Photovoltaic Basics

Want to know what a photovoltaic system is and how it works? You’re in the right place! Read on to learn all the photovoltaic basics you’ll need.

What is a Photovoltaic System?
A photovoltaic system is the ideal way to produce solar power at low cost for your electricity needs. You can benefit from low-cost electricity while making yourself independent from constantly rising electricity prices, all while helping to advance the solar energy movement.

How Does a Photovoltaic System Work?
To create a photovoltaic system, you first need three basic components. These are:

  • The solar modules (or panels) which convert sunlight into direct current (DC)
  • The mounting system which attaches your solar modules securely to your roof and ensures optimal alignment
  • A solar inverter, which converts the direct current generated by the solar modules into alternating current (AC). Solar inverters also send electricity to power your devices, as well as feeding any surplus electricity generated into a storage system or battery, or even straight into the public grid.

In addition to the above, there are other elements such as switches, cables, performance measuring devices and connections that all contribute to creating an efficient solar system. You can find a wide range of products such as solar storage units, module optimisers, overvoltage protection devices and much more in our portfolio.

How High is the Yield of a Solar System?
Depending on the location and orientation of the PV system, the expected yield can vary. This depends, among other things, on the orientation of the solar modules and the annual solar radiation at the location of the installation. There can be other environmental influences such as shading, soiling, ambient temperature and much more that contribute to the total yield of a PV system.

Size of the System
The amount of energy generated is directly related to the size of the system. The size of a photovoltaic system is calculated by multiplying the underlying size of the solar system, given in kWp, by the estimated annual energy generation values. For example, a 5 kWp solar system in Cologne can generate 5,000 kWh (5 kWp x 1,000 kWh) of electricity per year.

What Factors Influence the Location for a PV System?
Before you start planning your own solar system, you need to make sure that you have enough space to install the modules. Keep in mind that skylights, chimneys or dormers on the roof will affect how many solar panels you can install on your roof and how much PV power you get from your roof. The ideal orientation is a south-facing solar system, where you can expect the greatest yields.

What Other Options do I Have for Using the Electricity?
To increase your own energy consumption, you can always add a storage system. This allows you to store the surplus energy your solar modules have generated during the day and consume it at night. You can add a battery storage system to an existing solar system at any time, or install it at the same time as a new solar module system. You can find powerful PV storage systems in our portfolio.


On the Portal you can plan your complete PV system as well as check product availability and compare prices. You can order solar modules, inverters, battery storage systems, mounting systems and PV accessories at attractive prices and whenever you need them.

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