Integrated into the fabric of the roof panels are PhotoVoltaic (PV) solar arrays. These convert light into electricity which in turn is converted into alternating current (AC) power – by far the most common type of electricity used in buildings.
This allows the user to power almost any kind of device from office equipment to domestic appliances as well as heating / cooling and lighting.
Because of the changes in sunlight levels there is a need to store the energy and make it available for the user as required – this also ensures that during times of low usage the power generated is not wasted.
Storage of the power is by using a local power grid (On Grid) if available or batteries for remote installations (Off Grid).
In the case of a local grid, excess power can be transferred back to the grid, assisting local power supplies*. If more power is required than the solar can supply then this is simply drawn from the grid in the usual manner.
For remote installations the batteries store the energy until required by the user, when it is released back. If more power is required, or the batteries reach a low level, a backup generator is often used as a 3rd source of power. This can supply any unusually high demand and assist in battery recharging. In either case though, generator usage is greatly reduced or in some cases, eliminated.
* Regulations governing feedback of power to the grid vary by country, please check with the relevant authority