The Basic Components of a Home Solar Power System

Solar power system

A solar power system in your house not only generates electricity but also needs to convert the direct current into alternating current. Direct current cannot be used by home appliances or electronic devices so the alternating current is produced for the electronic appliances.

Moreover, the excess power produced by a residential solar power system is stored in a grid for later use. In case of an emergency that power is drawn from the grid to power the electronics all around the house.

A residential solar power system with a size of 3kW to 8kW can cost between the ranges of $9,255 to $24,552. In 2021, for a solar panel of 10kW the range is $17,760 to $23,828 after the federal solar tax credit, in the US.

In average the cost per watts if $2.40 to $3.22 for solar panels. Over the past 5 year the price range of solar panels have fallen about 20%.

solar panels

Followings are the components of a solar power system you need to learn about before buying your own.

Solar Panels

Solar Panels are the must-haves in a solar power system. They are installed outside in order to receive direct sunlight to produce electricity. Typically they are installed on the roof.

Solar panels have the alternate name, PV panels because the process is called Photovoltaic Effect.

Solar panels have a power output of 10 and 300 watts. Watts is the unit used to describe the power available in a solar panel. 100 watts is the most common configuration in a residential solar power system.

Array Mounting Racks

There are three ways solar panels are joined and mounted for efficiency: roofs, poles, or directly on the ground.

Roof: You have probably seen this arrangement most commonly, as it is aesthetic and at the same time efficient. These rooftop panels don’t require much maintenance but clearing snow and repairing the panels could pose an issue.

Poles: The panels can be set at a height comfortable enough for maintenance.

Ground: Low and simple for installation and maintenance but with the problem of snow accumulation. It will also take up a lot of space if put on the ground.

These arrays can be either fixed or they can be of a tracking nature.

Fixed arrays do not move, they are installed at a particular angle and height. It is less expensive and is easier to install.

Tracking arrays move from east to west as the movement of the sun. They adjust the angle as well to maintain the conditions.

DC Disconnect

As the name suggests the device disconnects the solar panel which produces DC that is direct current from the home.


An inverter is used to transform the DC power into AC power. Home appliances from fans to mobile charger uses AC power but the solar panels and its batteries produce DC power.


Batteries are useful to store electricity. Your solar panel will produce electricity in the daytime when the sun is up. But you will need electricity at night or in case of a power outage and on rainy days. The batteries come to use for those days.

Meter Box

As mentioned, excess power is fed to the grid for later use. The power Meter keeps track of the amount of power sent to the grid from your solar power system and also the amount of power used from the grid.

Backup Generator

If your solar power system is not tied to the grid then a backup generator is your alternative. In case of bad weather or power cut or demand of electricity for some events, the generator can be useful.

Circuit Breaker Panel

A circuit breaker is connected to join the outlets and lights in the electrical system. It prevents the drawing of excess electricity by electronic appliances. Too much power supply can cause a fire hazard. The circuit breaker switches off when the devices demand too much electricity and thus interrupting the flow of energy.

Charge Regulator

The regulator maintains the proper charging voltage to prevent overcharging. Batteries can sometimes overcharge the regulator can help keep track of the voltage supplied in the batteries.

These are the components you need to have an effectively running solar power system in your house.