Solar electricity is one of the most accessible forms of renewable energy available, and it can be adapted to fit anyone’s specific needs. The source of it, sunlight, allows photovoltaic (PV) modules to produce electricity and perform useful work, such as running electrical loads or putting energy back into the utility grid.
Globally, there has been an incredible increase in demand for solar modules and PV systems since the turn of the 21st century. No longer is PV technology limited to NASA spacecraft and backwoods cabins. Nowadays, PV systems are within reach for many people. This global demand and increased accessibility and affordability have helped transform the PV industry from a small cottage industry into a worldwide megabusiness.
As a renewable energy educator, advocate, and user, my primary goal is to see the solar industry grow successfully and sustainably — two things that require consistent high-level performance from the people “in the trenches” or, more appropriately, “on the roofs.” PV system designers and installers are tasked with providing high-quality systems that can benefit clients for more than 20 years. If you follow the information, advice, and tips I present in this book, you’ll be well on your way to completing this task with the best of them. (Of course, no perfect power source is out there. To be a good PV system designer and installer, you have to realize the limitations of PV systems, which is why I help you consider those limitations ...