Solar electric systems

Residential solar electric systems convert light from the sun into electricity stored in batteries for use on demand. A typical residential system should be designed with a 7 day battery reserve (if possible) so that periods of bad weather will not always necesitate the use of an altrenate power source. Electricity from the batteries is then used to power loads (lighting & appliances) directly (in a DC system) or is used to supply an inverter which produces house current (120v AC) to run the loads in the home. Sometimes a combination of these approaches is used to optimize performance (see AC or DC, which one is best...). in any case, efficiency is paramount, because solar generation capacity in rather expensive, and any steps taken to reduce waste will usually pay for themselves. Most systems will incorporate a back - up power source such as a generator to provide power during periods when renewable power sources are not producing suficient power. Even under these circumstances, a properly sized generator in most systems should only require 5 to 15 hours of operation per week to supply power 24 hrs a day.

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