading online solar energy supply store. Since our inception, we have steadily grown to become one of the most robust solar energy dealers nationwide. We provide a large variety of products, custom designed solar electric systems, and superb technical support throughout your installation.

Solaris-shop.com designs, supplies, and delivers complete solar energy systems for homeowners, and installers. We use only the highest rated manufacturers in our design layouts, customized for your specific needs and requirements. We have a commitment to excellence for our valued customers, offering wholesale pricing that ensures a powerful return on your investment, for years to come.

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