Renewable energy systems can vary greatly in size and design, but most
systems share a basic conceptual similarity. For example, a solar power
system will usually include most or all of the following:
- PV or Solar modules generate electricity from sunlight
- Controllers regulate power to the batteries or loads
- Fusing or Breakers protect the system from excessive current flow
- Batteries store electricity
- Monitors and Meters report system status, power flows, and total available
- Inverters change electricity from the batteries into a form usable
by common household equipment
- Generators provide backup AC power and can be used to charge the batteries
- Battery chargers convert power from the generator into a form usable
by the batteries. These are often built into the inverter.
- Mounts (fixed or tracking) support and position solar modules to recieve
energy from the sun
- Powercenters are integrated units combining controllers, Breakers,
Fusing, and Monitors in a single enclosure.
Other types of systems (wind,microhydro) will be very similar- simply
substitute "windmill" or "water turbine" for solar
panels in the description above.