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What components do I need for a complete solar system?

There are many components that make up a complete solar system, but the 4 main items are:

  • solar modules
  • charge controller(s)
  • Discover® batteries
  • Inverter(s)

The solar modules are physically mounted on a mount structure and the DC power they produce is run through a charge controller before it goes on to the battery bank to be stored. The two main functions of a charge controller are to prevent the battery from being overcharged and eliminate any reverse current flow from the batteries back to the solar modules at night or in reduced light. The battery bank stores the energy produced by the solar array during the day for use at anytime of day or night. Discover® batteries are available in many footprints with many storage capacities. The inverter takes the DC energy stored in the batteries and inverts it to 120 VAC to run the AC appliances.

Figure 8 - Simple Solar Installation

Figure 8 - Simple Solar Installation

General Lead Acid Battery Description
General Lead Acid Battery Applications
General Lead Acid Battery Types
General Lead Acid Battery Chemistry
Discover® Sealed Valve Regulated Lead Acid Batteries
Discover® Deep Cycle AGM Battery
Discover®700 Series Dry Cell Battery
Discover® EV Traction Dry Cell Battery
General Benefits and Features of Discover Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) Technology
Sales Channels for Discover Battery Technologies
Things to question when making a battery buying decision
What to consider when buying a deep cycle battery
Information gathering before buying batteries
Calculating cost to own when purchasing batteries
Safety First
Safety and Productivity
When working with batteries
When handling battery acid
When installing or replacing batteries
When booster cables are used
Danger of exploding batteries
Warning and warning labels
Parallel connections for sophisticated users and installers
Parallel connections for unsophisticated users and installers
Charging
When charging batteries
Selecting a charger
General charging information for AGM and GEL batteries
GEL battery charging
AGM battery charging
Equalizing (Flooded batteries only)
Discharging
Typical self-discharge of VRLA batteries at different temperatures
Typical self-discharge of high quality deep cycle flooded batteries at different temperatures
How much will a system cost for my 2000 square foot home?
Can I use all of my normal 120/240 VAC appliances?
What components do I need for a grid-tie system?
What components do I need for a complete solar system?
What type of solar module mounting structure should I use?
Where should I mount the solar modules and what direction should I face them?
Should I set my system’s battery bank up at 12, 24 or 48 VDC?
Should I wire my home for AC or DC loads?
Can I use PV to heat water or for space heating?
How do solar panels (cells) generate electricity?
Will solar work in my location?
Tables & Figures