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The BOS components, non-PV components, contribute significantly to the system. They are separated into electrical and mechanical components. The electrical components include the following:
Battery, cables, fuses, earthing, inverters, Maximum Power Point tracker, protection against lightning, charge regulation.
Mechanical components include the mountings which can be fixed or track the sun. Trackers must work automatically so add to the complexity of the system. Array racks can be stand alone or integrated into building structures. This requires consideration of the roof and wall materials.
PV Systems can be stand-alone, with storage / backup (battery) and grid connected (ie. Deliver power to the electricity grid). Storage / Backup is needed if the system is to deliver continuous power. Grid connected systems can be made to supply all power to the grid and also just to use the grid as a backup.
Performance of a PV system measured by the performance ratio. (Ratio of actual energy obtained over a period to the ratio of theoretical energy). Good systems have PR’s of over 80% with anything under 60% needing investigation.