small solar electric systems

home equipped with a solar electric system

A small solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) system can be a reliable and pollution-free producer of electricity for your home or office. Such systems are becoming more affordable all the time. Small PV systems also provide a cost-effective power supply in locations where it is expensive or impossible to send electricity through conventional power lines.


Because PV technologies use both direct and diffuse (scattered) sunlight to create electricity, the solar resource in many inhabited parts of the world is ample for small solar electric systems. However, the amount of power generated by a solar system at a particular site depends on how much of the sun's energy reaches it. Thus, PV systems, like all solar technologies, function most efficiently in regions such as the southwestern United States and southern Europe, which receive the greatest amount of solar energy.


You can also use PV technology to provide outdoor solar lighting.


Here you can find the following information:


How Small Solar Electric Systems Work
Learn the basics of how a small PV system produces electricity.

Considering a Small Solar Electric System
Start here to determine whether a small PV system would be feasible, practical, and economical for you.

Small Solar Electric System Components
Learn more about system components – solar cells, modules, and balance-of-system parts.

Installing and Maintaining a Small Solar Electric System
Find out what you need to consider before you install a system, including basic maintenance tips.


For example, to generate 2,000 watts from a 12%-efficient system, you need 200 square feet of roof area.