There are many items that make up a complete solar electric system, but the 4 main components of an off-grid solar power system are:
The solar panels are physically mounted on a solar panel mount structure and the DC power they produce is wired through the charge controller before it goes on to the battery bank where it is stored.
For more detailed information on solar modules, see our Intro to Solar Panels video series.
The two main functions of a charge controller are to prevent the battery from being overcharged and to eliminate any reverse current flow from the batteries back to the solar modules at night. Learn more about how charge controllers work and their functions and features.
The battery bank stores the energy produced by the solar array during the day for use at anytime of the day or night. Batteries come in many sizes and grades. The inverter takes the DC energy stored in the battery bank and converts it to 120V or 240V AC electricity to run your AC appliances.
For a more information, watch our solar power system components video series.