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How to design a photovoltaic system

Claudia Pardo

3 min read


When designing a PV system, it is essential to consider a number of determining factors that influence its long-term performance and efficiency.

A well thought-out design ensures that the PV system maximises the capture and conversion of solar energy and ensures a match with the specific needs of the house and the energy consumption being made.

What factors should be taken into account?

Geographical location

The placement of solar panels is an essential element that directly influences the productivity of the system. Key factors to consider include

Weather conditions: The climate of the area determines the availability of sunlight during different periods of the year, an important factor to consider when estimating the energy generation of the system.

Presence of shadows: It is crucial to identify any elements such as trees or nearby buildings, which may cause shadows and decrease the energy yield.

Direction and angle of the panels: To capture as much sun as possible throughout the day, panels in the northern hemisphere should point south. The ideal angulation often coincides with the latitude of the site.

Calculation of system size and capacity

Selecting the right size of PV system is very important to ensure its long-term success.

An undersized system may be insufficient to meet the daily energy demand, while an oversized system may lead to over-investment and a much slower return on investment.

In order to accurately calculate the size and capacity of the system, the following aspects must be taken into account:

Assessment of previous energy consumption: It is essential to review past energy consumption records to estimate the amount of electricity the system will need to generate. This detailed analysis helps to understand the current energy needs and adjust the system design effectively.

Projecting future needs: It is also important to anticipate any increases in energy consumption that may occur over time, whether due to facility expansion, the acquisition of new equipment that consumes more energy, or simply changes in usage patterns.

Selección de las placas solares

Today’s market offers a wide range of solar panels, each with its own particular advantages and characteristics. The selection of the most appropriate panel is based on a number of key criteria, including:

Energy efficiency: The ability of the panels to convert sunlight into electricity efficiently is essential, especially in areas of restricted size where energy production is sought to be maximised.

Technology type: There are a variety of solar panel technologies, including monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film. Each type of panel offers different advantages.

Inverter selection

Inverters play an essential role in photovoltaic systems by transforming direct current (DC), generated by solar panels, into alternating current (AC) suitable for domestic or business consumption. Among the main types of inverters, we highlight:

Central inverters: These devices are ideal for smaller-scale systems, connecting the panels in series for efficient energy conversion.

Microinverters: These are placed directly on each solar panel, optimising the performance of each one, even in shaded conditions, and facilitating system monitoring.

System assembly

Support structures directly influence the performance of solar panels by providing the basis for their installation and orientation. Essentially, they fall into two main categories:

Rooftop installation: This option is mostly chosen for residential and commercial installations, where roofs provide an ideal platform for mounting panels. This type of installation takes advantage of existing spaces, avoiding the occupation of additional areas and maintaining the aesthetics of the site.

Ground mounting: Ground mounting allows for greater flexibility in the orientation and angle of inclination of the panels, maximising solar energy collection. This configuration is especially useful in large-scale projects, where adjusting the position of the panels according to the seasons can significantly increase the efficiency of the system.

If you are interested in receiving a photovoltaic design for your home or business and you would like to know how many panels you need or what type of installation best suits your needs, write to us!

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