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A solar farm—also known as a solar power plant, photovoltaic power plant, or solar park—is a large-scale operation that harvests the sun’s energy to produce electrical power. The components of a solar farm are similar to typical rooftop solar panel systems, but they work on a larger scale. Here, we break down the solar farm basics by looking at five important components.
1. Solar Panels
Photovoltaic solar panels are the most important components of a solar farm because they produce energy. The panels contain small solar cells that convert solar radiation, or sunlight, into electricity. Most solar power plants use panels made from silicon covered in a protective coating such as tempered glass.
A racking system holds the panels together in groups called photovoltaic arrays. The capacity of a solar farm determines the number and size of arrays.
Inverters are essential to solar farms because they ensure that the energy the panels produce is usable. Solar panels produce direct current (DC) electrical energy, but most machines, appliances, and equipment run on alternating current (AC) electricity. Inverters change the power output of a solar panel system from DC to AC electricity.
Batteries are also crucial components of a solar farm because they provide a way to store the energy it generates. The size and capacity of the battery depends on how much a solar farm needs to generate and store. Batteries must be big enough to meet the farm’s demand and store enough to account for cloudy days and spikes in need.
4. Charge Controllers
Also called solar battery chargers, charge controllers help protect batteries and ensure they work properly. These components of a solar farm charge the batteries fully after they discharge to ensure the system is supplying the needed amount of power. They also keep batteries from overcharging, which can lead to corrosion, damage, and a much shorter lifespan.
5. System Balancing Component
A system balancing component is a set of connecting devices that govern energy use on a solar farm and protect the system from damages that can occur from fluctuations in sunlight.
A blocking diode device helps avoid a reversal in the energy currents between the battery and solar panels that can sometimes happen when sunlight isn’t available. Similarly, a voltage regulator mitigates fluctuations in the output of the solar panel due to varying amounts of sunlight. It ensures the load current stays within a reasonable range.
Connect with Solar Power Experts at PES Solar
If you want to know more about the components of a solar farm or discuss other methods for solar energy harvesting, including solar panels for your home, then reach out to PES Solar. Our team of experts has more than two decades of experience in the solar industry, and we’ve installed thousands of solar panel systems across Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach, FL. Call 800-650-6519 to schedule a consultation with us today.